Elected Officials to Protect California

Elected Officials to Protect America - California Chapter is a network of elected officials committed to bold climate action, environmental justice, and fossil fuel-free communities for all Californians. Join our efforts by signing our letter to Governor Newsom.

Local Leaders Protecting Communities

Local elected officials are taking bold actions to protect their communities from harmful oil and gas production. Setting an example for the State to follow, EOPA California members have:

  • Created public health setbacks for oil and gas development in Arvin, Huntington Beach, and Ventura County
  • Banned fracking in Alameda, Santa Cruz Counties, and the city of Beverly Hills
  • Passed a resolution to phase out oil drilling in Culver City
  • Blocked construction of a gas-fired generating station in Oxnard
  • Announced the phase out of gas-fired plants in Los Angeles
  • Passed a Just Transition motion to plug and remediate nonproductive oil wells in Los Angeles County

Cities, towns, and counties have shown the way. See our catalog of local action to learn more. To ensure the health, safety and futures of every Californian, it’s time for the State to step up and do its part, too.

Leaders Spotlight

Carmen Ramirez, Esq.

“Ventura County Supervisors have taken important steps to protect public health by enacting one of the nation’s most strongest and comprehensive plans to protect our communities from the dangers of oil and gas pollution,” ~ Carmen Ramirez

Carmen Ramirez, Supervisor, Ventura County, District 5. Carmen is the first Latina to be elected to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. She has served the community as a legal-aid attorney and a three term Oxnard City Council member, she is from the San Gabriel Valley and has lived and worked in Ventura County since 1978. From 1978 through 1998, Ramirez worked for legal-aid programs in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and served as the executive director of Oxnard’s Channel Counties Legal Services Association for sixteen years, addressing the legal needs of low-income and disabled clients.

Katie Valenzuela

“We cannot call California a leader on climate if we fail to protect communities of color and low income that have been ignored for too long.” ~ Katie Valenzuela

Councilmember Katie Valenzuela serves the people of Sacramento’s District 4. Her fundamental belief that people deserve a voice in decisions that impact them has guided her for over two decades of professional and volunteer work in community organizing and policy advocacy. Katie was the first Sacramento appointee to California’s AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, where she became co-chair during the 2030 Target Scoping Plan process. Katie started a consulting firm to focus on supporting state-level and local groups fighting to achieve environmental justice. She was soon tapped to be the first consultant for the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies, and then became Policy & Political Director for the California Environmental Justice Alliance.

Jovanka Beckles

“Environmental justice is a matter of survival – California oil is among the dirtiest crude in the entire world producing more pollutants and destructive gas than any other, three quarters of fracking wells in California are within 600 meters of groundwater sources; this threatens our water supply.” ~ Jovanka Beckles

Director Jovanka Beckles, Richmond AC Transit, Ward 1, is a movement organizer, a former two-term Richmond City Councilmember, a longtime leader in the Richmond Progressive Alliance, a children’s mental health professional. Jovanka has worked as a counselor, youth educator, team builder and strategist, client advocate, crime prevention specialist, housing case manager for the homeless, and mental health specialist for 32 years and has been a small business owner in the City of Richmond.

Featured News

Public News Service

LANCASTER, Calif. – In the wake of last week’s massive power blackouts in Texas, there’s a lot of blame to go around. But groups that fight climate change say the root problem, in every state, is burning fossil fuels.

Clean-energy advocates have said climate change is leading to more extreme weather events, from the storm that froze Texas to the heat and drought driving wildfires in California. San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon said that’s why her city uses 100% renewable energy and bans gas hookups in new homes.

“When you look at a situation like Texas, so much of that is climate exacerbated,” she said. “And so, we’re getting into some really pretty serious, probably, feedback loops here – that we’re going to have to do everything in our power to turn this around before it’s too late, if it’s not already too late.”

Read full article here.

The Atascadero News

SAN LUIS OBISPO — After successful community outreach that garnered extensive input, the City Council formally set its goals on Tuesday for the 2021-23 Financial Plan. The goals for the next two years are economic recovery, resiliency, and fiscal sustainability; diversity, equity, and inclusion; housing and homelessness; and climate action, open space, and sustainable transportation.

The Council also supported the adopted City Council Vision focused on embracing the future of San Luis Obispo while respecting its past with core values of civility, sustainability, diversity, inclusivity, regionalism, partnership and resiliency.

Read full article here.

Featured Work

Local Government Action

Already, more than 115 local governments in California have passed more than 175 local policies to protect their communities from fossil fuels, including phase-out plans or setbacks on oil and gas drilling, climate lawsuits or divestment from fossil fuel companies, or opposing expansion of fossil fuel production or infrastructure. Read about the policies here.

Limiting Oil and Gas Drilling

Exposure to toxic air contaminants and other pollution caused by oil and gas wells significantly threatens public health and disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities and people of color. EOPA is calling on Governor Newsom to take action and phase out oil and gas extraction in California for the health and safety of his constituents. Sign our letter to Governor Newsom.

Closing Toxic Idle Wells

There are currently 70,000 inactive and abandoned oil and gas wells in California that endanger public health and safety while producing little to no oil.

Cities and counties have the power to shut them down. Learn more and take action.

EOPCA is a division within EOPA, a project of the Solon Center for Research & Publishing 501(c)3 – Ⓒ 2019