Our September club meeting is coming up this Wednesday, September 29th. Please join us on Zoom to hear special guest speakers talk about the Farm System Reform Act introduced in the U.S. Senate and House, as well as recent developments in how the County will calculate the traffic impacts from development and act to mitigate traffic congestion, air pollution, and sprawl. 

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Peninsular Bighorn sheep in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 
Greetings Environmental Democrats,

Leaves are falling, and pumpkin spice and maple pecan everything are on the menus and store shelves.  It's difficult to believe it's already the fall season in our second year under COVID protocols.  As we continue staying safe and reducing the spread of new variants, our September general club meeting will once again be on Zoom.  Please RSVP with our Zoom link and plan to join us this Wednesday evening for a packed meeting with updates, club member actions, and presentations from our featured guests on issues of both local and national importance. 


This Wednesday, September 29
SDCDEA General Club Meeting

Over the past 40 to 50 years, our nation's agricultural system was transformed from one based mostly on smaller farms and pastures, to one increasingly consolidated under the control of titanic corporations like Smithfield, Tyson, Cargill, and Perdue. The emergence of CAFOs, concentrated animal feeding operations (commonly referred to as "factory farms") has brought 99 percent of farm animals in the U.S.--some 10 billion farm animals--under the rooves of these large-scale industrial agricultural facilities, whose focus is solely on producing the most products at the lowest cost. With the decline of small farms that had maintained some connection with the animals and the land, we've seen the rise of horrific animal cruelty, pollution into our waterways and rural landscapes from animal waste, increased GHG emissions, exploitation of factory workers, zoonotic diseases such as the avian and swine influenza viruses, and widespread blanket use of antibiotics and growth hormones. 

The Farm System Reform Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Cory Booker (with co-sponsoring Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders), and introduced in the House by Rep. Ro Khanna of California, would overhaul our broken agricultural system by moving us toward one that is more humane with higher standards for animal welfare, worker safety, and addressing industry consolidation and unfair practices--the first step being a moratorium on factory farms.

To better inform us and spark action on this critical legislation, our featured speaker will be Rebecca Wolf, senior organizer with Food & Water Watch, who will be presenting about the impact of factory farms and the promise that this bill holds to put an end to dangerous practices that cause harms to our environment, the animals being kept in this system, the workers in these factory settings, and consumers who are often kept in the dark about how their food is raised and what's in it. Click here for a current list of organizations endorsing the Farm System Reform Act.

We'll also get an update and presentation on recent changes as the County Board of Supervisors chart a new course to implement Senate Bill 743, passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013. SB 743 initiated updates to the CEQA Guidelines, changing how agencies evaluate transportation impacts of development projects, with the goal of better measuring the actual transportation-related environmental impacts of any given project. To learn more about the Board of Supervisors' recent decision to rescind its prior version of the traffic impact rules in the face of environmental lawuits, we'll hear from Noah Harris with Climate Action Campaign and JP Theberge with Grow The San Diego Way . 

To become more familiar with this topic, here is the report from the County's Planning & Development Services, and an article covering the recent developments in the San Diego Union-Tribune. 

We'll also update the club about upcoming endorsements, and get officer issue reports on President Biden's broken pledge to protect wolves by keeping them off the endangered species list, last Friday's student strike for climate action, and the groundbreaking decision by the city of Berkeley to divest from animal agriculture.

As usual, we will begin checking in members at 6:15 p.m. on Zoom, and come to order at 6:30 p.m. Our meeting are open to guests, but only members may participate in Q&A and discussion.

To join or renew your membership with our club, visit

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 892 7975 3162 
Climate Action Camaign Special Report:
Solving Sprawl
Climate Action Campaign has just released its special report Solving Sprawl: Building Housing for A Sustainable and Equitable San Diego

The report, written and reviewed by staff and contributing environmental leaders including several of our club members, explains why sprawl development is unsustainable, dangerous, and costly--producing  greater economic and racial inequity, creating air pollution that affects public health, and destroying habitats and biodiversity.  The report explores ideas for solving our housing crisis that also address reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and offers policy recommendations. We urge you to take a look at this comprehensive and thoughtful report that's been many months in the making, and think about opportunities we will have to advocate for equitable and affordable housing to be developed within our cities and census-designated communities-helping San Diegans find homes close to their places of employment, and protecting those natural landscapes in our back country that we treasure so much. 

We'll see you this Wednesday for a lively and informative meeting!
Richard Ram
Interim President

Mia Taylor
Communications Director

Board Members
Richard Ram, interim president;
  vice president for programs and outreach

Kevin Lourens, vice president for political action
Bridger Langfur, vice president for policy
Courtney Ransom, membership
Galena Robertson, treasurer
Mia Taylor, director of communications
Rick Guerrero, board member at-large
David Engel, board member at-large
Brandon Coopersmith, board member at-large
Czeska Cabuhat, board member at-large
Vianna Ledesma, board member at-large
Cody Petterson, immediate past president
Photo Credits
Bighorn sheep photo by Nicole Beaulac, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Hog waste lagoon photo by Sally & Sadie Kneidel, courtesy of Veggie Revolution
Chartered in 2014, San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action seeks to foster active interest in the Democratic Party, encourage greater support of the California Democratic Party environmental platform, contribute to party leadership and responsibility, provide a constructive role for volunteers in Democratic politics, promote an activist base, and assist and enable Democratic candidates to run, and win, on environmental and conservation principles.
Copyright © 2021 San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action, all rights reserved.

Mailing address: P.O. Box 16254, San Diego, CA 92176

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San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action · P.O. Box 16254 · San Diego, CA 92176 · USA

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