We hope that you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend with friends and family. As we salute those who fell in service to the nation, let's honor their sacrifice in the work that we do to make a more perfect union -- defending the right for every American to participate in our democracy, fighting for civil liberties and equality under the law for all, protecting our natural heritage and implementing 21st century policies that make our nation and our world more sustainable and stable. 

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The Moving Wall, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial, seen here at Mt. Trashmore Park in Virginia

"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Greetings Environmentalists and Democrats,

While we still adjust to a "new normal" we hope that you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend safely with your family and friends. Let us remember all of those who have served and those who were lost in service to protect our freedoms and ideals. We have seen in our recent history unprecedented assaults on our values, our institutions, our voting rights--and the Capitol building itself.  When we fight to protect and restore these cherished principles and make a better nation for the next generation of Americans, we honor their sacrifice. 

SDCDEA May Meeting Recap
We would like to thank the special speakers who stayed on after we adjourned our club business to share information about recreation opportunities in our state and county parks and national forest lands. Benjamin Gray (Recreation Manager, Palomar Ranger District, Cleveland National Forest), Ray Lennox (District Superintendent, Colorado Desert District, California State Parks), and Jessica Geiszler (Marketing and Public Outreach Manager, San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation) all presented slides to inspire us to get back out into the wilderness in our backcountry, and took questions from club members. Our members appreciate your staying on Zoom with us into the later evening, and for all that you do as ambassadors for our public lands. 

We also announced that we are having our first in-person club event in over a year, and it's a hike and picnic on June 13. Details below. 

During the business portion of our meeting, we heard from club member Tara Hammond and Karinna Gonzalez of Hammond Climate Solutions present about AB-1139, the proposal from our own Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (AD-80) that would effectively kill rooftop solar and punish solar users. The bill would break the contract that solar customers have for net energy metering--the policy that has made solar increasingly accessible to low-and-moderate income families, schools and other public buildings. AB-1139 would remove incentives for going solar, hurting California’s 1,200,000 solar customers and the thousands of small businesses that install solar panels. It would be a permanent setback from ever achieving the objective of a clean energy future. As an erstwhile ally of our club on many environmental causes, we are puzzled at this astonishingly bad legislation from Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher. The bill passed through the appropriations committee on May 20. See the votes (including another member of San Diego's legislative delegation, here)

SDCDEA club members demanded to hear about this proposal at our club, and we have voted overwhelmingly to take a position in opposition to AB-1139--joining our friends and allies with the San Diego Green New Deal Alliance, San Diego Coastkeeper, the National Parks Conservation, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders Of Wildlife, the San Diego Progressive Democratic Club, and many others in urging the defeat or disappearance of this regressive anti-solar bill. We urge more Democratic clubs and groups to stand with us and lend your voice to this important matter affecting citizens, businesses, and the promise that was made to those who've chosen to get solar panels installed--often at great expense, and with the hope that the savings on utility bills might offset the payments to solar loan finance companies. If you represent one of these clubs or organizations, please reach out to us and we can arrange a speaker for your meeting.

Please help us spread the word, and let your own representative in Sacramento know that you oppose this bill. (If you happen to live in the 80th Assembly District, please ask Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher to pull this bill!)

Save California Solar runs an informative site and has a convenient petition form that you can submit to your state legislator--be sure to include a personal message! Here is the contact information for all Assemblymembers representing San Diego County, including one Republican ( never know...she represents solar customers and businesses, too...):

Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R) (AD-75):
Sacramento office (916) 319-2075; District office
Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (AD-76):
Sacramento office (916) 319-2076; District office (760)434-7605
Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (AD-77):
Sacramento office (916) 319-2077; District office (858) 675-0077
Assemblymember Chris Ward (AD-78):
Sacramento office (916) 319-2078; District office (619) 645-3090
Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber (AD-79): 
Sacramento office (916) 319-2079; District office (619) 531-7913
Assemblember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (AD-80):
Sacramento office (916) 319-2080; District office (619) 338-8090
This Wednesday, June 2 - Rally To Save Rooftop Solar

There will also be rally to save rooftop solar at the South Chula Vista Library located at 389 Orange Ave. this Wednesday, June 2 beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Here is the Facebook event with details: 

We are asking all available members to show up and demonstrate public opposition to this bill. As usual, please share and let your friends know about how decisions being made in Sacramento are hurting solar customers. 

SDG&E Franchise Renewal Vote
This past Tuesday, San Diego City Council voted 6-3 to approve Mayor Gloria's franchise renewal for San Diego Gas & Electric. Here is the KPBS article on the vote:

San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action strongly opposed the franchise renewal, joining the Public Power San Diego coalition in calling for a short-term deal while the city would explore and take action to transition to a municipalized utility. San Diego ratepayers have been paying among the highest utility rates in the nation for the past several years, and now it appears Sempra Energy executives will continue with the rate hikes while raking in record profits for the next 20 years. This is a corporation whose efforts to bill ratepayers for their own culpability in the 2007 wildfires had to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to be stopped in 2019, or we'd be seeing that addition to our already inflated bills. This is a corporation that less than two weeks before the City Council vote saw its shareholders vote to reject a proposal that it align its activities with the goals of the Paris climate accord, all but guaranteeing its profits will continue to be based on emissions that warm our planet. SDCDEA club member and SanDiego350 executive director Masada Disenhouse told the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Sempra’s business model is inherently at odds with a sustainable, equitable future.” 

A better path could have been forged--a path to a public utility that would work for the people and act to produce and transmit energy from renewable sources.  Frankly, our small volunteer army was outspent and out-organized by Sempra Energy lobbyists and special interests aligned with the utility. We had hoped that at least four members of the City Council would stand with us in cutting short the two-thirds majority required for an easy rubber-stamp--sending it back with a renewed call for a short-term deal with earnest exploration of the option for a public utility. Only a municipalized, not-for-profit utility can offer San Diegans competitive rates, responsiveness to customer and community concerns, and move us toward renewable energy in accordance with the City's own ambitious and much-delayed climate action plan. Public utilities in California already provide power to cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, Alameda, Riverside, Temecula, and Escondido--and without exception all of their ratepayers pay lower rates than what San Diegans are being charged. 

A second reading of the proposed agreement is scheduled for June 8. While we can hope that one more council member will change his or her mind and deny the two-thirds majority required for the deal to be rubber-stamped, at this point it seems unlikely.

Please join us in acknowledging and sending a note of gratitude to the three green-minded council members who stood with our coalition and against this literal power-grab on May 25:

Joe LaCava (District 1):  619-236-6611

Monica Montgomery Steppe (District 4):  619-236-6644

Vivian Moreno (District 8):  619-236-6688

To the councilmembers: You listened to our concerns and our plea for a more equitable option. You were lobbied by the other side, with the certain promise of moneyed political retribution if you did not vote for the deal. And when the vote came, you stood with us. We at San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action thank you for your political courage and will remember this vote. Thank you! We will remember this vote. 
Sunday, June 13
Club Hike at 
Louis A. Stelzer County Park

For our first post-pandemic hike, we will get together at Louis A. Stelzer County Park in Lakeside, located just off Wildcat Canyon Road, where we will witness the ability for our native habitats to recover from fire damage. Ninety-five percent of Stelzer County Park burned in the October 2003 Cedar Fire.  This will be a 2.6 mile loop of connecting trails beginning with the tree-shaded Riparian Trail along Wildcat Canyon Creek. The Wooten Loop and Stelzer Ridge trails open up to rocky hillsides and a few small meadows amidst coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodland vegetation. The (optional) connecting summit trail is a steeper, zig-zagging climb to the highest point in the park, Stelzer Summit at 1179 feet, where you'll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the surrounding areas. The trail is rated moderate, and has an overall elevation gain of just over 600 feet. Wildlife found in the park includes deer, raccoons, bobcats, and harmless rosy boa snakes. 

There is a parking fee of $3 -- carpool with your fellow EnviroDems and feel free to invite vaccinated friends who would be interested in what we do as a club. We will follow current CDC guidance which may permit us to go maskless. The plan is to gather in the parking lot near the ranger station and restrooms beginning at 9:30 a.m.  All hikers will be asked to sign a waiver before we commence our outing, and we'll get a group photo. Upon returning to our base between 12:30 and 1:00 pm., we'll get together for a picnic -- so plan ahead to bring a cooler of food and beverage to keep stowed in your vehicle.

Be sure to wear a hat and appropriate hiking clothes; bring along sunscreen and a reusable water bottle. 
Be aware that we will encounter poison oak along the trails. Dogs are permitted on a maximum 6-foot length leash.

RSVP at our Facebook event page for the hike -- and use the "Discussion" tab for any questions or to set up carpooling. 

For more information on Stelzer County Park features, rules, and regulations, check out this brochure

Join Or Renew With Us Today
Are you a new follower of our club, or a member whose annual dues have lapsed recently or over the past year?

Please join or renew with us today--San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action is the largest environmentally-focused Democratic club in Southern California. From the oceans to our deserts and urban environments, we take a stand against the polluters, the pillagers, and poachers -- so that the next generation can live healthfully in a region that still retains natural beauty and biological diversity. The advocacy we do with other organizations and with our elected officials is vital to implementing important conservation measures, addressing environmental justice issues affecting urban communities, and enacting meaningful changes that move us toward a 100% renewable energy future.

Our strength is in our numbers. We depend on your membership to amplify our voice and your participation within the club is needed to provide direction for the actions we take in our advocacy, activities, the resolutions that we adopt and promote, and volunteer work for endorsed political candidates who stand with us on the issues. General memberships are still just $25 for a full year, $40 for couples. If you are able to, consider joining or renewing at our Patron or Sustaining member levels.  We now use WildApricot for processing payments and managing our club membership -- go to to be a valued part of our movement!

Upcoming Events
Tuesday, June 9 - San Diego Green New Deal JEDI Working Group meeting (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) 
Tuesday, June 15 - SanDiego350 Zoom workshop: How We Get There From Here; Building an Equitable Transportation System in San Diego
Wednesday, June 16 - SDCDEA General Club Meeting (details forthcoming)
Saturday, June 26 - San Diego Humane Society/Project Wildlife Virtual Live Bahde Wildlife Center Tour (on Zoom)
Saturday, July 31 - San Diego County Democratic Party 41st Annual Roosevelt Honors

Thank you for all that you do to think global, act local, and fight for our shared values.

Happy Memorial Day,
Cody Petterson

Mia Taylor
Communications Director

Richard Ram
Vice President for Programs and Outreach

Board Members
Cody Petterson, president
Richard Ram, vice president for programs and outreach
Kevin Lourens, vice president for political action
Bridger Langfur, vice president for policy
Lauren Bier, secretary
Jerry Boggs, fundraising
Courtney Ransom, membership
Galena Robertson, treasurer
Mia Taylor, director of communications
Rick Guerrero, board member at-large
Kathryn Burton, 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
Photo Credits
Moving Wall photo by 
Tristan Miller, courtesy of U.S. Navy and Wikimedia Commons
Kitchen Creek Falls (along Pacific Crest Trail) photo courtesy of Cleveland National Forest
Joe LaCava and Vivian Moreno photos courtesy of their campaigns; Monica Montgomery photo by John Loughlin
Louis A. Stelzer County Park Loop Trail photo by Natalie Wing, courtesy of AllTrails
Stelzer County Park Loop Trail map clipped from AllTrails
Mark Jackson at SDCDEA Anniversary Party by Deborah Gostinm courtesy of Deborah Gostin Photography
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.
Mark Jackson, co-chair of the No On Measure B coalition accepts our club's Making A Difference Award at our 2017 Anniversary Party and Awards Ceremony held at Ponce's Mexican Restaurant in Kensington.  We helped educate voters and see the 2016 Lilac Hills Hills development proposal go down in defeat--one of many ballot box measures pushed by sprawl developers hoping to skirt the County's general plan.
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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