Our September club meeting has been moved to Wednesday, September 29th. Please join us on Zoom to hear special guest speakers talk about the Farm System Reform Act, as well as local efforts to mitigate the traffic and pollution impacts from developments. There will also be reports on wildlife and climate action. 

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Fall season sunset view from Mount Laguna
Greetings Environmental Democrats,

As noted, our September general club meeting has been moved to the fifth Wednesday of this month, the 29th, in order to better accommodate all of our featured speakers and club members. More details and the Zoom link below.

We'd like to thank Nicole Kurian, policy analyst with Californians Against Waste, for joining our August meeting as the featured speaker. Nicole presented timely information about the California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which will appear on ballots in November 2022. She also cast light on efforts by the plastics industry to obfuscate the public's understanding of how their products are not actually being recycled but are instead piling up across the globe and in our oceans. You'll find more details below on how you can get involved in this critical issue by contacting state legislators and urging them to act on bills pending in Sacramento that would promote recycling as well as reduce and eliminate single-use plastic.

Finally, an important reminder: today is the last day that ballots can be postmarked for your vote to count in defeating the Republican recall--let's make sure to send this desperate, costly, and undemocratic power grab to the grave where it belongs. Vote no on the first question to keep our duly elected Governor Gavin Newsom in office and defend our state's coastline, wildlife habitats, air quality, and commitment to lead on climate action from right-wing, inexperienced puppets for the oil and gas industries.  Make those calls to your friends and family members and make sure their ballots are in the mail today--or better yet, dropped off directly at the Registrar Of Voters office located at 5600 Overland Ave, San Diego, CA 92123 in Kearny Mesa. 

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 how local leaders are implementing measures designed to mitigate impacts of development upon traffic and pollution, discuss the outcome of the recall election, as well as reports on President Biden's broken pledge to protect wolves by keeping them off the endangered species list, the 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 

This Saturday, September 18
Tijuana River Valley International Cleanup Day
Our friends at the Spring Valley Cleanup Crew have organized a Tijuana River Valley International Cleanup Day this Saturday, September 18. We're putting out the call to members of San Diego County Democrats For Environmental Action to help pitch-in with picking up trash and debris that is piling up amidst an environmental disaster along our border region. 

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors recently recognized the buildup of sewage, trash, and chemicals in the river valley as a public health crisis. While $300 million for wastewater facility projects has been appropriated under the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), the Tijuana River Valley has not been placed on the list of EPA Superfund sites.  As the cleanup crew's founding organizer Victoria Abrenica, who addressed our club at our August meeting, told Liberation newspaper, “$300 million would be able to cover either [cleaning up] the sewage and toxins that are already in the water or it could [be used to] prevent more sewage from entering our water. But $300 million will not be able to address all the problems facing the river.” The group has been demonstrating outside the office of Rep. Juan Vargas, who represents the district, to demand that he draft legislation to procure an additional $300 million toward EPA cleanup and infrastructure. 

The environmental injustice to our South Bay communities that has been allowed to fester for years cannot be ignored while we wait for government action. This is why the Spring Valley Cleanup Crew has taken the lead in citizen action to begin removing debris now. 

Join the cleanup organizers this Saturday beginning at 9:00 a.m. at 1500 Monument Rd., San Diego, CA 92154, (just west of where southbound Hollister Street ends.) Wear old clothes and don't forget gloves and a face mask. 

Here's a link to a KPBS video about the Spring Valley Cleanup Crew: 


Action Items - Californians Against Waste

We can't thank Nicole Kurian, from Californians Against Waste enough for her eye-opening presentation about the disturbing state of plastic pollution in the world and the woeful inadequacy of the recycling industry. Nicole's talk made the sad reality of recycling very clear, highlighting how little truly gets recycled by local, state, and national recycling programs. She also discussed which plastic items (very few) actually have the capability to be recycled. Currently about 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean globally each year, while a mere 9% of single use plastics ever get recycled.  The rest is dumped in landfills, gets burned, or winds up in the ocean. Plastics, and micro-plastic (fragments from larger plastic materials), have become so insidious they've even been found in the mountains of Colorado.

The plastics industry has spent years and millions of dollars working to sell the public on the myth of recycling as a solution to our plastic waste problem. When in fact, recycling is not working.

We can only bring about real, meaningful change on this issue with everyone's help. We must work together to demand change, including demanding that the government take bolder action on this issue to protect the planet more aggressively and stop being influenced by lobbyists and big industry who are focused on profit over environmental protection.

Nicole  reviewed a variety of California legislative efforts and a ballot measure designed to tackle this issue on various fronts. Here are a few of the efforts she mentioned and ways you can help.

-SB343 - You can click here to urge your assembly member to support SB343, a very important measure that would put a stop to greenwashing as it relates to  plastic recycling labels. Plastic producers want to keep the ubiquitous recycling symbol also known as the"chasing arrows" on plastic products even if those products cannot actually be recycled. They do this to intentionally confuse consumers, knowing consumers will purchase their products if they think they are recyclable. Manufacturers don't want consumers to know the majority of their products are never recycled. SB 343 prohibits the use of the "chasing arrows" symbol on products unless they are actually recyclable. Click here to urge passage of SB343 to put a stop to greenwashing.

-Plastics Free California Ballot Initiative for November 2022. The California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act is aimed at reducing the impact of plastic pollution on the state’s lands, waters, and communities. If approved by voters, the Act would significantly advance California’s waste  policy goals by focusing on reduction of those plastic packaging and foodware items that are  only used once (i.e. single-use plastics). Supporters of the ballot measure interested in getting regular updates and learning more about how to to help get this measure passed can sign up here.

Change starts with you! Please help us address plastic waste once and for all!

Other Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 16 - Mountain Lion Foundation online presentation "Bighorn’s Gordian Knot: Beyond the Dance of the Predator Prey Relationship"
Wednesday, September 22 - Climate Action Campaign's report release --Solving Sprawl: Building Housing For A Sustainable And Equitable San Diego
Saturday, October 2 - San Diego Humane Society 35th annual Fur Ball Gala

Thank you for all you do for our future generations,

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
Mount Laguna sunset photo by Kevin Key, 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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