May 6, 2015 by Amy Jolly
Youth Leadership Implementation Manager
This month three students from The Climate Center’s Youth Advisory Board walked the halls in Sacramento at their first Advocacy Day. Students received advocacy training and met with senators, assembly members, and their aides to promote Senate Bill 32 and Assembly Bill 1335.
Organized by the Oakland-based organization TransForm, seventy activists worked in teams of three and spoke with over sixty government officials. Youth Advisory Members joined people from across California to articulate their ideas and vision about climate action.
“Advocacy Day was fantastic. I spent a whole day learning and lobbying in Sacramento with people of all different backgrounds. Working alongside both professionals and ordinary people to advocate for a cleaner future was powerful,” said Windsor High School Senior Izzi Radar.
Senate Bill 32 is proposed legislation whose objective is to promote healthier communities and a strong economy by putting legislative teeth into a climate pollution reduction target of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. With increased wild fires and drought conditions, the impacts of climate change are hitting close to home. A bold, long-term climate law strengthens California’s commitment to the future.
Assembly Bill 1335, the Building Homes and Jobs Act, proposes to create and preserve affordable homes near transit, a highly effective climate protection strategy. Housing costs and the lack of affordable housing forces families to move to locations with cheaper rents and limited transportation options.
“The result is the need to drive cars long distances to work, school, and shopping, dramatically increasing congestion and pollution,” said Joshua Stark, State Policy Director for TransForm. Reducing driving by putting more homes near transit hubs is a powerful and durable greenhouse gas reduction strategy.
Advocacy Day was a great opportunity for students to broaden their perspective and participate directly in the government process.