If you're an observer or a participant in politics, you've probably asked yourself "What kind of person runs for office?" The video I just watched expanded my answer to that question in a powerfully positive way.
The video below, produced by the Assembly Access channel, features Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi, Ian Calderon, and Das Williams who, in addition to being CLCV-endorsed environmental champions, are also devoted surfers. They talk about the deep, even spiritual, connection they feel to California's ocean and coast, and the strong responsibility they feel to protect our environment. In their words:
Das Williams: "Surfing teaches you to be part of something without having to dominate it.... it made me feel from a very early age that it was a sacred responsibility to protect the beauty and the sanctity of our environment, and I'm really proud that I have the opportunity to do that in the state legislature."
Ian Calderon: "It really is an amazing feeling just to be out in the water.... In California, we have 1100 miles of coastline that generates billions of dollars of revenue to our economy.... We have a personal responsibility, not just as human beings and a part of this world, but as Californians, to protect our coastlines."
Al Muratsuchi: "Feeling that natural energy that comes from our ocean and from the waves is a spiritual feeling that reminds us all of the importance of protecting our beaches and oceans.... As a member of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, I'm in a position to cast important votes to protect our beaches and our coastline. I've also been appointed to the California Coastal Conservancy which gives me further opportunity to be able to, again, protect and make sure we are nurturing one of the most important assets we have here in our state."
Our work at CLCV is all about helping state leaders implement policies that protect our natural resources for the benefit of all Californians. These three members of the Assembly (two of whom are first-year members) have demonstrated that they have the passion and commitment to do that job well.
New for the 2016 legislative session: The 43rd annual California Environmental Scorecard rates elected officials on 2016, another successful year for the environment in spite of heavy opposition from polluting industry.