What a night.
Democrats took back control of the House, Florida enacted a constitutional amendment banning offshore oil drilling, and California voters defeated efforts to gut our public transportation funding!
Though many races remain too close to call, the message from last night’s election is clear: Every voter matters. At this moment, the closest contest in the state has just THREE votes separating the candidates. And nearly half a dozen congressional, statewide, and local contests are still within 1 percentage point.
Thank you for your support and leadership in this election cycle; while there is a lot to celebrate today, results also show how much work we have yet to do.
But here is what we do know:
Six of CLCV’s endorsed candidates for Statewide office, including Governor-elect Gavin Newsom and Lt. Governor-elect Eleni Kounalakis, won big, with the remaining two races too close to call. Of the ballot propositions CLCV endorsed, 100% went the way we hoped. CLCV was the first statewide organization to endorse Prop 1 - the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond- and we’re particularly proud to see this crucial measure pass. Voters also overwhelmingly rejected Prop 6 – the gas tax repeal – sending a clear message to lawmakers that Californians are willing to fund our roads and public transportation infrastructure.
Turning to the Legislature: The Assembly will continue to have a Democratic supermajority, but will have a greater makeup of environmental champions, with the additions of CLCV candidates like Robert Rivas and Tasha Boerner Horvath. Additionally, our priority candidate Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, the author of California’s new anti-offshore oil drilling law, resoundingly won his re-election by double digits, in a seat that has switched back and forth between an environmental champion and an ally to Big Oil every cycle for the last six years.
The Senate, however, will become a less-pro environmental chamber. The defeat of environmental champion Mike Eng, coupled with the loss of Kevin de León to term limits, and Josh Newman to a recall earlier this year, will have an impact. Much of our legislative and advocacy focus will need to shift from the Assembly to the Senate, to build broad support and effect legislative victories in the coming session.
As the votes continue to be counted, it’s clear that the election results, though on balance incredibly positive, means we are going to have our work cut out for us in Sacramento. Our efforts during the current Administration under Governor Brown was about securing California’s climate leadership – which we resoundingly did by extending our greenhouse gas reduction targets, setting a 100% renewable energy requirement, and passing a legislative-led $4 billion climate adaptation package. Now, our efforts for the incoming administration will be focused on reaching these goals and implementing these legislative victories, while pushing for even bolder environmental policy. As I said last night to Cal Matters: “We are really talking about a true transformation of our economy, our infrastructure, that’s what is lying ahead for California.”
What is also clear is the task ahead of us: the 2020 presidential election. We have to expand voting in California and across the country; that will have the biggest impact on our ability to address climate change and inequality at the rate and scale needed.
Can you chip in today to help CLCV have the resources we need to prepare to win in the legislature and at the ballot box?
UPDATE: News just broke that Rep. Steve Knight has conceded to CLCV's endorsed candidate Katie Hill! CD 25 was a top targeted race for our team, pictured below getting out the vote! For more highlights from the campaign trail, follow us on our new Instagram page.