California Environmental Voters (EnviroVoters) lobbies in Washington, D.C. for lawmakers to expand access to democracy, take bold action on climate, and protect and enhance the land, air, water, and health of all California communities. Check out our top federal priorities and get involved to help pass them:
Congress has until the end of September to reauthorize the farm bill, which invests hundreds of billions in agriculture and food programs over five years that typically passes with bipartisan support. We can introduce and expand climate policy through conservation, forestry, and water provisions in the bill, but also must fight off attempts to cut these investments. Key areas of opportunity include water and land conservation, regenerative agriculture, forestry, and expanding equity for small and marginalized farmers, as well as protecting our waterways and implementing better resource management and climate-smart agricultural practices.
In 2022, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which at $369 billion over 10 years represents the single largest investment in fighting the climate crisis the United States has ever made. This is an opportunity to radically meet our climate goals, but only if the projects and funding are implemented in a way that ensures justice and equity in underinvested areas. We must defend the IRA from GOP threats to cut funding preemptively. And we must make sure that county and city governments apply for funding through state agencies and that their projects support and benefit marginalized and underinvested communities.
Governor Newsom and President Biden have both made a commitment to protect 30% of state and federal lands and waters by 2030 (30×30), a critical strategy to address the climate crisis. Protected public lands and waters help ensure access to nature and also the continued biodiversity of plants and animals in the face of a changing climate. We’re urging leaders in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to make investments that will protect public lands and waters in places where Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities and other communities of color live so there is more equitable access to nature in California.
Senator Alex Padilla is championing the PUBLIC Lands Act to protect over 1 million acres of public lands and over 500 miles of rivers in the state. The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act would expand the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by over 191,000 acres. We are also pushing the Biden Administration to designate new national monuments in California like Chuckwalla National Monument and make necessary expansions to our existing ones, including Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. These deserts, oceans, forests, and mountain ranges have cultural, historical, ecological, and scientific importance that must be protected for generations to come.
Run amok by a hostile right-wing majority unrepresentative of the country and unaccountable to the people, the Supreme Court has issued catastrophic decisions attacking reproductive rights, gun safety, and the EPA’s efforts to combat the climate crisis. With President Biden and a thin environmental majority in the U.S. Senate, we have a rare but limited window to push for significant court reform now. That starts with adding at least four seats to rebalance the Bench and implementing a code of ethics to prevent conflicts of interest and perjury, as well as filling the many appellate and district court vacancies with justices sympathetic to the environment and environmental justice.
Although California is the country’s most populous state, with geographic diversity that includes forests, deserts, and 1,000 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, how many climate champions in Washington, D.C. are from California? There are dozens of members of Congress from California doing great work, but we need more of our representatives to prioritize bold climate action and accountability, and we need to recruit and develop more leaders at the federal level who will be climate champions and work to solve the climate crisis and fight for climate justice. California should be leading the way, not only in what we do here in the Golden State but also in what we achieve nationally.