California’s primary elections are this week! We believe this year’s election is important for climate justice. From the presidential race to county supervisor races, Californians are faced with choices of candidates who will determine the future of both people and planet.
Democratic Presidential Nominee: Senator Bernie Sanders
350 Santa Barbara endorses Senator Bernie Sanders as the Demoratic party nominee for President. Bernie’s vision of a national Green New Deal and his call of #NotMeUs reminds us that not only is another world possible, but that it is our collective responsibility to fight for and build that world together. Bernie’s Green New Deal plan is the only candidate plan that will make the necessary cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst effects of climate change and will build a just transition for workers and communities.
Santa Barbara County, 3rd District Supervisor: Joan Hartmann
Incumbent Supervisor Hartmann is running for her second term as County Supervisor for the large and diverse third district. County supervisors have the final vote on all energy projects — from continued oil development to the build out of renewable energy. Supervisor Hartmann’s primary opponent — Bruce Porter — received $60,000 from oil interests in the 2016 election and has written about his desire to bring Santa Barbara’s voters “farm-to-table petroleum.” If Porter wins the election, it is likely that 750 new oil wells in Cat Canyon will be drilled and Exxon Mobil will be given the green light to build an oil pipeline along Gaviota coast to replace the one that ruptured in 2015 and turn back on its 3 offshore oil wells.
Both Santa Barbara County and this country desperately need a fair and just transition — one in which we move from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, in which workers are guaranteed well-paying, safe, and dignified jobs, and which the historical inequalities that have made climate change possible are addressed. An election alone won’t create the just transition. Yet it will be that much easier to build toward if we avoid a pro-oil majority on the Board of Supervisors and have a President committed to building a Green New Deal.
Elections are just step 1. The organizing will continue long after.