SSV team members were among a crowd of 500 people who packed the Menlo-Atherton High School Theatre on January 15 to observe the California Senate District 13 Climate and Environmental Forum.  

Five of the seven candidates for the office of state senator in District 13 participated in the event: Democrat Josh Becker, Democrat Michael Brownrigg, Republican Alexander Glew, Democrat Sally Lieber, and Democrat Shelly Masur.  The successful candidate will assume the seat currently occupied by Jerry Hill, who will be termed out this year.  

The event began with candidate opening statements, and then moved to a series of questions posed by some of the environmental non-profits who organized the event.   The event concluded with candidate closing statements.  

Highlights of the event included the following responses and messages from candidates:

  • Shelly Masur discussed her upbringing in Alaska, and the influence of her grandparents who grew up during the Great Depression, in shaping her conservation values.  Masur said that she is in favor of Redwood City establishing reach codes for more robust environmental requirements than is currently mandated by the state for new buildings.
  • Josh Becker discussed his background as a green energy entrepreneur, including his establishment of a clean energy investment fund.  Becker also stated his positions and goals on a range of issues including carbon neutrality for state agencies by 2030, mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions among cities exceeding 75,000 population, and financial incentives to put cleaner vehicles on the road.
  • Michael Brownrigg highlighted his environmental agenda including clean water for all Californians, recharge of overdrawn aquifers, elimination of plastics to landfill, achievement of zero carbon energy, and investment in public transit for the Bay Area.
  • Sally Lieber addressed sea level rise, suggesting that a planned retreat could be considered.  She also joined the other candidates in condemning PG&E’s business practices, and in regards to water management, expressed support for more water recycling and greater restriction of intensive water uses.  
  • Alexander Glew expressed his support for H.R. 763, which is a bipartisan climate proposal endorsed by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.  H.R. 763 would establish a fee on fuel producers and importers, on the basis of the fuel’s carbon content and associated climate footprint.  Glew also voiced his support for more efficient crop irrigation systems, and also separating water systems, to help conserve potable water for uses that have a potable water quality imperative.