Today at 9 a.m. CLU grad students descended upon California’s State Capitol and met with several high-level speakers, including Sacramento Bureau Chief for the Ventura County Star Timm Herdt, Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Moorpark), League of California Cities advocate Mike Madrid, Energy Regulatory Attorney Jeff Harris, Lobbyist for Energy and Timber Mark Timmerman, Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and Tony Quinn, Ph.D., Co-Author of CA Target Book and political commentator.
Each speaker gave their own unique perspectives on California government and politics, many focusing particular attention to AB 32 (Greenhouse gas regulation) and California government reform.
Timm Herdt, Mike Madrid, Mark Timmerman, and Tony Quinn both emphasized reform in California government in the form of the open primary, the need to revise term limits, as well as redistricting reform.
The occurrance of the California Constitutional Convention also speaks of the times and the need for major structural reforms in our government. Many believe that our current government is incapable of governing and getting things done, having been unable to reach consensus on major pieces of legislation and decisions within the legislature.
AB 32, which Mark Timmerman calls California’s “landmark legislation,” as well as the need for renewable energy are major issues effecting California politics today. Attorney Jeff Harris pointed out is that AB 32 is not exactly a policy, but a series of deadlines that would give rise to policies. Finding sources of renewable energy is also an issue – and Mr. Timmerman also pointed out that the country’s dependency on foreign oil is related to transportation only, and not to California’s need for renewable power and electricity.
All students were excited after a busy day with Sacramento insiders.
“I feel that the speakers were so broad-ranging and yet covered topics with varying perspectives,” says Megan Lysaght, “and their political candor was appreciated.”
“They were very open, and willing to share their own opinions,” added Robert Lung.
Senator Fran Pavley also gave testimony to the difficulties of approving and agreeing upon the long-awaited State budget. She also invited the students to sit in on a Committee Hearing affecting water policy in the State.
Overall, it was an excellent experience for us students, and it was only the first day. Sacramento is a place with a significant amount of history. Every action and decision affects all of us – and being here, in the midst of the exciting new developments in the State, only brings to light the important role each one of us plays.