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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 14th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 33 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 33

Political Watch: October 15, 2020

• Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Oct. 7 that he had signed an executive order to advance the fight against climate change. The order directs state agencies to “deploy a number of strategies to store carbon in the state’s natural and working lands and remove it from the atmosphere,” according to the governor’s office. Some of those strategies include healthy soils management, compost applications, wetlands restoration to protect coastal areas, active forest management, and green infrastructure. The order also sets a goal to conserve 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal water by 2030, making California the first state to do so in the nation. “Once again, California is taking on the mantle of global climate leadership and advancing bold strategies to fight climate change,” Newsom said a statement. “The science is clear that, in our existential fight against climate change, we must build on our historic efforts in energy and emissions and focus on our lands as well. California’s beautiful natural and working lands are an important tool to help slow and avert catastrophic climate change, and today’s executive order provides important new tools to take on this existential threat.” The governor’s new goal to conserve 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal water by 2030 puts California among the ranks of 38 countries worldwide that are also committed to achieve protection for 30 percent of the planet by 2030. The release added that California’s conservation is particularly critical given that it is considered one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots.

• Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) encouraged constituents in an Oct. 12 Facebook post to sign a petition he created asking Caltrans to fix congestion on southbound Highway 101. “The Pismo Beach backup is responsible for some of the worst traffic congestion on the Central Coast,” Cunningham wrote. “Caltrans is considering a proposed fix to the congestion along southbound 101 that would include an additional, part-time lane that could be opened during high-traffic times.” The Caltrans website states that the project would “improve operations on southbound U.S. 101 from just north of Spyglass Drive to the Pismo overhead (bridge over railroad tracks) within the city of Pismo Beach.” Congestion would particularly see improvement during weekday afternoon commutes, summer or seasonal traffic, and weekend traffic. “Sign the petition today, and let’s tell Caltrans that the Central Coast needs this project!” Cunningham wrote.

• On Oct. 8, Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed October 2020 as California Farmers and Farmworkers Month. “With the fall harvest underway, Californians are reminded of our deep debt of gratitude to the farmers and farmworkers working tirelessly through the pandemic and increasingly unhealthy air quality caused by wildfires and climate change to supply food to supermarket shelves, food banks, and our tables,” Newsom wrote in the proclamation. “As the largest agricultural state, farming in California supports more than 1.2 million jobs and provides $263 billion in generated economic revenue.” Newsom commended farmworkers for working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic, and detailed some of the efforts he’s taken to protect them. “We have built a pipeline of personal protective equipment to help workers stay safe on the job and provided necessary COVID-19 testing and treatment at no cost for undocumented or uninsured Californians,” he wrote. “We have taken action to expand paid sick leave to food sector workers, create temporary housing options for agricultural workers to safely isolate and quarantine, and provide detailed workplace safety and health guidance.” BY MALEA MARTIN









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