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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 1st, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 22, Issue 27 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 22, Issue 27

Political Watch: September 2, 2021

• California legislators released statements on the U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan, including those who were California residents. On Aug. 27, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-California) honored U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui and Cpl. Hunter Lopez of California, who were killed in a bombing. “Our hearts are heavy with the tragic news of these two young heroes who died courageously serving their country,” Padilla said in the statement. “Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui and Cpl. Hunter Lopez served their country with honor, and we all owe a debt of gratitude for their selfless and ultimate sacrifice.” A day later, Padilla released another statement on the 13 total service members killed in the Aug. 26 Kabul attack, including 10 who were based at Camp Pendleton and four California residents. “I remain committed to advocating for the safe and expedited evacuation of Americans, our allies, and vulnerable Afghans,” Padilla said. “I am also thinking of the close-knit community surrounding Camp Pendleton. This is a devastating loss for a community that has welcomed so many brave American daughters and sons with open arms.” On Aug. 28, Gov. Gavin Newsom also released a statement honoring the 13 service members. “California joins the nation in mourning the tragic loss of 13 U.S. service members, including those from California, and many other innocent victims in this heinous attack,” Newsom said. “Our heroic troops gave their lives to protect others amid harrowing and dangerous conditions, and we will never forget their bravery and selfless sacrifice in service to our nation.” The governor ordered flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims, according to the statement from Newsom’s office. 

• On Aug. 23, Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) announced that he voted in favor of Senate Bill 10, a piece of legislation that seeks to cut red tape for housing projects. The bill “allows a city or county to increase the number of housing units allowed on a residential parcel, or upzone, without having to conduct an environmental impact report under the California Environmental Quality Act,” according to Cunningham’s office. “We need to make sure our state is affordable for all generations. Without an increase in housing supply, we risk an unaffordable future,” Cunningham said in a statement. “Market-based solutions like SB 10 cut red tape and make it easier to build new units, and give an important tool to our local governments.” According to a California Department of Housing and Community Development report, the state needs 1.8 million new housing units by 2025 to meet projected demand, according to Cunningham’s office. Since 2015, the state has averaged 80,000 new units a year, making supply lower than demand. “The Central Coast is already unaffordable. Without an increase in our local housing supply, it will be impossible for the next generation to stay here,” Cunningham added in an Aug. 26 Facebook post. “Specifically, this bill gives local city councils the ability to rezone residential parcels for more units without having to conduct expensive and onerous regulatory studies.”

• The California League of Conservation Voters recognized state Sen. Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) for her legislative efforts to protect the climate and mitigate climate change. She thanked the organization in an Aug. 27 Facebook post. “Thank you, California League of Conservation Voters for the recognition,” Limón wrote. “Now more than ever, we must continue protecting our environment and at-risk areas. Climate impacts affect human health, and we must do our part for ourselves and the future of our loved ones.” The California League of Conservation Voters has been around since 1972, protecting “the land, air, water, and health of all California communities by electing environmental champions, advancing critical state and federal legislation, and holding policymakers accountable to combating the effects of our catastrophic climate crisis,” according to the organization’s website.

Weekly Poll
What do you think about tree thinning as a form of wildfire management?

It's a smart option in order to prevent wildfires from spreading rapidly.
It's an interesting strategy that saves wildlife and prevents homes from being damaged.
We should focus on home-hardening rather than messing with the forest.
Fire season is inevitable with climate change; at this point we should try anything.

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