The League of Women Voters of Santa Monica has been a major player in Santa Monica politics since 1934.
The League is a nonpartisan political organization that wants to encourage an active participation of citizens in government at all levels. They aim to influence public policy through both education and advocacy. Education of the citizenry is accomplished through the league’s dissemination of unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues. The league undertakes advocacy on particular public policy positions in a nonpartisan manner after careful and thoughtful study.
Some of the activities the league engages in Santa Monica are candidate profiles and forums, a partnership with CityTV, a mock election partnership with the Santa Monica PTA, participation at the polls, and helping to monitor local elections. They also have been active advocates on issues relating to the Santa Monica Airport, offshore oil drilling, libraries, education, housing homelessness, traffic planning, and voting systems.
Rebekah Rodriguez-Lynn, District Director for State Senator’s Fran Pavley’s 23rd District Office, was the guest speaker at the League’s 75th Birthday Celebration on February 14. She mentioned that Pavley is still in the process of setting up her district office since she was just elected in November. Right now, “they are working out of former State Senator Sheila Kuehl’s office in West Los Angeles, but later this month they will be moving to Santa Monica. They will also have a satellite office in the San Fernando Valley.”
Rodriguez-Lynn described the policy priorities Pavley has begun to work on since taking office. She was appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, and immediately began to focus on California’s water crisis. On February 6 she conducted a public hearing on the issue at Santa Monica College.
Another priority for Pavley will be the implementation of Assembly Bill 1493, which is sometimes called the Pavley Bill which requires car makers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2016. After the law was passed, California was sued by many of the carmakers because the bill would make the emissions controls in California more stringent than the federal guidelines. California tried to get a waiver but it was held up by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). President Barack Obama is asking the EPA to issue California a waiver so implementation of this bill can begin.
The implementation of AB32 is also a priority of Pavley. The goal of this bill is to reduce global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 back to the same level as they were in 1990. Rodriguez-Lynn explained that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has come up with a timeline for the implementation but it can be very complex to be able to track carbon emissions and tax them.
Pavley is also working on having local town hall meetings to help train her constituents on how to lead a greener lifestyle and creating green jobs. She is also interested in bringing more mass transit to the Westside, in education, and other local issues in her district.More information about the League can be found at lwvsantamonica.org.