Thank you for your past efforts to oppose bills that threatened to weaken the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA protects not only our environment but also public health and the livability of low-income communities. Unfortunately, CEQA is under attack yet again.
We need your help to defeat AB 3279, a new anti-CEQA bill that is expected to come up for a vote in the state Senate Environmental Quality committee in the next couple of weeks.
AB 3279 seeks to undermine the public’s ability to use CEQA to bring and win a legal challenge against proposed development projects. The bill would effectively prevent many community groups and nonprofits from challenging polluting projects. If you have 1-3 minutes to spare today, please tweet, call and write letters to the following Senators to let them know you oppose AB 3279 (and let us know when you take action)! See below for sample tweets and a phone script, key messages to include in your letters, and contact information. Please also forward this alert to your members and networks.
Contact the Senators below:
1. Senator Ben Allen (Chair, Environmental Quality Committee): 26th District, including Westside, Hollywood, South Bay of Los Angeles County
Submit a letter online: https://sd26.senate.ca.gov/contact/message
2. Senator Nancy Skinner, 9th District, including Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro
Submit a letter online: https://sd09.senate.ca.gov/email-senator
3. Senator Jerry Hill, 13th District, including Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Pacifica, part of South San Francisco
(no public Twitter account)
Submit a letter online: https://sd13.senate.ca.gov/send-e-mail
Sample phone script:
“Hi, my name is ______, I live in ___(city, if in district)___ and I’m from __(org)__. I am calling to respectfully urge the Senator to vote NO on AB 3279 when it is heard in the Environmental Quality Committee.
I oppose AB 3279 because it… [DRAW FROM SUGGESTED POINTS BELOW OR FILL IN YOUR OWN REASON HERE].
Thank you for your time.
Key points to emphasize in your calls and letters:
- AB 3279 will prevent community groups and nonprofits from challenging polluting projects at all, by taking away their ability to prepare the administrative record and minimize record costs.
- AB 3279 will allow developers to pollute our air and water and harm the health and safety of low-income communities and communities of color without consequence. Communities must be able to fairly access the courts and enforce CEQA to protect their health.
- AB 3279 proposes to make it more difficult for groups to enforce CEQA in the name of housing, but weakening CEQA will not increase affordable housing. Independent studies show that CEQA is not a direct contributor to California’s housing crisis. Factors other than CEQA, including local land-use zoning rules and under-resourced planning agencies, pose the greatest barriers to development.
- In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is absolutely not the time to weaken public health protections, including environmental protections designed to reduce the public’s exposure to pollutants.