Outdoor dining extended, and 100% renewable energy is here!

April 30, 2022

As a candidate for State Senate, one of my most urgent priorities is doing everything I can to fight the climate change that puts our very existence in jeopardy.

So I hope you share my enthusiasm when I report that 100% renewable energy has come to Encinitas! Both residential and business customers in the city are now enrolled in San Diego Community Power (SDCP)’s environmentally friendly program.

SDCP is a not-for-profit energy provider that reinvests revenues into the communities it serves, instead of paying shareholder profits. Encinitas is one of the leaders in moving toward new renewable energy projects that are being built across the state. Together, we’re working toward a clean energy future.

To continue subscribing to the new 100% renewable energy category, you don’t need to do anything – SDG&E still delivers the electricity and sends the bills. Just by continuing your service, you’re now able to contribute to a sustainable solution that significantly reduces our carbon footprint!

Above is a comparison of SDCP and SDG&E rates for an Encinitas household on SDG&E’s “Time of Use” plan that charges less for off-peak consumption. The full rate chart can be found here.

The community choice plan offers two levels, the premium Power100 at 100% renewable power, and PowerOn at 50% renewable. Power100 costs about 1-2% more than SDG&E’s standard service, which is only 31% renewable energy. The 50% renewable PowerOn actually costs a bit less than SDG&E’s 31% renewable plan.

You can downgrade your Power100 plan to PowerOn or opt out from SDCP completely at any time. But if you decide to return to SDG&E after their 60-day opt out period, they’ll charge a re-entry fee of $1.12, and you’ll be prevented by SDG&E from returning to SDCP for at least a year.

Here’s a Coast News article about the new service.

Camp Pendleton ups its environmental efforts

A roughly three-mile area north of Del Mar Beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is the nesting area for the endangered Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern, two of the 19 endangered and threatened plants and animals on the base. Camp Pendleton was recently recognized for its conservation and environmental awareness as biologists on the base work to maintain a balance between military exercises and environmental preservation. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

One of the crown jewels of Senate District 38 is Camp Pendleton, a huge USMC base and a combination of bridge and dividing line between population centers in San Diego and Orange Counties.

An article in the Orange County Register recently highlighted the outstanding work the base is doing to preserve the environment on the 125,000 acres of land within its boundaries.

One astounding fact was how many brass casings (the kind from large bullets) that the Marine Corps recycles. Care to guess? Since September, they’ve recycled 5.6 million shells! They’re also doing a lot of important work to protect endangered species and preserve cultural and environmental resources, as seen in the photo above.

We live in one of the most delicate and diverse ecosystems in the world, so it’s gratifying to see the federal government doing its part on the 45 million acres of land in California under its control.

Encinitas okays outdoor dining through 2023

Scenes of outdoor dining last Friday afternoon in downtown Encinitas.

What a pleasure it was to unanimously extend Encinitas’ outdoor dining policy at this week’s Encinitas City Council meeting!

Born out of the pandemic and designed to keep businesses afloat while allowing residents to dine out more safely, outdoor seating has ended up enlivening our Encinitas downtown, creating a more exciting and welcoming atmosphere.

Not all local business owners are in favor of this extension through January 1, 2024 – scarce parking was the main issue. But in balancing the interests we thought it was the right thing to do.

I thought GOODONYA Organic Eatery owner Kris Buchanan put it well when she advocated for the extension at the City Council meeting. 

“What the outdoor dining has done for our main street is activated it,” she told the Council. “I would love for our city downtown to be more activated – people come down, have dinner, go to JoJo‘s, get an ice cream, go into a retail shop, buy something, and it’s just part of what a main street should be.”

Thanks for your valuable perspective, Kris. If I’m elected, I’ll be bringing years of my own experiences and the hard-earned wisdom of people like you to Sacramento along with me.

An Encinitas Advocate story about the outdoor dining extension is here, and a Coast News article is here.

Momentum builds to stop offshore drilling

After last October’s catastrophic oil spill in the ocean off Huntington Beach, I authored a resolution in Encinitas calling on the state and federal government to impose a moratorium on new oil leases and ultimately stop drilling off our coast altogether.

Shortly after the Orange County oil spill, I joined Rep. Mike Levin, Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath and other clean ocean advocates at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas for a press conference condemning the spill and supporting Rep. Levin’s bill in congress to cease all offshore drilling on the California coastline.

Today I’m happy to report that more leaders at the state level have taken up the cause and are proposing a number of new solutions. One of those, Senate Bill 953, authored by Sen. Dave Min (D – Costa Mesa), just passed its first committee. SB 953 would direct the State Lands Commission to negotiate an end to oil leases in state waters by the end of 2024.

But, like most big issues, it’s complicated. The Takings Clause in the US Constitution says that the state has to compensate oil companies for acquiring their property. The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), which reports on the fiscal impact of proposed legislation, has yet to arrive at a number as to how much it would cost the state to buy out all of our coastal leases. 

One thing’s for sure – the ultimate figure will be a drop in the bucket compared to the $7.7 billion in economic activity centered around our ocean in Orange and San Diego Counties each year. And our coastline sustains more than 140,000 jobs in tourism and recreation.

Needless to say, SB 953 is something I support wholeheartedly, and I’ll continue to work on banishing offshore drilling as your State Senator!

Change a gun into a gift tomorrow!

As you probably already know, curtailing gun violence has been a big part of my agenda for quite a while now and I know it’s important to many of you as well.

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department is hosting a Guns for Gift Cards exchange event this Sunday at Mira Costa College in Cardiff. You’ll receive a $100 gift card for a handgun, rifle or shotgun; and a $200 gift card for an assault weapon. No questions asked!

It’s a pretty simple proposition that can make a positive impact on our society. Here’s what you need to know:

Date: Sunday, May 1

Time: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Location: MiraCosta College, 3333 Manchester Ave., Cardiff

  • Firearms must be in working order
  • Place the unloaded firearm in the trunk
  • A deputy will provide instructions
  • All weapons collected will be destroyed

As untraceable ghost guns become a bigger and bigger problem, we need more solutions at the state level. This is an area I intend to work on. 

More info is in this San Diego Union-Tribune story.

Looking forward to May flowers,

Sorry, you are not in the 38th Senate District.
You are in the 38th Senate district!