Call to support AJR 5 by Luz Rivas and Marie Waldron to protect wild horses and burros. Deadline April 12.


We are fortunate to sponsor AJR 5 for wild horses, but it needs your support! To no one’s surprise, there is opposition. 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The act has eroded over time and horses and burros are being rounded up with helicopters, packed in holding pens and shipped across our borders for slaughter. The bill calls for a moratorium on roundups. Please call Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife to SUPPORT AJR 5.

Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife: 916.319.2096

The Ask: Ask the committee to pass AJR 5. California wild horse and burro populations are increasingly threatened by BLM and U.S. Forest Service roundups. A current plan would zero out all burros in Inyo county, and the wild horses at Modoc Forest continue to be rounded up. The resolution will urge the federal government to place a moratorium on roundups.

Tap for details

2021 Bill Update

Senator Henry Stern's website

Important bills are starting with committee hearings as we write. Please call these committees to support or oppose the bills. They are listed in deadline order. (Stern) - cat declawing


Prohibits removing or disabling a cat’s claws through a declawing procedure with civil penalties of up to $1,000, $1,500 and $2,500 for first, second and third/subsequent offenses, respectively.

(Comment: The state of New York was the first to pass an declawing ban two years ago. California also had the opportunity then, but failed. Many states are introducing and re-introducing declawing bans. Time is overdue for California to end the cruel practice of declawing!)

—> support calls due NOW to Business, Professions and Economic Development (hearing Apr 5): 916.651.4104

AB 434 (R. Rivas) - public land grazing leases


Requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Parks and Recreation and the State Lands Commission to expand livestock grazing permits to leases which may last from 5 to 20 years.

(Comment: The expansion or promotion of livestock grazing is mutually incompatible with the state’s biodiversity and climate initiative. Please see comments for AB 564 below.)

—> OPPOSITION calls due NOW to Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife (hearing Apr 8): 916.319.2096

AB 554 (Mathis) - DFW ombudsperson


Creates an ombudsperson to confidentially handle issues and complaints to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

(Comment: Less transparency is never a good thing, but that’s an understatement. Animals’ lives are at risk, and they’ll lose the witness of those who will fight for them!)

—> OPPOSITION calls due NOW to Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife (hearing Apr 8): 916.319.2096

SB 376 (Stern) - wildlife trafficking / live animal markets


Requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife to immediately suspend the the importation of wild animal species that would introduce a novel zoonotic disease, if the DFW Director puts in writing that scientific evidence suggests that the species could be responsible for a novel, or not previously reported, readily transmissible human disease.

(Comment: Senator Stern’s original bill on wildlife trafficking passed the Legislature in 2018, but was vetoed by the Governor. The passage of his re-introduced bill last year was derailed by a filibuster at concurrence. SB 376 may have a chance, by emphasizing public health, but depends on sweeping support. Please CALL TO SUPPORT and get five to ten of your friends to do the same! )

—> support calls due now to Senate Natural Resources and Water (hearing Apr 13): 916.651.4116

AB 1289 (Kalra) - Smart Climate Agriculture Program


Establishes the Smart Climate Agriculture Program, which would require the Department of Food and Agriculture to provide grants to small/midsize farms to transition from raising livestock or growing feed crops to plant-based agriculture.

(Comment: This is the direction society is heading: plant-based agriculture. We’re out of time with the climate crisis, and billions of exploited animals, as well as human and planetary health depend on the end of the archaic practice of animal agriculture.)

—> support calls due now to Assembly Agriculture (hearing Apr 15): 916.319.2084

AJR 5 (L. Rivas/Waldron) - wild horse and burro roundups


—> support calls due April 12 to Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife (hearing Apr 22): 916.319.2096

(Comment: Please see discussion under the wild horse picture at the top.)

AJR 2 (O’Donnell) - Catalina Island / DDT


Urges Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency take all measures necessary to prevent further damage to California’s citizens, wildlife, and natural resources by the DDT waste dumped in the waters near Santa Catalina Island.

(Comment: Please see this must-read article on the issue in LA Times on the alarming issue.)

—> support calls due April 13 to Assembly Environmental Safety (hearing Apr 21): 916.319.3965

SB 337 (Newman) - West Coyote Hills


Would provide $28.5 million from the general budget to protect, restore, and enhance natural habitats, connecting corridors and open spaces in the Robert E. Ward Nature Preserve in Orange County, which is home to the California gnatcatcher, coastal cactus wren, California Towhee, and California quail, as well as migratory birds which fly through.

(Comment: This conservancy would help to further the state’s plan to conserve 30% of land and water by 2030. West Coyote Hills is the largest remaining open space in Los Angeles and Orange counties, adjacent to the Robert E. Ward Nature Preserve in Orange County—home to the California gnatcatcher, coastal cactus wren, California Towhee, and California quail, as well as migratory birds which fly through.)

—> support calls due April 16 to Senate Natural Resources and Water (hearing April 27): 916.651.4116

AB 963 (Kamlager) - Ballona Wetlands / Baldwin HSBills


Establishes the Baldwin Hills, Southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominguez Channel Urban Watershed Improvement Program, to take action and administer funds to protect, conserve, and restore the health and resilience of the watersheds and communities of the region.

(Comment: This bill is needed to offset the threat of development of these areas, and would support Ballona grassroots coalitions and the Baldwin Hills Conservancy which have been defending these open spaces for years.)

—> call Assembly Natural Resources (no date) to support: 916.319.2092

AB 564 (Lorena Gonzalez/Kalra) - biodiversity


Requires all state agencies, boards and commissions to consider and prioritize the state’s climate and biodiversity goals, per Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-82-20 to conserve at least 30 percent of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030.

(Comment: Adds the following to the Fish and Game Code: “It is the policy of this state that public agencies shall not approve projects as proposed that are inconsistent with or would impair the successful implementation of the strategies required by [Executive Order N-82-20 and its strategies defined by June, 2022].” Therefore, the expansion of the livestock grazing permits of AB 434, or development projects that would bulldoze open spaces, for example, should not be approved.)

—> call Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review (no date) to support: 916.319.3600

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San Diego / AD 79
Special Election APRIL 6

Dr. Shirley Weber was sworn in to office as Secretary of State on January 29. Among the candidates running for her District 79 seat is her daughter, Dr. Akilah Weber, who’s endorsed by Senate pro Tem Toni Atkins.

To witness the appointments of Dr. Weber, the first African-American Secretary of State, Alex Padilla to U.S. Senate as a strong voice for the Latinx community, and Rob Bonta as the first Filipino American Attorney General is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s also beyond our capacity to make formal endorsements in the flurry of events.

As for next week’s AD 79 special election, here are some resources to guide you, if you have not already cast an early vote.

San Diego Tribune Union-Tribune Editorial Board interviews with all of the AD 79 candidates

• Courage California’s Progressive Voter’s Guide for two of the candidates.

What this world needs is a new kind of army — the army of the kind.

— Cleveland Amory

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