By Richard Ram
We hope you had a great Earth Day, wherever you may have celebrated with family, friends and fellow citizens concerned about the many crises challenging the future of life as we know it on our planet.
Our club was in attendance at the newly-christened Earth Fest on the Presidents Way Lawn at Balboa Park this past weekend, where we spoke with festival attendees, neighbors, members of similar organizations, and with fellow Democrats about getting more active in promoting an environmental agenda with our county party.
Interestingly, a few Republicans stopped by who seemed lost looking for their party's presence in addressing and promoting what until recently used to be – and still should be – fairly non-partisan concerns. Perhaps I'm exalting a past that had its share of ugliness and inequities that still haunt our path in forging a more perfect union, but it was in recent memory Republicans and Demcorats both championed Wildneress bills and found some measure of consensus on accepting what scientists were telling us, even as there might be debate over how best to reduce and reverse they myriad of threats to ecological health.
Nowadays, of course, it seems we have one party that calls everything a hoax, and another party that accepts the facts but can't seem to act swiftly through the maze of special interests it often boxes itself into.
Which is where clubs like ours come in. Environmental voters are too often taken for granted by the Democratic Party, given the lack of any other viable political party that would even occasionaly take on issues like air and water pollution, global warming, and the loss of biodiversity and wilderness habitats. It's up our movement to not only educate ourselves on the issues, but to promote policy solutions and advance those who will act as elected representatives to enact those policies.
After all, in a post-Citizens United era where the currency of clean air, clean water and open space is often at a loss competing with the toxic influence of unlimited sums of money from the highest bidder, we need as robust a green movement as possible. Environmental policy remains popular policy. But it is so easily drowned out by the Big Money of special interests from all sides of the aisle.
With a refreshened leadership team San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action will take on these tasks and ensure the concerns of this club, and others in our wider community of environmentalists, are heard within our local and state Democratic Parties and those holding or seeking elected office.
Merced River photo by Beth Pratt
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