This article reviews California Congressional candidates from districts 50-53 in the general election this November. If you’re looking for a different district, head back to our main page for California here.

District 50

Our primary pick: Ammar Campa-NajjarRank: Strong 

  • Democrat
  • Communications Consultant
  • Ex-US Labor Dept. Official

Ammar is a great sustainable candidate because he’s looking to protect people and preserve the environment through federal policies and at the local level. While he supports the green must-haves, like renewable energy, regulations to reduce pollution, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, etc, he sees the change communities and the average person can make. Ammar knows that recycling and using public transportation are simple steps for citizens to take, and urges us to take those small steps so he can make the big ones.

But what are those big steps? Ammar’s looking at getting the private sectors on 100% renewable energy at every level. He knows fossil fuels are a thing of the past, that we should stop providing subsidies for the industry, and our investments should be locked on renewable energy production, not researching clean coal and natural gas production when they’re still less clean and less abundant. And renewable energy is just one way to help fight the effects of climate change. Ammar also supports a cap-and-trade program to reduce our harmful emissions.

Communities also play a huge role in addressing climate change, according to Ammar. Urban runoff is an issue when it comes to water quality, and city’s water consumption and wastewater systems need a more focused management. Ammar hopes to promote water conservation with regulations and incentives for drought-tolerant landscaping. He also sees a need for “smart” urban development (and perhaps redevelopment). With transit systems and other green upgrades, communities can work toward being part of the larger green picture.

Duncan Hunter (R) – (Campaign Site) – Incumbent – Rank: Bad 

Your current representative voted yes for the Keystone XL pipeline and opposes federal regulations that target emission reduction (source).

District 51

Our primary pick: Juan Vargas – (Campaign Site) – Rank: Strong 

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2012

Juan has a pretty good record when it comes to voting for sustainable and environmental policies, 92% according to the League of Conservation Voters. During his time as your representative, he introduced the California New River Restoration Act, which aims to do exactly what the title says, restore California’s rivers through a series of restoration programs and activities.

He’s also a big supporter of green energy and wants to continue California’s renewable energy production. Juan has also voted in favor of reducing harmful emissions and worked to support policies that mitigate the effects of climate change (source).

Juan Hidalgo Jr. (R)Rank: Unknown 

We could not find information about Juan’s sustainability platform.

District 52

Our primary pick: Scott Peters – (Campaign Site) – Rank: Strong 

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2012
  • Former environmental lawyer and member of the Energy and Commerce Committee
  • Chair of the Democratic Caucus Climate Task Force
  • Subcommittee on Environment
  • Sustainable Energy & Environment Caucus

Scott has been doing some great stuff in D.C., and we particularly like him for his large and small approaches to sustainability. Large-scale wise, Scott–like all sustainable candidates–thinks we need to be investing in renewable energy and cutting down on harmful emissions. If we don’t take action now, California will be suffering those consequences with drought, wildfires, floods, superstorms, you name it.

As you can see from Scott’s green resume list up there, he has a lot of experience working for the environment and protecting the people, and he states that “the development of a sustainable energy policy [is] a top priority” on his campaign site. Looking at his record, it looks like he’s telling the truth on this one.

Some of Scott’s smaller-scaled approaches deal with implementing sustainable and energy-efficient practices in developing or re-developing communities. As co-founder of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, he’s provided city planners with solutions to cutting down on emissions. A lot of this can deal with providing walker- and biker-friendly routes to cut down on vehicle pollution. These seem like small steps, but imagine if every redeveloping community created walkable/bikeable routes; that’s a few greener options for residents and healthier lifestyles too!

Scott also sees the need to address both long and short-term effects of climate change in order to be effective. He’s consistently supported attempts to expand renewable energy and opposed those trying to continue coal production or tap into other domestic nonrenewable sources. Scott also introduced the SUPER Act, to target emission reduction on “short-lived climate pollutants” through focused research, energy efficiency, and programs adjustments to address reduction needs most effectively.

We know this all sounds great so far, but to grasp the full scope of Scott’s work, read up on his campaign and House sites to see the 30+ environment/energy-related bills with Scott’s support on them.

Omar Qudrat (R)Rank: Unknown 

We could not find information about Juan’s sustainability platform.

District 53

Our primary pick: Susan Davis – (Campaign Site) – Rank: Strong 

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2001
  • Member of Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC)

Susan is awesome. Firstly, Susan has a lifetime score of 97% from the League of Conservation Voters, meaning she’s consistently voted and supported legislation that promotes conserving the environment. Let’s review some of the work that got her this great score.

She co-sponsors over 60 bills that aim to protect different areas of the environment (air, water, land, animals–via emission reduction, clean energy pushes, other regulations). A lot of these support investments in renewable energy and reducing harmful emissions, including the Clean Power Plan, and the National Environmental Policy Act. Susan’s aim is to protect not only the environment, but also the people. She is especially concerned with preventing another Flint situation and has spoken with Flint residents affected by the lead poisoning. It’s nice to know that Susan took the time to learn firsthand why some regulations are essential for life.

For California, solar energy is already a large solar energy producer, and Susan wants to keep that up with tax credits. This production of solar energy provides a large number of jobs in San Diego, which is another reason Susan wants to expand renewable energy production for the state and the country. Furthermore, Susan is concerned about California’s vulnerable geography for droughts, wildfires, and coastal disasters. For these reasons, taking action against climate change is absolutely essential. She’s opposed drilling off California’s coasts to help protect against pollution and disrupting oceanic ecosystems.

If all this isn’t enough to convince you, Susan is also a member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), which works to uphold and forward environmental policies. They’ve helped advance the Climate Action Plan and uphold the Clean Air & Water Plans. Overall, Susan is a great candidate and has already proven herself to be a sustainable congresswoman.

Morgan Murtaugh (R)Rank: Weak 

Morgan states that protecting and conserving our environment is important, but states little else regarding the issue.

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Categories: 2018 MidtermStates

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