Monday, August 11, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Grassroots lobbying is more important than ever.

That's what Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata, D-Oakland, told a group of volunteer lobbyists who donated their Sunday and Monday to assist Sierra Club California's senior staff in advocating key legislation.

Perata, who won Sierra Club California's first-ever Byron Sher Award for Outstanding Environmental Achievement by a Public Official in recognition of his tireless efforts on behalf of the environment, encouraged these volunteers to continue to maintain their presence in the State Capitol. Because of term limits, he said, California's legislative leaders won't have the experience to push forward major pieces of legislation like the Global Warming Solutions Act - unless the people in their district hold them to it.

"If you can talk to someone where they live, where they shop, that's going to be how we get these bills passed," he said. "[You must] maintain your vigilance, and maintain the priority you place on the environment in your daily lives."

He also warned that some Republican representatives of the Legislature want to build more dams and roll back environmental protections.

But it wasn't all seriousness. After warning the Club members to stay aware of legislation, he brought warm laughter with an aside:

"Of course, asking Sierra Club members to be more vigilant is crazy," he joked.

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