Time to ADVOCATE!!! SB 467
March 3, 2021
We did it! We advocated. I started this blogpost yesterday and just wrote “Time to ADVOCATE!!! SB 467.” And that was it. I’m returning to this blogpost now with a cute new picture and also to say that for the last 24 hours (with some well deserved sleep in between) I worked really hard for our HMO/department doing a gazillion projects but in between was advocating. It is all happening.
When I declared I was going to save the earth (along with everyone else) I was not kidding. The Youth Climate Movement is powerful, but they are children. They woke me up, pediatrician and mother me. The adults need to get to work. To be honest, back in August 2020 when I wrote this post https://drplasticpicker.com/ab-345-did-not-fail-politicians-failed-but-pediatricians-are-quick-learners-and-we-rise-up/ I was really sad and mad. I just emailed Erik Anderson from KPBS thanking him for the interview from August, but it was again a sad time when we were accused of this being a publicity stunt and ultimately the bill failed in committee.
SB 467 is up, and it’s a similar bill – 2500 feet oil and gas setbacks bill and includes also information on a just transition. As one of the lead pediatric environmental advocates said, this is an uphill battle. But we learned from months ago and indeed San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air formed in response to AB 345 failing. But last night, a beautiful thing happened. We had been exchanging emails back and forth for months among the AAP California Climate Advocates – which is eight of us scattered up and down our state. We’ve never met but we have the single goal of stopping climate change and are driven by the same fire as child advocates. Then last night we were supposed to log in at a meeting. Honestly, as someone who is still new in legislative advocacy – I wasn’t sure what I was logging into. But it was the California state AAP legislative committee and they were going over bills to lend support to. They went through several other bills about pool safety, and supporting the United Way – and then our bill came up. I think even our lead pediatric climate advocate was unsure what we were there for. She asked what she was supposed to say, and they said give an elevator pitch. And boy, did she. She explained it simply and elegantly, and passionately. And that was it. It got approved. And now they are just going to check with national.
SK my partner in crime, our other co-chair and I texted back and forth. In my usual style and texted “YEAHHHHH!!” She texted back, “That seems too easy?” I am older, and I reassured her that what I have learned is that half the battle is just showing up. There are still things to overcome, but honestly if it seems a no-brainer to us as 8 pediatic climate advocates – I think our colleagues at the state and national level are formed by the same passion to protect children and protect this beautiful planet and her air and water, so it’s a no-brainer to them as well. We are all forged from the same training background and live the same ethos in our day to day clinical lives.
So that it is. We advocating by showing up for the meeting. I had read up on the bill, and ready to talk about it. But it was not needed. I did comment at the very end and just said, “This is VN from San Diego Climate Change and Health Co-Chair. Just wanted to really say thank you! Thank you!! This is an existential crisis and I really want to cry on behalf of all of us working on this.” I think it was heart-felt and I needed to say it for myself.
This week, San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air will make an endorsement video as well and our amazing premed intern will work on it. She was part of this entire effort from AB 345, so she knows the process.
And with that I am happy that from the defeat of AB 345 and when Ben Hueso pissed me off by calling our efforts a “publicity stunt,” we emerged more resolute and more committed. Even the California Medical Association is coming out in favor of this bill, and they are known as the “fuddy duddies” of medical groups. No offense. I think I’m technically part of them too.
So signing off your litter-picking , completely serious climate change and health advocating and legislative-newbie pediatrician. Just tell the truth is my motto. We are just trying to save this earth for all of us, even state senators who preivously pissed me off.