By Bruce Gach / Livermore Independent
Rebecca Bauer-Kahan could not believe the huge number of bills she would be reviewing in the State Assembly after being elected to represent the 16th district, encompassing the Tri-Valley and LaMorinda. At a Community Town Hall meeting Oct. 23 in Pleasanton, she noted that most of her bills had bipartisan support. She took a variety of questions from the audience of about 70 people, who asked about the environment, homelessness and the future of Prop. 13.
“Climate change is one of the most critical issues,” said Bauer-Kahan, who is an environmental attorney. “It’s one of the reasons I ran for office. California can continue to lead even in the face of what is happening in Washington.” She noted that environmental bills are difficult to pass, and pointed the blame at special interests.
“There are many bills proposed concerning decreasing the pollutants in the atmosphere. Getting rid of diesel trucks and changing to electric is really a piece of the puzzle which is being talked about in the transportation committee in Sacramento,” she said.
Some environmental bills have been successful, she noted. The East Bay Regional Park District received $4 million to address McCosker Creek Restoration, which added more trails and campsites. Other successes included the construction of two All-Abilities playgrounds for Dublin and Lafayette. She said. “If you are a champion for the environment, all of you need to be loud.”
On homelessness, Bauer-Kahan said the solutions lie in building more housing and addressing other causes. “People become homeless for many reasons. There are many with mental health problems who end up in the criminal justice system,” she said. “Focus on prevention, support and the things that are working such as City Serve in the Tri-Valley.”
Asked whether Prop. 13 should be changed or repealed, she said, “Prop. 13 needs to be protected for our seniors so they don’t lose their homes and can stay safe.”