“WE ARE PRESIDENT TRUMPS WORST NIGHTMARE,” SAYS STATE SENATOR KEVIN DE LEÓN, CALIFORNIA’S FIRST HISPANIC PRESIDENT PRO TEM, ON A RECENT VISIT TO TOPANGA.
California State Senator Kevin de León, President pro Tempore of the California State Senate, is passionate, progressive and committed to combating President Donald Trump’s concerted effort to dismantle environmental, health, immigration and clean energy policies.
De León recently shared some of his strategy and his vision for the future of California and the nation with a large audience of Topanga residents at a meeting of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains (PDSMM). The organization’s president, Dorothy Reik, described the meeting as historic.
“It’s the first time a senate speaker pro tem has come all the way to speak to us,” Reik said. “We are honored and overwhelmed.”
Topanga-area California state senator Henry Stern introduced his colleague at the event. “I ran because of Kevin,” Stern said. “I’m learning from this guy every single day. You could fill volumes with what he’s done already.”
De León is California’s first Hispanic pro tem speaker. He described himself as a leading legislator of facts, science and freedom of press.
“I’m proud to be a progressive Democrat not just in name,” De León said. “I am the leader of our state senate; we are the duly elected members of the California Senate and the defenders of the American dream. Let me make myself clear: we are President Trump’s worst nightmare. California is proof positive that progressive ideas put into action improve our lives [that] pull us up not put us down.”
“We are not going to allow one election or one potentially catastrophic decision, like pulling out of the Paris Accord, to end generations of progress,” De León said.
He described Trump’s fossil-fuel-reliant energy policy and dismissal of climate change as a genuine existential threat.
“We can’t back down, we must all stand up,” he said. California is a leader in protecting the environment and our children’s futures. We stopped off-shore oil drilling. Our air is cleaner, our water healthier. It’s not just about environment, it’s about the economy. There are 100,000 high-wage clean energy jobs, ten times more jobs in clean energy in California than there are coal mining jobs in all of America.”
De León pointed out that California’s economy is the sixth largest in the world, larger than that of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
“President Trump’s fossil fuel fetish is not just out of touch, it’s out of whack,” he said, describing California’s renewable energy goals as “not just pie in the sky.” He stated that the state will be running on 33 percent clean energy by next year, 50 percent by 2023, and 100 percent by 2045.
“Once you tell the market exactly what you want, then they start striving for it,” he said. “We want to show rest of country, even red states, you can put people to work. [Renewable energy] doesn’t have to be ideological; at the end of the day it’s less expensive than fossil fuels.”
De León also shared his views on Trump’s immigration policies. “We celebrate who we are, respect who we are,” he said. “In this state we support diversity, we don’t ban it, and we sure as hell don’t wall it off.”
He explained that he is “under no illusion that enforcement of America’s immigration laws falls under the federal government,” but that he is committed to protecting law-abiding residents, regardless of their immigration status.
“We don’t have to be a cog in the Trump immigration machine,” he said. “He can’t commandeer our police. We do our job, which is to protect and serve all.”
De León, who supports a single-payer healthcare program for California, described healthcare as “a universal right.” He also reasserted his support for equal pay for women, and a retirement plan that would be available to all California workers, as well as affordable healthcare.
He also promised that California will take the Trump Administration to court if the President revokes clean water and clean air protections.
“I promise you this, in America’s darkest hours will come some of California’s finest moments,” De León said. “We are clearly now the keeper of its future.”
Learn more about Kevin de León and his vision for California at: sd24.senate.ca.gov.