Local Mayors, Firefighters, Clean Air and Environmental Advocates Kick Off Campaign for Prop 30, the California Clean Air Initiative, in San Jose


Sept. 20, 2022

Deborah Camiel | (818) 299-3656 | deborah@50p1.com


Statewide Ballot Measure Would Fund Climate Action, Firefighting

SAN JOSE, CA – With wildfires, poor air quality and record heat plaguing California, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine, firefighters, environmental and labor leaders launched the campaign for passage of Proposition 30, the California Clean Air Initiative, today at IBEW Local 322 headquarters in San Jose.

Speaking in support of the measure were: Mayor Liccardo; Mayor Constantine; Battalion Chief John Byrne, Chapter Director for CAL FIRE Local 2881; Will Smith, Business Representative, IBEW Local 322; Michael Lane, State Policy Director, San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR); and Veda Banerjee, Communications Director, California Environmental Voters.

Proposition 30 is the climate action ballot initiative that will help millions of Californians afford electric vehicles, create a statewide EV charging network, and reduce catastrophic wildfires by funding forest management, more firefighters, and firefighting equipment. The measure generates approximately $100 billion over 20 years for these critical programs by taxing only those who can most afford it — Californians with personal income over $2 million per year. 

Last month, the California Air Resources Board approved a measure requiring all new cars and light trucks sold in the state by 2035 to be zero-emission vehicles. Proponents said the measure will jumpstart the statewide transition to clean vehicles by making zero-emission vehicles more affordable through rebates, grants and financial assistance. Half of the funding will benefit low-income families and those in disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution. 

In addition, Proposition 30, which is backed by CAL FIRE State Firefighters Local 2881, invests nearly $1 billion per year in the prevention and control of wildfires. It includes funding to hire more state firefighters, support forest resilience programs, and improve fire safety infrastructure.

“San Jose is no stranger to the impact of climate change,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said. “Just two years ago, the SCU Lightening Complex fires burned across Santa Clara County and beyond, destroying hundreds of thousands of acres of land. We all remember the day the sun did not rise over the Bay Area. The Bay Area ranks fourth nationwide for year-round particulate pollution, and it’s time to do something about it. Prop 30 is our opportunity to clean our air, prevent wildfires and secure a healthier future.”

“Proposition 30 is a unique and rare alliance of CAL FIRE firefighters, labor, elected officials, business, health, and environmental groups who have come together because we recognize that our air quality issues are severe,” said Battalion Chief John Byrne. “Of the roughly $100 billion Prop 30 will provide to fix our air quality, 20% of the funding will go to CAL FIRE firefighters so we can suppress fires and prevent more devastating wildfires in the future.”

Michael Lane, State Policy Director of SPUR, added, “This bold climate measure will provide the long-term funding we need to dramatically reduce air pollution. A generational problem deserves a generational solution. California has long been at the forefront of the environmental movement, and while we’ve made great inroads, they’re not enough. Prop 30 generates the dedicated funding California needs to meet its climate goals.”

“California has a new rule mandating the phasing out of gas-fueled cars by 2035,” said Will Smith of IBEW Local 322. “But with an average ticket price of $66K, electric vehicles are unaffordable to many Californians, and our charging infrastructure is sparse. Prop 30 will jumpstart our adoption of EVs by bringing them within reach of millions more Californians and expanding our charging infrastructure to where we work and live.”

Proposition 30 is endorsed by a broad coalition of health, labor, business, environmental, and firefighting groups. Supporters include the American Lung Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the California Democratic Party, and the State Building and Construction Trades of California. 

For additional background on ballot initiative, visit www.yeson30.org.

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