Santa Barbara Environmental, Political and Labor Leaders Join Together in Support of Prop 30, California’s Clean Air Initiative

Oct. 13, 2022
Deborah Camiel | (818) 299-3656 |


Statewide Ballot Measure Would Fund Climate Action, Firefighting

SANTA BARBARA, CA – With wildfires, poor air quality and record heat plaguing California, Santa Barbara environmental, political and labor leaders hosted a briefing on the impact that Proposition 30, California’s Clean Air Initiative, would have in Santa Barbara and statewide.

Speaking in support of the measure were Max Baumhefner, Senior Attorney, Climate & Clean Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council; Bill Baker, Business Manager, IBEW 413; Michael Chiacos, Director of Climate Policy, Community Environmental Council; David Atkins, South Vice Chair, Santa Barbara Democratic Party and elected DNC Member from California; Oscar Garcia, Ballot Initiative Coordinator, California Environmental Voters; and Das Williams, County Supervisor, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

View the press conference here.

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.

“California’s air quality has become among the worst in the world, posing a hazard to public health and ruining the quality of life in every region of the state,” said David Atkins. “Californians deserve a better climate and Californians deserve clean air. To solve this crisis, we need to address the two main sources of air pollution and climate in California — transportation emissions and wildfires. We need an immediate and sustained investment to prevent wildfires and accelerate our transition to clean transportation.”

Max Baumhefner added, “It would cost around $150 billion to fund this transition to a zero-emission transportation system. That’s a big investment, but it’s one that pays off with an even bigger benefit in the form of $1 trillion in avoided fuel costs, public health benefits and avoided costs of carbon pollution. Prop 30 would take care of about $80 billion or about half of that $150 billion cost, and that would yield gigantic benefits across the state. To the voters who will decide the fate of this critical measure, I ask you, do not let the opposition prey upon your natural skepticism. Read what Prop 30 would actually do, which is take money from those who can afford it to fund critical climate and clean air programs.”

“I am extremely hopeful about the steady progress Prop 30 could make to help all Californians afford EVs and create easy access to charging,” said Michael Chiacos. “We need EVs for working people, not just wealthy residents. Half of Prop 30’s EV funding is reserved for low-income and disadvantaged communities. This includes rebates to purchase EVs as well as for the expansion of EV charging infrastructure in these communities. This measure also includes help for those without access to capital or credit to acquire new and used zero-emission vehicles. It’s time for us to take action on climate change and make the tools to curb emissions more accessible to all Californians.”

“When Prop 30 is implemented, EV chargers will be as common as gas stations. We need to be ready for this transition, and Prop 30 will allow us to be ready for this transition. We can take a huge step forward to ensure a better future by voting Yes for Prop 30 in November,” said Bill Baker.

Das Williams concluded, “One of the ways that my family has been able to survive this inflationary time, high-interest time, is because we are not spending hundreds of dollars a month on gas. Most Santa Barbarans, in my experience, are a paycheck or two away from losing their rental or losing their mortgage. We’re all on a knife’s edge. And many commute large distances. What kills me is knowing that so many people could have resistance to this inflation by getting into an electric vehicle. The barrier, of course, is upfront cost and charging. Both of those barriers are addressed meaningfully by Proposition 30. I would say both of them are addressed urgently by Prop 30.”

Proposition 30, which is backed by CAL FIRE 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. 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 the ballot initiative, visit