ECPAC Newsletter – November 2020
Happy Thanksgiving! We hope this finds you healthy, safe and doing well. As the pandemic continues to impact our communities and economy, it is clear that Ag matters more. Farming and water relatability are essential. During COVID-19, the ECPAC has found new ways to educate and inform our policy leaders on the work we do, its importance and our priorities. We have been and remain engaged at both the state and federal levels.
Thank you for those that have made a contribution. Your financial support allows us to continue to directly support the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors legislative priorities including water rights, property rights and policymaker education. For recommended contribution levels, mailing address or online contribution options, visit www.ecwaterpac.com/landowners.
California Election 2020 Results & Impacts
by Dominic Dimare, Arc Strategies
- Change in Governor? No.
- Change in control of upper house? No, in fact if trends stay Dems gain two seats and have 31 of 40 seats in Senate.
- Change in control of lower house? No, Dems lose one seat to Republicans.
Much like the rest of the country, there are still several unknowns left to be answered for several races in California. Like many other states, California still has a significant number of ballots left to be counted statewide. This has a very real impact on statewide ballot measures, and in some local races where numbers may be too tight to call.
Additionally, late ballots, in past elections have tended to skew democratic; that trend is not holding in this election. We are seeing that late ballots are Republican ballots. Republicans chose to show up at the polls this year and vote late.
Finally, while many political analysts and consultants predicted record voter turnout, we see the numbers much more in line, 75% turnout, with what is standard voter turnout for a Presidential election. It looks as if California will struggle to meet the 79% turnout from 2008.
Leadership of both houses will not change. Toni Atkins will remain the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Senate and Anthony Rendon will remain Speaker of the Assembly.
Democrats in the Senate add two Senators to their ranks. The Senate loses several committee chairs to term-limits for greener pastures. Notably, Holly Mitchell (D – Los Angeles) Chair of the Senate Budget Committee won a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and will vacate her Senate seat with two years left in her term creating a temporary vacancy. The Governor will call a special election to fill her seat. There will be a re-shuffling of the committee chairs, which will include a new Senate Budget Chair.
Moderate Democrats in the Senate lost an opportunity to add to their ranks with the loss of Ann Ravel to Dave Cortese in San Jose. If voting trends continue, Moderates in the Assembly likewise lose a seat with likely victory of Kathy Miller over Carlos Villapadua in Stockton.
Some races, such as California Assembly District 21, David Valadao (R) and incumbent TJ Cox (D) are still too close to call. As of November 19th, Valadao was leading Cox by 1.2%.
Big Tech won its first major fight at the ballot box with the passage of Prop. 22. For the first time, Silicon Valley took on labor at the ballot box and, after spending more than $205 million, won a resounding victory.
Equity on the minds of lawmakers did not translate to ballot box success. With the Legislature providing the strong support necessary to put Prop. 16 on the ballot to reinstate affirmative action and Prop. 25 to end cash bail, voters rejected both measures.
Consumer advocates win at the polls with the passage of Prop. 24 (Consumer Privacy). Labor suffers losses on three initiatives they supported Propositions 15 (Split Roll- Property Tax), 22 (Gig-workers as independent contractors), and 23 (Dialysis regulations).
For key Assembly and Senate Districts recaps, for visit ecwaterpac.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/2020-Election-kcdd-edits-updated.pdf.
2021 Legislative Priorities
Our efforts directly support the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors. Our 2021 Legislative Priorities include:
- Vigilantly monitor and defend California water rights and provide protection for the Exchange Contractors’ water rights.
- Provide leadership in the implementation of the San Joaquin River Restoration program, insuring funding for and timely installation of key protective facilities.
- Familiarize new state and federal elected officials and their staff on the Exchange Contractors’ rich history and its important role in California water rights, as well as being a foundational element of the Federal Central Valley Project.
- Educate and gain support for Exchange Contractors’ water conservation and water resource projects which support local water supplies and provide regional water supply reliability.
In lieu of Covid-19, many of the tours and meetings previously scheduled with key legislators had to be cancelled.
The ECPAC is now able to accept payments online. To make a contribution visit https://www.ecwaterpac.com/landowners/. Federal and state contribution guidelines are provided on the online payment form.