A fundamental role of government is to provide infrastructure that benefits the public and facilitates the long-term growth of society.
Our existing water infrastructure is failing. In 2012, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave California a “D” for the condition of its levees, dams and flood-control systems, estimating at least $28 billion in needed funding over 10 years just for maintenance and replacements. What happened at the Oroville dam in 2017 made it crystal clear that the safety of our existing water infrastructure has real consequences, and we must fix it now. Unfortunately, we have continued to invest in water infrastructure piece meal with a series of bonds over the last two decades including Proposition 1 in 2014. We need to holistically reevaluate our water infrastructure and water rights.
In our constant state of drought, we need to be more resourceful with our water. We can implement effective strategies that direct rainwater into our depleted aquifers rather than running off into the ocean.
We need to take a hard look at the lessons learned in the last round of devastating fires, and prepare ourselves for harsher fire seasons as the planet’s climate crisis becomes more serious in the coming years.
We need to create open space for underserved communities and for making parks more accessible to all communities. Open space and the opportunity to be in nature, no matter how limited, is something more people should have access to.
We should build no new fossil fuel infrastructure of any kind, and all new infrastructure of any kind such as housing, transportation, etc. should be evaluated as to its compatibility with the Paris Accord commitment to keep global warming to “well below 2 degrees” before the end of century. All new construction should primarily be electrified with limited or no fossil fuel hookups.
Electrification of transportation, and investing in electric vehicle infrastructure, as well as other clean methods of transportation must be a priority.
Public infrastructure that allows us to have running water, access to clean electricity, and safe transportation is crucial to a well functioning modern society. We need to maintain our infrastructure while upgrading it to lead and model for the rest of the world.