Dozens of UCSB students and community members convened at Pardall Tunnel last Friday to protest Prop 23.
Once assembled, campaigners biked to the Calle Real Valero station in Goleta accompanied by police escorts to protest and stress the importance of green transportation alternatives. Should it pass, the proposition would temporarily repeal the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which currently allows the state to set its own motor vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards, until state unemployment rates drop to 5.5 percent.
Councilman Das Williams, a candidate for 35th District State Assembly, was in attendance and said voting against the proposition will uphold California’s status as a green energy leader and prevent dependency on foreign oil.
“We need to vote no on 23 because we need to step forward to a new green economy, not backward,” Williams said.
Additionally CALPIRG’s UCSB Chapter Chair Dan Herb, a fourth-year political science and economics major, stressed the importance of environmental consciousness.
“Asking students to vote on 23 is getting them to the polls in general,” Herb said. “I mean, the way we handle the green job industry and regulate climate affects everyone, student or not. If they care about the environment at all, people need to get out there and vote.”
While the California Jobs Initiative — which advocates Prop 23 — said the bill will supply jobs in the oil industry, opponents of the proposition speculate the bill will eliminate 500,000 jobs in the green energy industry.
Community member Martha Bell said, should the resolution pass, she personally will be unable to find work.
“I grew up in Houston and I’m currently being trained to get a job in the green energy sector,” Bell said. “This weekend there will be 23 protests across the state to get voters to vote no. If this passes we will lose 500,000 clean energy jobs.”
Unlike other pieces of legislation that have been highly publicized, campaign coordinator and fourth-year history major Christina Hatano, said this legislation has yet to receive much attention.
“Our generation is the first generation that’s grown up knowing the detriment of global warming and its effects so it’s important for students to help out,” Hatano said. “This protest is a good event to do because a lot of people don’t know about Prop 23.”