A new generation of state legislators have made localized fights over environmental justice – how environmental decisions affect poor communities and minorities – is now at the center of state policy deliberations. The shift in focus comes as Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to visit the Assembly District of Asm. Cristina Garcia, chair of the Natural Resources Committee, who represents the Gateway Cities in southeast L.A. County.
Top White House officials have faced yet another chaotic week with news leaking that President Trump shared classified intelligence with Russian officials and that before Trump fired FBI director James Comey, he directly asked him to stop investigating the Trump campaign’s Russia ties. “Nobody knows where this really goes from here,” the White House official said. “Everyone is walking around saying, ‘What is next?’” Multiple White House officials indicated that they feel under siege – unsure who in the intelligence community was leaking, how much damaging information was out there, and when the next proverbial shoe would drop. The general result has left this young Presidency adrift with dark storm clouds ahead if the Administration cannot get its act together fast.
California’s Runaway Train
Wall Street Journal
California Governor Jerry Brown has requested that the federal government yield oversight of the state’s controversial bullet train project. Last Friday, Brown sent President Trump a letter asking to “delegate to the state authority” under the National Environmental Policy Act which would expedite construction of the expensive project. Such a request is essentially like asking if the state could grade its own homework as federal oversight agencies have said the primary delay in the project has been California’s inability to turn in proper paperwork on time.
The Trump Administration has delayed an Obama-era regulation that would have required state and local officials to measure greenhouse gas emission related to the use of specific highways. The requirement was part of a regulation establishing new performance standards for federally funded highways put into place days before President Obama left office.
Rahm Emmanuel gave a wide-ranging interview to Politico this week, with the Chicago mayor stating that he thinks the Democratic Party is too focused on President Trump’s antics at the expense of aiming an economic message at the middle class. “We don’t talk about and fight for the middle class,” he said. “We believe we’re for them, but they don’t – if they don’t hear we’re for them, then we got a problem. It’s not just for the string of policies. It’s also a set of values that respect who they are in their lives. We come off and can come off as a party disdainful of them.”