Good morning, California.

“On the path he’s on now? Liar. Criminal. Fool. Pick your choice.” — Gov. Jerry Brown, responding to a question at the Global Climate Action Summit Thursday about the Trump administration’s climate policies and how history will remember President Donald Trump.  


Climate Summit: Jerry Brown rocks the boat

Gov. Jerry Brown, center, prepares to sign clean vehicle bills.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a fluttering clutch of legislation Thursday aimed at reducing reliance on internal combustion engines, as his audience steadied themselves against the maritime wind of a San Francisco Bay autumn—and a climate-fueled disaster bore down on the nation’s other coast.

  • The signing ceremony took place aboard the Red & White Fleet’s new plug-in hybrid ferry, taking its maiden voyage. It was a breezy cap to the second day of Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit, and a coda for a governor whose signature issue has been environmental stewardship.
  • The summit has drawn thousands of attendees, including foreign dignitaries, Democratic governors, business people and environmentalists, along with 400 journalists from around the globe. No other governor in this country could have pulled off an event on such a scale.
  • Among the speakers: Vice President Al Gore, AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka, actor Alec Baldwin, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Brown’s co-host, billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Protests: Demonstrators complained Brown has not been tough enough on the oil industry.

Brown, asked by a reporter about oil industry campaign donations he has taken: “You know that politics runs on money.”

The issue, as Brown sees it: “We have got to replace fossil fuel vehicles with electric or hydrogen vehicles and that is exactly what we are here for.”

Bills signed on the ferry: A package aimed at making clean transportation more affordable to more Californians. The most noteworthy measure commands state agencies to establish goals for Uber, Lyft and other ride hailing companies to convert to zero-emission vehicles.

Pledging, preaching: Summit attendees pledged to one another that they would clean oceans and air and reduce carbon use. Speakers preached to the converted, who believe climate change is an existential threat.

The challenge: Translate that urgency beyond the green confines of San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center—and connect the dots for a big state and a big country already turning to the Atlantic coastline as Hurricane Florence hits.


Are we there yet? Not on electric cars

Electric cars at a charging station in L.A.

Climate summits aside, the road to California’s coveted electric highway is as congested as a Los Angeles freeway, and one of the big bottlenecks is gas-powered cars, CALmatters’ Julie Cart reports.

  •  Leaders in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit agree a wholesale change is needed in how we transport ourselves and the goods we consume, Cart writes.
  • About 5 million cars, trucks and buses need to become zero-emission vehicles and stop belching planet-warming greenhouse gases—a state goal for 2030, said panelists hosted by California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols on Thursday.

This week, California joined an alliance of cities, countries and businesses that pledged to reduce fossil fuels in transportation, Nichols announced.

The conference wraps up today. For full CALmatters coverage, click here.

The California Dream and the elderly

Kaye, a Santa Monica senior, receiving a rent subsidy.

One in five elderly Californians lives in poverty, and half of the state’s single seniors lack the money to cover basic expenses, reports KPBS’ Anita Sharma.

As aging in California becomes more about survival than cruises, hobbies and grandkids, the latest installment of CALmatters’ California Dream collaboration explores a Santa Monica experiment aimed at the Los Angeles area’s spike in elder homelessness.

Andy Agle, Santa Monica’s director of housing and economic development: “In most of California, Social Security is barely going to pay your rent. Are we as a state, as Californians, going to say, `Let’s add everybody over 65 as homeless.’ Is that really who we want to be as a country, as a state?”

Speaking of housing, CALmatters’  Matt Levin and the Los Angeles Times’ Liam Dillon are marking the first anniversary of their award-winning podcast on California’s housing crisis, “Gimme Shelter.

  • This week, they reflect on the biggest stories of the past 12 months, and what they expect to be on the podcast in the year ahead. To listen, click here.

CA insiders say brace for the big blue wave

Political insiders predict a big blue wave.

Democrats will flip at least one congressional seat and probably more in California, 45 top campaign consultants, lobbyists and other Capitol players predict—unanimously.

  • In fact, more than a quarter of the group believes Republicans will lose five or more seats.
  • The survey, by CALmatters’ Ben Christopher, is of paid subscribers to the California Target Book, an online repository of statewide campaign data compiled for California’s political classes. The respondents are a who’s who of major party operatives from throughout the state, and Christopher will be taking their pulse periodically between now and Election Day.

For details, plus predictions on the proposed repeal of the gas tax, click here.

Commentary at CALmatters

Mark Herbert, Small Business Majority’s California director: “Alternative lending products offer exciting new financing opportunities for small businesses but these products cannot exist in an unregulated space, leaving small business owners everywhere open to predatory practices that can cripple their business and undermine their financial security. SB 1235 would extend important protections to small businesses.”

Are you following the news? Take our quiz and see

What percentage of California insiders think a third party in the state is viable by 2025? Which state legislator has proposed banning gas-powered vehicles?And what vocabulary word did Tom Steyer use to describe his praise for Kevin de León?

These and more questions on this week’s CALQuiz.  

Please email or call me with tips, suggestions and insights, [email protected], 916.201.6281. Thanks for reading, please tell a friend and sign up here.

See you on Monday.