| Press Releases

For Immediate Release, September 21, 2020

Contact: Maya Golden-Krasner, (213) 215-3729, mayagoldenkrasner@centeractionfund.org

Climate and Environmental Justice Groups Endorse Holly Mitchell for LA County Supervisor

Herb Wesson’s Record on Fossil Fuels Draws Fire for Fueling the Climate Crisis

LOS ANGELES — Leading environmental and climate justice groups have endorsed California State Sen. Holly Mitchell’s campaign for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to represent the county’s second district.

CBE Action, Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, Food & Water Action, and Sierra Club noted a stark contrast between former Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson’s substantial financial backing from oil and gas representatives and Mitchell’s demonstrated commitment to curb the climate crisis and protect low-income communities of color overburdened by the health impacts of fossil fuel pollution.

“Herb Wesson’s record is tarnished by Big Oil’s dirty dollars and his failure to end L.A. County’s oil extraction crisis,” said Maya Golden-Krasner, deputy climate director at the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund. “Holly Mitchell is a climate and environmental justice champion with a long record of standing up for people, not polluters. Despite talking a good talk, Wesson’s funding and actions speak for themselves: He’s Big Oil’s candidate, not ours.”

In his current bid for L.A. County Supervisor, Wesson received over $28,000 from 20 donors connected with the oil and gas industry as of June. These include top California oil and gas producers such as California Resources Corporation and E&B Natural Resources Management Corporation. He is also backed by the California Independent Petroleum Association, a major oil industry trade group. Wesson failed to endorse a science-based health buffer of 2,500 feet protecting communities from oil and gas wells, a proposal advanced by the environmental justice coalition STAND-LA. 

“Angelenos have the power to show that voters want an end to the influence of Big Oil on the crucial decisions that impact their lives,” said Darryl Molina Sarmiento, executive director of CBE Action. “Senator Holly Mitchell is committed to an equitable, sustainable and non-extractive vision of Los Angeles County where workers and communities are at the center of an equitable transition. She has the courage and vision to fight to improve health outcomes in environmental justice communities, support just recovery and visionary workforce development programs, and address harmful land-use practices to benefit all Angelenos.”  

Mitchell pledged to refuse campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. She also sent a letter to the City of Los Angeles in support of adopting a 2,500-foot setback to separate oil and gas extraction operations from communities, and she has supported Culver City’s efforts to phase out oil operations at the Inglewood Oil Field. 

“As a health-care professional who lives near the Inglewood Oil Field, I understand how important it is to have a supervisor  who cares that we have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a clean environment to live in,” David Haake, MD, chair of Sierra Club’s West LA Group. “Senator Holly Mitchell has been a champion for our communities and our environment and will be a great L.A. County Supervisor.”

Mitchell has a strong record championing environmental justice in the California State Senate. She introduced legislation (SB 1132) to put in place a statewide moratorium on fracking, an extreme oil-extraction process that blasts toxic chemicals mixed with water underground to crack rocks. She also supported legislation prohibiting oil drilling in state waters (SB 834), increasing investments in California’s ecosystems (SB 30), and placing California on track to 100% renewable energy by 2045 (SB 100).

“Herb Wesson is an outstanding politician, and I mean that in the worst possible way,” said Ethan Senser, Southern California organizer for Food & Water Action. “As President of LA City Council, he sidelined community campaigns to get oil wells out of their neighborhoods. Now he’s taking oil industry money for his campaign. By standing with residents and rejecting fossil fuel money, Senator Holly Mitchell proves herself to be something better than a politician — a true public servant.”

* The Pledge: “I pledge not to take contributions over $200 from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.” See: http://nofossilfuelmoney.org/

** Bike the Vote L.A., California League of Conservation Voters, Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, CBE Action, Food & Water Action, Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, and Sunrise Movement Los Angeles. See here: https://www.hollyjmitchell.com/endorsements

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization that advocates for legislation and legislators that will advance a progressive environmental agenda. The Center Action Fund is the 501(c)(4) affiliate of the Center for Biological Diversity, but these organizations’ names are not interchangeable. This news release is from the Center Action Fund, not the Center for Biological Diversity.