Acting on Climate

Protecting Our Environment and Combatting Climate Change For Our Future

The greatest environmental challenge facing San Diego is climate change. When I served as Interim Mayor, I introduced the City’s groundbreaking Climate Action Plan which sets aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), including committing the City to move to 100% renewable energy by 2035.  I am running for Mayor so that I can now implement this plan.

My administration will focus on the full and faithful implementation of the Climate Action Plan. We will finally realize Community Choice Energy and maximize opportunities to generate clean, renewable energy at City-owned properties. We will implement land-use and transportation policies that reduce vehicle miles traveled, encourage transit and foster zero emission vehicles. Additionally, we will continue to implement Zero Waste strategies, invest in stormwater infrastructure and plan for sea level rise. As Mayor, I will also focus on ending the chronic pollution of the Tijuana River Valley.

Climate Action Plan

As author of the Climate Action Plan, I am fully committed to its implementation. The City is not currently acting with the sense of urgency it should to implement the Plan’s strategies, including 100% renewable energy, zero waste, resiliency, energy efficient buildings, and reducing GHG’s from transportation. My administration will move aggressively to implement Community Choice Energy. We will implement policies to increase mode share of transit, walking, and biking, as well as improve infrastructure for electric vehicles.

 With science showing the window to reverse the trends of climate change closing, the time for action is now. The Climate Action Plan must be considered in every action the City takes. As Mayor, I will push to have all actions before the City Council include a section explaining Climate Impact. In addition, we will make sure the Plan guides our decision-making in budget discussions. My administration will prioritize neighborhood equity in terms of the Plan’s implementation and make sure every neighborhood sees the benefits of the City’s investment.


I’m supportive of the Five Big Moves currently under consideration at SANDAG as it puts forward a strong vision for what a world-class public transportation system in San Diego could be like. As Mayor, I will use the authority granted under AB 805 to assume the leadership roles at SANDAG and MTS to start making these investments.

Under AB 1413, legislation I authored, local transportation authorities like SANDAG or MTS can place before the voters a transactions and use tax for only a portion of their geographic jurisdiction. This means that those communities who use or would benefit from particular transportation investments could choose to tax themselves without being affected by unaffected cities or portions of the county. Ultimately, this legislation will help facilitate significant investments in local transportation infrastructure. Coupled with AB 805, this will be transformative in providing opportunities to fund transit improvements.


The City of San Diego is facing an estimated $700 million backlog in stormwater infrastructure improvements. This lack of infrastructure investment is not reflective of a world-class city. As Mayor, I intend to substantially address this deficit. I am hopeful ballot measures that seek to increase funds for infrastructure will be successful; however, if they are not, I believe we will have to consider a dedicated funding source to address stormwater (and potentially other infrastructure challenges). It is important the City also moves forward with the construction of a facility to capture storm water. Fixing our city’s crumbling infrastructure is one of my top priorities.

Zero Waste

I was proud to support the Zero Waste Ordinance and am committed to meeting its goals and timelines. As Mayor, I will continue to promote policies that encourage re-use and composting, and discourage single use plastics. I will work with recyclers to navigate the current challenges in the market for recyclable products. Additionally, I will work to expand citywide greenery collections. My administration will invest in infrastructure that will capture gasses from landfills and wastewater and turn it into energy.

Planning for Sea Level Rise

As Mayor, I will ensure that a viable Sea Level Rise Action Plan for San Diego is in place and up-to-date. We will need to prepare for future sea level rise and coastal flooding through proactive and thoughtful planning and action. San Diego should be prepared, and I will work with City departments, other local and regional governments, citizens and other stakeholders to plan for this possibility in a meaningful way.

Air Quality

Everyone deserves to breathe clean air. Some of our most vulnerable populations and neighborhoods are disproportionately impacted by poor air quality. In the Assembly, I carried legislation to make the County’s Air Pollution Control District more accountable to the public. As Mayor, I will continue the fight for clean air by ensuring San Diego is bringing home state dollars to phase out polluting equipment and investing in the San Diego region. Additionally, I will advocate for common sense policies to improve air quality and ensure San Diego’s air district is focused on reducing GHGs from transportation sources.

Tijuana River Valley

The continued pollution in the Tijuana River Valley is outrageous and demands definitive solutions. If this remains a problem in 2021, rest assured: I will be a tenacious advocate for securing the funding necessary to fix this problem and demanding real solutions from all levels of government.