As a lifelong environmentalist, Ben knows firsthand the importance of preserving open spaces and protecting the coastline. Ben will work hard to ensure that California’s precious natural resources are protected for future generations, which is why he’s proud to be endorsed by the California League of Conservation Voters and environmental champion Senator Fran Pavley.
As a University of California Regent, Ben authored a sustainability measure that improved the University's green building practices and strengthened the role of the UC's sustainability coordinator.
Partly due to Ben’s resolution:
CHANGE: UC changed its green building policy to require LEED certification for all new buildings and all large renovation projects.
RESULT: As of June 2014, UC boasts more LEED certifications than any other university in the country.
CHANGE: Sustainable Foodservice Operations was added to UC’s Sustainable Practices Policy.
RESULT: UC campuses and medical centers are now award-winning leaders in sustainable food practices and are on track to surpass the goal of 20% sustainable food by 2020 more than five years ahead of schedule.
RESULT: UC has now directed nearly $20 million from its food procurement budget to local and sustainable food, signaling to the local economy the value of sustainable food production.
Ben’s leadership provided direction for the UC Sustainability Program, which has grown into a model followed by other state universities around the country.
Ben also orchestrated the first “zero waste” UC Board of Regents meeting, collaborating with Regents' office and UC Davis' Zero Waste Program to dramatically reduce the amount of waste produced by the Regents' September 2007 meeting in Davis.
As our State Senator, Ben’s environmental priorities will be:
- Preservation of open space
- Reduction of carbon emissions and keeping California at the forefront of the national effort to combat climate change
- Conservation of water supplies, including investment in rainwater diversion, drip irrigation, covering the aqueducts, and water recycling
- Investment in renewable alternative energy, including solar, wind, and hydro
- Curtailing hydraulic fracking
- Additional funding for urban mass-transit
- Strengthening Green Building Standards
Ben is proud to have the endorsements of many environmental champions:
- Senator Fran Pavley, who authored AB 32, which set guidelines for combatting climate change
- Former US Representative Anthony Beilenson, who authored the legislation that created the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
- Former US Representative Mel Levine, who co-sponsored the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Act of 1992
- Los Angeles County Supervisors Ed Edelman and Zev Yaroslavsky, Senators Tom Hayden and Alan Sieroty, and Assemblymember Terry Friedman, all of whom have also championed open space preservation of the Santa Monica Mountains
- Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom Labonge, who has worked tirelessly to preserve the open space of Griffith Park
- Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, who introduced a motion to place moratorium on fracking in the City of Los Angeles
- The California League of Conservation Voters, the premier environmental electoral organization in the state.