“We need to move away from the dirty fossil fuels we have been relying upon since the 19th Century, and move towards 21st Century clean energy to protect our environment, invigorate our innovation economy and preserve our planet for a sustainable future for generations to come.”
Ash Kalra is a passionate advocate for environmental protection. He has been recognized as a leader on issues surrounding the environment for years. In 2015, Ash was named “Legislator of the year” by the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters and has been officially endorsed by the California League of Conservation Voters as well.
Ash is currently the Chair of San Jose's Transportation & Environment Committee on the City Council and has previously served as the Chair of the influential Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). His work to ensure that we respect and preserve our planet for generations to come is unmatched in this campaign for State Assembly.
While Chair of BAAQMD, Ash led the organization to create action plans and set state goals to ensure we are addressing issues like air quality, climate change and pollution. While on the board, Ash led the way on many projects, including:
- Making our Air District the first in the nation to pass a Climate Action Plan to set a process to achieve aggressive state greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals
- Passing a Resolution against the Keystone XL pipeline
- Launching the Bay Area Bike Share Program, which is now expanding in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area
- Creating the Commuter Benefit Program, requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide some kind of incentive for environmentally friendly modes of transit
- Advocating for projects to make a “greener” Bay Area including:Expansion of electric vehicle charging stations
- Tougher rules on refinery emissions
- More expansive wood burning rules
- Making sure the Lehigh Cement Plant in Cupertino is held to the most stringent air pollution standards of any cement plant in the nation
While on the San Jose City Council, Ash has also been a champion for the environment. He has built a reputation on the council for pushing San Jose to lead the way in creating programs that will help combat climate change and preserve our water, including:
- Fighting against developing Coyote Valley, the last major region of developable farm land in the city.
- Pushing San Jose to become the first E-Steward city in the nation, requiring all electronic waste recyclers working with the city to document the responsible end point of all electronic waste collected
- Creating a strong riparian corridor policy in order to protect our waterways from overdevelopment
- Advocating for the creation of the Habitat Conservation Plan and for protection of burrowing owl and spotted butterfly habitats
- Speaking out for Community Choice Aggregation, allowing cities to aggregate the buying power of individual customers to secure alternative energy supply contracts on a community-wide basis
- Promoting further investment in transit and multi-modal transportation in order to allow for residents to leave their cars at home or, better yet, give up their cars altogether
Ash received the California League of Conservation Voters
- Silicon Valley Legislator of the Year Award 2015
Ash is excited about California being a global leader in the fight against climate change. But, more needs to be done to ensure we preserve the environment, create good jobs in the clean energy sector, and learn to grow responsibly in order to leave future generations with a sustainable state and planet.
- Aggressive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to slow global warming
- Investing in clean energy for a better environment and more jobs in our innovation economy
- Community Choice Aggregation to allow for residents to pool together in order to ensure a rapidly expanding use of alternative energy
- Banning fracking immediately in order to protect vulnerable communities from the environmental impacts and to save millions of gallons of water a year
- Investing into transit infrastructure and safe bicycle/pedestrian networks to allow for multi-modal living in our communities
- Passing an oil excise tax – joining every other state that produces oil – in order to invest in solar for low and middle-class residents and clean energy research and funding for our universities
- Banning oil trains and refinery projects that facilitate the refining of Canadian tar sands or Bakken crude in California simply to be shipped overseas