On June 20, 2018 a dynamic group of Local 1245 organizing stewards descended on the State Capitol once again to express support for SB 1088 as it came before the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee. This bill takes a pro-active approach to planning for future natural disasters with bold steps to force the California Public Utilities Commission and investor-owned utilities to re-align their primary focus to their core responsibility – protecting the public’s health and safety.
Organizing Stewards Sandi Busse, Georgette Carrillo, Alvin Dayoan, Hector Gonzalez, Ramon Gonzalez, Ricardo Hernandez, Brian Huffman, Nancy Martinez, Vanessa Mejia, Charlotte Stevens, Josh Wellman and Cory Alves quickly jumped at the chance to attend the hearing. Five of these organizing stewards had never attended any sort of legislative hearing before, and appreciated the opportunity to witness the process first-hand.
“I got to see how a bill goes through the process of either getting passed or rejected, with supporters and opponents expressing their views. Both [sides] put in a lot of time and effort into their explanations as to why they believe it should be passed or not,” said newcomer Ramon Gonzalez. “I did not know just how bad the current climate is with inverse condemnation, it’s absolutely something that needs reform. Thanks again for the opportunity to be a part of our union’s role in this process.”
“Every time I have the opportunity to represent my union at the State Capitol I take pride in the honor of being selected,” said longtime Organizing Steward Charlotte Stevens. “I have testified at two previous hearings on SB1088 and attended Lobby Day on this and other bills. I learn something new each time.”
“[After attending this hearing] I felt proud and honored to be a part of our IBEW family,” said Nancy Martínez, another newcomer. “I was glad to hear that most of the committee members understood the importance of reliability and safety and how it is reflected in this bill.”
At the end of the day, the bill made it out of this critical committee with no changes or amendments.
“It was a glorious day for us, because we got the committee to pass SB 1088 as written,” said Organizing Steward Georgette Carrillo, who helped lead the delegation. “This is not the end, but it is the beginning to a greater plan of action for all private utilities in California.”