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Op-Ed: Monique's Takeaway on Climate Meet

It was a privilege to be among California environmental leaders at Governor Brown's recent Global Climate Action Summit, uniting for the common purpose of expanding and sustaining our commitment to fight climate change.

San Francisco buzzed with people from around the state, nation and world coming together at the first-of-its-kind Summit -- a state hosting an international climate change conference with the goal of supporting the principles of the Paris Agreement.

With about 300 events hosted by environmental leaders, organizations and think-tanks, one in particular stands out to me as unique for having a community-based conversation and looking to bring climate change action to communities of all types and sizes.

‘California Stories: Grounded Perspectives on Climate Policies and Actions,’ was a panel moderated by the Atlantic Council. California State Assemblymembers, including myself, had the opportunity to share how our communities are impacted by climate change.

It was important to share what our district has faced with the recent Thomas Fire and the Montecito debris flow, while at the same time uplifting the voices of communities that at times are left out of environmental and climate change conversations.

When people think of our district they automatically recognize Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as a lush coastline community with beautiful beaches and luxury resorts, at times making less visible the diversity of the 90 mile long assembly district I represent, which includes inland communities like Santa Paula, Fillmore, Buellton, and Santa Ynez who drive both our tourism and agriculture industries.

The prosperity of these industries relies on sound policy and movement towards a cleaner future.

The impacts of climate change are not limited to Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, but span many rural and urban areas throughout California. Hotter temperatures, droughts, wildfires, and poor air quality can be felt throughout the state. Our communities are looking to us leaders to facilitate cleaner air, safer drinking water, and more sustainable land management practices.

As I prepare for my continued work on these issues, I will keep in mind one of the biggest take-aways of the Global Climate Action Summit, that we must work together across party lines and geographical borders to ensure more healthier, sustainable, and prosperous communities are in our future.

Assembly member Monique Limón represents the 37th Assembly District which includes Santa Barbara, Ventura, Goleta, Carpinteria, Ojai, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Buellton, Solvang, Summerland, Isla Vista, Montecito and parts of Oxnard. She currently serves as Chair of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee.

Images: Assembly member Monique Limon; Logo of Governor Brown's climate change summit.

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