Election 2014: Sierra Club political endorsements

U.S. Congress


46th Congressional District

Loretta Sanchez

Representative Loretta Sanchez first elected to Congress in 1997, is currently serving her ninth term. She represents the 46th district which includes the cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim, and parts of the cities of Garden Grove and Orange. She is the most senior female member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Armed Services Committee. She has consistently been a strong supporter of environmental issues in the House, particularly those related to water and air quality. The League of Conservation Voters gave her a 96% rating in 2013, and 87% Lifetime.
She supported legislation to ban costly clear-cut logging practices on federal lands and  has advocated for increased fines for off-road vehicles that damage our national forests.  She supports the preservation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf, and has cosponsored bills designating lands in California, Alaska, Utah, and Michigan as federally protected areas.
Congresswoman Sanchez has become a champion for water issues in Orange County by supporting numerous bills that improve California’s water system and increase the deliverable water supply in Orange County. In the 111th introduced H.R. 383, a bill that would authorize additional federal support for the Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System. Congresswoman Sanchez’s bill was included in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 and signed into law by President Obama on March 30, 2009.
We urge you to vote to re-elect Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez to represent California in CD 46. Your vote can help protect the environment.

California State Offices


Secretary of State

Alex Padilla 

By making voting more accessible, convenient, and easy to understand, Alex Padilla plans to increase voter registration and voter participation in elections.  He also wants to ensure that every vote is counted and accounted for by implementing technological advances into the process.  Senator Padilla supports the California Clean Money campaign and has advanced legislation for limits on and timely disclosure of political contributions.  Padilla has also authored legislation on environmental issues including banning the single-use plastic bag and promoting the efforts on renewable energy projects.  While on the Los Angeles City Council, he opposed the expansion of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill, initiated the effort to restore the Los Angeles River, and created the first Environmental Justice Zone to recognize and address cumulative unhealthy impacts of dirty air emissions and toxic waste on the urban environment.  Alex Padilla has earned the opportunity to serve as our Secretary of State.—by Gayle Eads


John Chiang 

Sierra Club California endorses John Chiang for Treasurer because of his record on environmental issues as Controller, and his continuing personal commitment to combat climate disruption. As Treasurer he will promote investment in distributed generation and support other environmentally beneficial activities. He is sponsor of AB 2045 (Rendon) to create a statewide “Building the Economy through Energy Retrofits” (BETER). He will sit on a variety of state boards and commissions including the California Pollution Control Financing Authority and the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority. The Treasurer influences a wide range of public and private investment and policy decisions that affect environmental concerns. John Chiang is the Club’s choice for Treasurer.—By Gayle Eads


Betty Yee

The race for State Controller is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and hotly contested this June. While the office can tend to fly under the radar, there are several key reasons that environmentalists should be excited to have the opportunity to elect a true environmental champion to this position. Betty Yee, currently a member of the State Board of Equalization, is prepared from day one to tackle Climate Change. Ms. Yee knows Climate Change is the overarching environmental problem to tackle, and will, for instance, promote clean and renewable energy standards for public works projects throughout California. Furthermore, she will use her office to alert public officials around the state that climate disruption is not only an environmental disaster, but is going to cost taxpayers a lot of money. Beyond climate change, Ms. Yee will use her office seat on the State Lands Commission to address uncontrolled fracking, water conservation, landfill waste and recycling, and income inequality. Sierra Club strongly supports Ms. Yee’s campaign for State Controller and urges you to vote for the only candidate who has promised not to accept campaign contributions from oil companies. --By Amanda Wallner and Matt Williams

Insurance Commissioner

Dave Jones  

The Sierra Club endorses Dave Jones for reelection as Insurance Commissioner based on his environmental record during his first term. Jones has promoted assessment of the impacts of climate change on insurance risks, and encouraged insurance companies to provide lower automobile insurance rates to people who drive less. Before his election as insurance Commissioner, Jones compiled an outstanding environmental record as a member of the California Assembly, including authorship of the Green Insurance Act of 2010. --By Andy Sawyer



State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Tom Torlakson 


Tom Torlakson was endorsed by the Club when he ran for the Legislature. He joined the Club in 1963, and became a Life Member in 1983. He was the Mt. Diablo Regional Group Chair from 1973-1975. He became an Ecology teacher in 1970—during the year of the first Earth Day. As an avid outdoorsman, he began backpacking in his youth on Club outings and traveled to all California’s State Parks. In his role as State Superintendent:  He has promoted California schools in the National Green Ribbon Program. He has established an Environmental Education Interagency Network and Environmental Literacy Task Force to help guide California's implementation of Education and the Environment Initiative Curriculum. Appointed a Schools of the Future task force. He uses his position to promote green school building design, recycling programs, and environmental literacy for California students. 

CA State Assembly


56th Assembly District

Sharon Quirk-Silva

Sharon Quirk-Silva is running for re-election to the California State Assembly in District 65 covering all or part of Fullerton, Buena Park, La Palma, west Anaheim, Stanton and 
Cypress. She was first elected to the Assembly in 2012 by a 52%-48% margin over incumbent Chris Norby. The Sierra Club endorsed her in her two prior terms on the Fullerton City Council and in her run for the CA State Assembly. We also presented her with a Political Leadership Award for her work on preserving Coyote Hills. Sharon Quirk-Silva is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs, and serves on the Higher Education, Housing and Community Development, Accountability and Administrative Review, and Transportation Committees. The latter committee has enabled her to continue her efforts to develop a regional mass transportation plan for the 21st Century.
Sharon Quirk-Silva remains dedicated to environmental concerns, and has a strong desire to forge closer ties with the Sierra Club, and demonstrate an effective environmental voting record. Our support will go a long way toward helping to re-elect her in a marginal district which had, until her close election victory in 2012, consistently chosen conservative business oriented representatives with problematic positions on most environmental legislation. 
We urge you to vote to re-elect Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva to the California State Assembly in District 65. Your vote is a vote for the environment.