One Of These Things Is So Not Like The Other. #VoteResponsibly


The big news in California last week was that Adam Schiff and unctuous serial adulterer and former baseball player, Steve Garvey (Republican) will face off in November; Katie Porter and Barbara Lee lagged far behind. Of the Blue America-endorsed candidates in California, 2 will proceed to the runoffs, Derek Marshall and Marisol Rubio.

Please consider contributing to their general election campaigns here.

In the East Bay’s 9th state Senate district, the race will pit one of the worst members— as in corrupt and reactionary— of the Assembly, Tim Grayson, with San Ramon City Councilmember Marisol Rubio, a neurobiologist and Climate Activist.

Marisol is the only candidate for California’s legislature endorsed by Blue America so far this cycle. That’s how outstanding she is.

I want to give you a few facts about Grayson, her opponent. I was struck by how he can call himself a Democrat in California and still have such an anti-Choice record. NARAL gave him a “D” on their legislative scorecard in 2022 and labeled him, “Hostile to Reproductive Freedom.” He’s ducked every important vote to protect Choice— just as he’s done to protect LGBTQ rights. This page from the Courage Campaign pretty much sums up Tim Grayson, although most years his score has been “F,” not “D” and he is a member of their Hall of Shame.

Marisol’s campaign site lists her priorities for what she hopes to accomplish in the legislature. One that caught our attention was her pledge to act with urgency to address the climate crisis.

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After talking with her, one thing that became crystal clear— From the refineries along the Bay to the forested hills of the regional parks, California’s Senate District 9 is a land of contrasts, and there’s a huge contrast between the two candidates. Marisol is an environmentalist backed by the Sierra Club, 350 Bay Area Action, and other similar organizations, while Tim Grayson is backed by oil companies, and they all write him fat campaign checks.

Energy and climate change is one of the big ways that Marisol and Grayson differ. This part of the East Bay has much of the Bay Area’s heavy industry, including multiple oil refineries, steelmaking, and power plants. It’s also home to the headquarters of Chevron.

As a member of the Sierra Club’s executive committee, Marisol has worked on moving California towards its 100% clean energy goals, while also working with labor unions representing fossil fuel workers to make sure that the transition to clean energy does not leave them behind. Marisol has worked on supporting renewable energy and reducing air pollution.

Grayson’s campaign platform doesn’t mention environmental issues. This is not surprising given the money he has taken from polluters like Chevron, Valero, and Phillips 66. Having taken oil money, he also has a long anti-environment voting record, voting no to state legislation to increase fines for oil spills and opposing laws to protect water supplies from abandoned oil wells. He has also voted against reducing air pollution.

In 2022, the California Environmental Justice Alliance gave him an “F” grade based on his voting record, while the California Environmental Voters scored him at 36% out of 100. You can learn more here.

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Protecting open space is another important environmental issue in the East Bay. The last twenty years have seen continued suburban sprawl into the farmlands of east Contra Costa County, as well as up the hillsides of the Diablo Valley. Again, there is a big difference in the two candidates.

Marisol Rubio supports holding firm to the county’s urban limit lines to protect the remaining open space, and focusing new homebuilding near existing jobs and services. In San Ramon, where she serves on the city council, underutilized office parks along 680 are being redeveloped as housing and shopping. Meanwhile, Grayson has taken money from developers and other real estate interests that want to see continued sprawl.

Transportation policy links both energy and open space. Many Contra Costa and Alameda County residents have long commutes to jobs in San Francisco and other parts of the West Bay. Both Marisol and Grayson recognize this as an issue, but offer different approaches.

Marisol supports electric vehicles, as well as public transit such as the BART system that many people in this district rely on. She also supports traffic improvements to streets and sidewalks to make it safer for people to walk or bike to nearby destinations. Recognizing that high housing costs and a lack of homes are a cause for long commutes, Marisol also supports affordable housing, new homes near jobs, tenant protections, and first time homeownership programs.

Grayson’s transportation platform is still stuck in the 20th century, and is centered around freeways. He mentions roads, bridges and airports, but completely ignores any other type of transportation.

In addition to being better on policy, Marisol also has direct experience on environmental issues. She studied biology in college, and her first elected office was on the board of the Dublin-San Ramon Services District, a water and sewer agency. She also currently serves on regional committees on water and wastewater. She also volunteers for environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, where she is part of local and statewide leadership.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Marisol Rubio is not only the clean energy candidate, but also the clean money candidate. She’s one of the few people running for state Legislature in California who is not taking any corporate money, and has also signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge.

Tim Grayson has taken more corporate money than a NASCAR team, taking the maximum amount allowed from dozens of corporations and industry associations, especially from businesses and industries the state is supposed to regulate, such as PG&E, banks, insurance, gambling, and cryptocurrency. You can find a list here.

Sometimes elections involve tradeoffs, but for CA Senate District 9, the choice is clear:

When it comes to protecting our civil liberties, democratic integrity, women’s Choice and the air we breathe, water we need for life and preserving irreplaceable open space, Marisol Rubio is the right choice… and it’s not even close.

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Please contribute what you can, because Tim Grayson is flooding the district with dishonest mailers and has BIG OIL money to spend. Marisol only has us.

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Thank you for always doing what you can to help make this a better world,

-Howie, for the entire Blue America Team





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