Bracing for the Trump Era, California Leaders Reach Out to Obama for Help

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the U.S. Capitol November 10, 2016.

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) at the U.S. Capitol Nov. 10, 2016. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

California’s legislative leaders are going on the offensive against President-elect Donald Trump. Progressives in the state, which went solidly for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, are concerned that a conservative Trump administration could undermine or undo policies related to the environment, immigration and civil rights.

In an effort to head off one potential impact, Senate Democrats have sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to permanently ban new oil and gas drilling in federal waters off California’s coast.

“A sizeable spill off our coast would have a devastating impact on our population, recreation, natural resources, and our ocean and coastal dependent economies,” the senators wrote in a portion of the letter released to the media. “Expanded offshore oil and gas drilling also undermines the important strides we have made both as a state and as a nation to address climate change and promote a clean energy economy.”

Senate leader Kevin de León last month met with House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to discuss how best to protect progressive policies after Obama leaves office.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said he’s had meetings with the Obama administration. Rendon said he sought their insights into what the future holds and discussed how to close out some remaining business the state has with the current administration.

“For example… we have 24 percent of the country’s homeless veteran population, but we only get about 19 percent of the country’s homeless veteran vouchers,” he said. “So we’ve been trying to be aggressive about making sure that we get our fair share.”

Rendon admits it does feel as if Democrats are on the defensive right now. But he says lawmakers will work to protect policies surrounding immigration, health care and climate change, among others.

  • Richard Solomon

    I bet Obama is getting flooded with requests for such things as pardons for Dreamers, permanent bans on oil development, etc. How many of these can/will he enact in the coming weeks?!?

    • Jim Madison

      It doesn’t matter. Anything executive order that Obama can do without Congress can be undone by Trump.

  • Jim Madison

    He can’t do anything that Trump can’t undo. But even more concerning for liberals is that Reid and the Dems watered down the filibuster. For the next two years Republicans are going to steamroll every Trump initiative through Congress, despite having only a small majority in the Senate. Dems shouldn’t have done that.
    That old adage about absolute power corrupting absolutely could not be more salient or poignant. Now that the US Government has its hands in every part of America’s private life the corruption is more than justice can bear.

  • robert k

    Obama is in an interesting position. How many of these wacky requests from the far Left should he act on? Trump will simply undo most of them, except for the pardons. It’s the pardons that are the clearest threat. Just like Clinton pardoned Marc Rich for personal enrichment, Obama may do the same at the 11th hour. He has been also asked to pardon disgusting figures such Leonard Peltier (murdered two FBI Agents and doing life), and will no doubt be asked by other criminals that are the darlings of the Left. He is known to be associated with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.
    Of course, doing so will leave Obama with far less than the basically zero legacy he has now.

    Lets see if his final decisions are as poor as all the others…

  • Erik Eriksen

    “…Progressives in the state, which went solidly for Democrat Hillary Clinton…”

    Katie Orr once again spews the idiocy it got spoonfed… I suggest she/he/it look at the map of voting districts… all that INLAND RED refutes her/his/its idiocy about SOLIDLY… San Diego, L.A., San Francisco and Sacto…and the illegal votes are still being counted in them…

Author

Katie Orr

Katie Orr is a Sacramento-based reporter for KQED's Politics and Government  Desk, covering the state Capitol and a variety of issues including women in politics, voting and elections and legislation. Prior to joining KQED in 2016, Katie was state government reporter for Capital Public Radio in Sacramento. She's also worked for KPBS in San Diego, where she covered City Hall.

Katie received her masters degree in political science from San Diego State University and holds a Bachelors degree in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University.

In 2015 Katie won a national Clarion Award for a series of stories she did on women in California politics. She's been honored by the Society for Professional Journalists and, in 2013, was named by The Washington Post as one of the country's top state Capitol reporters.   She's also reported for the award-winning documentary series The View from Here and was part of the team that won  national PRNDI and  Gabriel Awards in 2015. She lives in Sacramento with her husband. Twitter: @1KatieOrr

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