In the News

July 25, 2023

By by Tess Kazenoff

Rancho Los Cerritos and Rancho Los Alamitos have received a boost of $3.5 million in funding from the state, secured by state Sen. Lena Gonzalez, which will support much-needed maintenance and capital projects, the organizations recently announced.

July 10, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO (Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone Lands) — The State of California is another step closer to formally endorsing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty proposal as the resolution advances to the state assembly.

Gonzalez said: “It is time to end the use of fossil fuels once and for all. SJR 2 is about bringing the global community together to strengthen our ability to meet international environmental targets. It lays out the foundation that is missing—tackling fossil fuels head-on by stopping the expansion of coal, oil, and gas operations and transitioning to a prosperous green economy that promotes economic opportunity for all workers. This is an opportunity for California to step up in alignment with our values as a world climate leader, by encouraging others to join the dialogue to help build a global plan to save our planet and protect our future. I am proud to be the author of this resolution that will reaffirm California’s climate commitments, and I am thankful to the Chair and members of the Assembly Natural Resources committee for helping to move SJR 2 one step closer to the finish line.”

June 20, 2023


The Times’ Editorial Board urged lawmakers to pass SB 252, legislation by Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) requiring pension funds CalPERS and CalSTRS to shed their investments in the largest fossil fuel companies by 2031 and stop renewing or adding to existing investments starting next year. The headline: “California should stop investing its retirement funds in fossil fuels. They’re risky and immoral.”

June 16, 2023


Helping to fund the destruction of our environment is insanity; profiting from it makes us complicit. We urge California lawmakers to pass SB 252, legislation by Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) requiring CalPERS and CalSTRS to shed their investments in the largest fossil fuel companies by 2031, and stop renewing or adding to existing investments starting next year.

May 26, 2023


The California State Senate has passed legislation that would require the state’s two powerful public employee pension funds to stop investing in fossil fuel companies. It would also force them to liquidate close to $15 billion in holdings to aid the nation’s transition to clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas production.

The bill, SB 252, would prohibit the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, or CalSTRS, from making or renewing investments in the 200 largest publicly traded fossil fuel companies beginning Jan. 1

May 08, 2023

By Caleigh Wells

On one side of a chain-link fence, a cluster of toddlers dig in the dirt next to Cabrillo High School in Long Beach. Nearby, a lawn mower prepares the field for the baseball team. It feels safe here, and clean.

But before you even look over the fence, the smell is a dead giveaway.

On the other side, a freight train leaving the Port of Long Beach passes between a convoy of semi-trucks and an endless expanse of oil tanks. A brown haze obscures the blue sky, thick as dust above a recently-driven dirt road.

April 24, 2023


I grew up 30 feet from an oil well. We couldn’t open the windows of our South L.A. home because of what was in the air. I couldn’t play outside for more than a few minutes without feeling sick.

At the age of 9, I started organizing to shut down the drilling that was making me, my mother, my sister and our community sick. I helped found a grassroots campaign called “People Not Pozos,” Spanish for “wells.” Over a decade later, it’s a campaign I and others are continuing across California as toxic drilling continues in our midst.

April 19, 2023


LONG BEACH, Calif. — For all COVID’s negatives, there was one major upside for California workers last year: supplemental paid sick leave that guaranteed employees ten days off if they fell ill. For many service workers, that was a vast improvement from the three days of paid sick leave employers are required to provide under California law.

Now that expanded compensated sick leave is over, a proposed bill in the state legislature is seeking to raise the required minimum. SB 616 would increase guaranteed paid sick leave to seven days and also allow employees to carry over seven sick days to the following year.

“We talk a lot about California being the fourth largest economy, but that is solely because of our hardworking California workforce that has been showing up every single day,” California Sen. and SB 616 author Lena Gonzalez, D-Long Beach, said at a rally Wednesday. “California is a leader in a lot of ways, but paid sick leave is one where we’re actually trailing behind many other states.”

April 18, 2023
Long Beach has a history with oil. The city, located in Southern California, is home to numerous petroleum refineries as well as one of the largest oil fields in the state. 

Saul Ventura, a resident who grew up in West Long Beach, attended a high school located near the refineries. Although he’d long been aware that they existed, he said he’d never been taught about what their emissions might mean for his own health. 

April 13, 2023

By Hannah Saunders

The California Senate Judiciary Committee meeting unanimously passed Senate Bill 435 on Tuesday, which would require certain state agencies, boards, and commissions to use separate collection categories and tabulations for each major Latino group, Mesoamerican Indigenous nation, and Mesoamerican Indigenous language group. 

Dr. Seciah Aquino, executive director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California—which is sponsoring the bill—spoke with State of Reform about the need for this bill.