If the midterm elections indeed reflected the “year of the woman,” there could be no more pertinent example of a first-time female challenger taking out a male incumbent in a district contest affecting Daily Pilot readers than the 74th Assembly District race pitting Cottie Petrie-Norris against Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach).
While the result is not final, Petrie-Norris has roared back from an early deficit to run up a solid lead to date. Ironically, while Republicans usually tout solid business credentials, this incumbent does not even come close to the Democrat in terms of a business and financial background.
Petrie-Norris is extremely well qualified. She is winning on merit and not gender. Like the winning race run by Democrat business leader Harley Rouda against career politician Dana Rohrabacher (who did not possess a business background), voters seem more interested in being well represented by actual problem-solvers than by partisan politicians.
Both Petrie-Norris and Rouda will be joining legislative bodies controlled by their own party. This can only benefit their respective constituencies and the people of Orange County.
New OC reps should protect species act
It is very important for voters to know about current attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA) through regulatory changes that will lessen its ability to save threatened species from extinction. These changes will have devastating consequences for countless species that depend on the ESA for their very survival, as well as for humankind, since we too depend on the web of life for our existence.
If passed, changes like House Resolution 6344 will create significant loopholes regarding the killing of protected species. HR 6355 will remove the right of citizens to challenge listing decisions. HR 3608 will give priority to state and local data, regardless of whether or not it is based on science. These along with six more bills will be devastating to the ESA’s ability to do its job.
We are the benefactors of evolution tipping its hand in favor of humanity, but this means that we also have the responsibility of stewarding the natural world, including its inhabitants. An obligation not given lightly, we must respect and care for the planet we’ve been given, maintain Mother Nature’s balance, and make sure that regulations put in place are in sync with fulfilling our duty to the environment.
The ESA affects entire and all populations, including humans, and we are responsible for making sure it functions well. Here’s hoping that with a new House of Representatives, many from Orange County, there will be more thoughtful stewardship of fragile species as we head into 2019 and beyond