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Emily Rusch
Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Author: Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

(510) 844-6803

Started on staff: 2001
B.A., Willamette University

Emily is the senior director for state organizations for The Public Interest Network. She works nationwide with the state group directors for PIRG and Environment America to help them build stronger organizations and achieve greater success. Emily was the executive director for CALPIRG from 2009-2021, overseeing a myriad of CALPIRG campaigns to protect public health, protect consumers in the marketplace, and promote a robust democracy. Emily works in our Oakland, California, office, and loves camping, hiking, gardening and cooking with her family.

CALPIRG endorsed SB 50 by Senator Scott Wiener today, the MORE Homes Act, which would enable more housing to be built near existing public transit and job centers. Here's an excerpt from the support letter we sent to Senator Scott Wiener today, co-signed by Environment California

As you know, we are already experiencing the effects of climate change via more intense wildfires, drought, sea level rise and the worst air quality in the country. While it is true that California has been a world leader on pushing for solutions, we still have a long way to go to get off fossil fuels, but we must do so as quickly as possible. We recognize that our way of life will be very different for future generations if we fail to act. 

At the same time as we figure out how to get off fossil fuels and adapt to the effects of climate change, California is grappling with high demand and skyrocketing housing costs in many parts of the state that are also the biggest job centers. According to state housing officials, California needs180,000 new housing units per year to meet current demand, and we are building fewer than 80,000 annually on average.

How and where we build more housing has vast consequences on our environment, public health, and quality of life. The more we push people away from job centers and public transportation options, the harder it will be to reduce global warming pollution. Right now the number of “supercommuters” traveling hours to and from work each day is on the rise. More than 500,000 workers in the state have one-way commutes of more than 90 minutes, according to census data. Private passenger vehicles currently account for a full 28 percent—the largest single chunk—of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is not sustainable. 

Read the full letter here. 

 

 

Emily Rusch
Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Author: Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

(510) 844-6803

Started on staff: 2001
B.A., Willamette University

Emily is the senior director for state organizations for The Public Interest Network. She works nationwide with the state group directors for PIRG and Environment America to help them build stronger organizations and achieve greater success. Emily was the executive director for CALPIRG from 2009-2021, overseeing a myriad of CALPIRG campaigns to protect public health, protect consumers in the marketplace, and promote a robust democracy. Emily works in our Oakland, California, office, and loves camping, hiking, gardening and cooking with her family.