Today was a huge victory for Mother Nature, No Straw November SCR-139 has passed both the California State Senate & Assembly! While this is not a bill, it is a resolution recognizing the month of November in California as No Straw November!
HISTORY OF NO STRAW NOVEMBER RESOLUTION
On 8/5/17, I reached out to the California Coastal Commission to discuss an awareness resolution recognizing November as No Straw November. I met with the Coastal Commission Board on 9/13/17 and on 10/11/17, the Coastal Commission unanimously approved a No Straw November Resolution with a copy being sent to Governor Brown's Office and the California Legislature.
After the Coastal Commission, I then needed to work with a California State Senator and ask if they would sponsor a No Straw November Resolution in the Senate, with the hopes that it would go to the Assembly for vote as well. I had the honor of working with California State Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning and he agreed to sponsor and introduce No Straw November as a resolution. Together, Jr Ocean Guardians and the Monterey Bay Aquarium co-sponsored the resolution. Senator Monning introduced SCR-139 on 4/30/18 and it went to vote before the California State Senate on 6/21/18 with 28 ayes, 6 noes, and 5 nvs.
Once approved in the California Senate, Senator Monning worked with Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon to jockey SCR-139 in the Assembly. SCR-139 went to the Assembly Rules for vote on 8/9/18 and the vote was 7 ayes, 2 noes, and 2 nvs and it was adopted for a 3rd reading in the Assembly.
Having watched SCR-139 on the daily agenda for the past week, I wasn't sure when it would go to vote. Today, 8/23/18, SCR-139 was voted on by the California Assembly with the final vote at 53 ayes and 16 noes, and 11 nvs.
No Straw November 2017 went global and had many supporters bringing awareness to single-use plastic pollution. This is not about taking single-use plastic straws away from those who medically need this type of straw, it's about asking those who can use alternatives to skip the single-use plastic straw.
SCR-139 Bill Text - No Straw November in California and Beyond with your Support:
WHEREAS, California values the health of its ocean and coast; and
WHEREAS, California is a global leader in taking action to protect the health of the ocean and coast; and
WHEREAS, Plastic pollution poses a significant threat to the health of California’s ocean resources and coastal environment, and to the public’s enjoyment of that environment; and
WHEREAS, Plastic straws pose a health risk to ocean wildlife when accidentally ingested; and
WHEREAS, Plastic straws are frequently littered or dropped by individuals, escape from waste management systems, and can get deposited onto the beach and washed into storm drains, streams, rivers, and eventually the ocean; and
WHEREAS, Reducing consumption of plastic straws can help decrease plastic pollution in the ocean and California’s coastal environment; and
WHEREAS, Recognizing the negative environmental impact of plastic straws, many restaurants and other establishments in California and around the United States have voluntarily stopped providing plastic straws; and
WHEREAS, Customers should be encouraged to make informed choices when considering ways to reduce their impacts on the environment; and
WHEREAS, The California State Senate recognizes the efforts of Girl Scout Shelby O’Neil, the founder of Jr Ocean Guardians, to raise awareness about the problem of ocean plastic, and to reduce pollution from plastic straws by starting the “No Straw November” initiative; and
WHEREAS, In the “No Straw November” initiative, participants pledge to refuse straws for the month of November; and
WHEREAS, Shelby O’Neil attributes her love of the ocean and founding of Jr Ocean Guardians to her service as a Teen Conservation Leader at Monterey Bay Aquarium; now, therefore, be it,
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the month of November shall be recognized as No Straw November; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the Governor of California and to the author for appropriate distribution.