Symposium 2011: Bright Minds Shed Light on California’s Toughest Issues

We are thrilled to report last weekend’s Planning and Conservation League Symposium was a huge success! The all-day event, held in downtown Sacramento, brought together some of the brightest minds working on some of California’s toughest environmental challenges. The overriding themes of the day centralized around the state budget, water policy and planning, and upholding the integrity of California’s premier environmental law; the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The event kicked off with our esteemed keynote speaker, the recently appointed Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, John Laird. Secretary Laird drew our attention to the plight of the state budget and how we can all rally together to be most effective in 2011. Throughout the day, there were many panel discussions and “how-to” workshops, including “What is Next for California Water.” Senator Lois Wolk and Assemblymember Jared Huffman joined the Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council Phil Isenberg and PCL’s Senior Water Policy Advisor Jonas Minton to discuss the contentious Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta planning efforts and water policy issues tackled over the course of the last few years. During lunch, Assemblymember Mike Feuer and Senator Alan Lowenthal were both honored as “Legislator of the Year” for their work in passing legislation to safeguard our state’s precious environment. The event closed with a rousing speech by San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi who got the crowd clapping and cheering while announcing that San Francisco recently won the bid to host the next America’s Cup (an international sailing race) and the city’s commitment to CEQA compliance.

Thanks to all who turned out and helped to make the Planning and Conservation League’s annual Symposium such a success! Save the date for next year’s Symposium, it will be held January 28th at the Sacramento Convention Center.