Imperial Valley Press: Garcia Off To A Strong Start

We would surmise that even Eduardo Garcia’s detractors would concede he’s a bundle of energy. Those who meet him for even the briefest of moments will no doubt see he has vigor to spare.

Garcia is the state assemblyman representing Imperial County and parts of Riverside County. In his first year in the Assembly, the former Coachella mayor had 16 pieces of legislation passed by the state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

That may not be a record for a freshman Assembly member, but it certainly is something of note. And what’s great about Garcia’s rookie year is the legislation he had passed does not just involve procedural or bureaucratic matters. The bills he had signed could make differences in the lives of people, in his district and beyond.

One that could make an immediate impact is AB 1059, which will expand CalEnviroscreen — a screening methodology that can be used to help identify California communities disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution — to put air-quality monitoring equipment on the border and capture relevant environmental data. That could place our region in position to get mitigation funds for cross-border pollution.

One only has to drive south on Highway 111 and see the haze hanging over Calexico on many days to realize the effects of air pollution seeping over the border from Mexicali. Any action to lessen that continuing health hazard would be a big one for Imperial Valley residents.

Garcia’s list of bills also included one for the state Natural Resources Agency to identify short-term environmental restoration projects for the Salton Sea by March 2016, another to establish a park along the New River with a goal of mitigating pollution in the river, and yet another to guarantee that half of the money collected for environmental violations is reinvested within the district where the violation occurred so the money can be used to offset the hazard created.

And those are just a few of the highlights of Garcia’s first year in the Assembly. We simply don’t have enough space here to go into detail on all he got done.

We would be surprised if there aren’t some who aren’t happy with Garcia’s brief tenure in the Assembly. That’s politics. But even those folks probably wouldn’t feel justified in calling Eduardo Garcia a do-nothing politician.