Letters to the Editor

Support bill giving us more air board seats

I cannot figure out why anyone would oppose Senate Bill 719 (by Sen. Mike Machado, D-Linden). This bill makes sense, especially in the San Joaquin Valley where one in five children have been diagnosed with asthma. SB 719 would add four seats to the district air board, two health experts and two city seats.

Having more seats on the board brings more representation. This is a good policy bill. Common sense tells us why this is important -- the San Joaquin Valley has some of the worst air in the nation and almost five times the national asthma rate.

Gov. Schwarzenegger has made a commitment to the environment by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The governor's targets are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to year 2000 levels by 2010; to 1990 levels by 2020; and to cut emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

If he expects the San Joaquin Valley to participate in this endeavor, he must sign SB 719. Otherwise, we will continue to see "business as usual" and asthma rates rise. Governor, stay true to your environmental commitment and sign SB 719.

MELISSA KELLY ORTEGA

Merced

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