Two Of California's Newest State Senators Have Big Goals At The Capitol

Capitol Public Radio

January 10, 2017

Some of the newest members of the California Legislature are inheriting seats that come with long-established roles. Two new senators aim to build on the work of their predecessors.

As California senators go, Henry Stern of Los Angeles is young, at age 34. But he knows a lot about the job from the woman he was elected to succeed – his former boss, Senator Fran Pavley.

"In many ways, I am trying to fill some very big shoes here," says Stern.

Pavley was key to passing environmental proposals like SB32, the sweeping climate change bill signed into law last year. Stern, an environmental lawyer, says he’ll continue that work.

"Now, someone has to come and fill in the details. And that’s really what I see my role as," says Stern.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, Senator Scott Wiener succeeds the longtime human rights and civil liberties advocate Mark Leno. Wiener ties continuing those efforts to another key issue for the city: affordable housing.

"Housing is in many ways a civil rights issue," says Wiener. "If you don’t have housing, it’s hard to have anything else, including basic dignity."

Wiener says he’ll also expand on Leno’s work around LGBT rights.