Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Jennifer Fearing

Illustration by Chris Shary

74. Jennifer Fearing

Jennifer Fearing had quite the 2022, when she led a team of women environmental policy wonks on a successful quest to pull an initiative from the November ballot in exchange for a legislative deal that set historic new restrictions on single-use plastics. That legislation, Senate Bill 54, is arguably the biggest recycling reform in the state’s history. But she didn’t abandon her usual focus on animal protections. She also helped score millions in state funding for animal shelters, sea otter rescue, and other animal welfare movements. So how do you top all that? You don’t really, but Fearing has hardly checked out. She’s currently knee-deep in the California Nonprofit Equity Initiative, an effort to improve the state’s relationship with nonprofits. The effort, backed by more than 400 nonprofit and community leaders statewide, and led by CalNonprofits (a long-time client) – includes seven bills changing contracting for nonprofits. Six of those bills have passed unanimously thus far. She also had a big role in the governor’s CEQA reform package, ensuring – what else – that the changes didn’t do harm to disadvantaged communities, public process, and the environment.

Updated August 15, 2023

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