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Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Jennifer Fearing

Illustration by Chris Shary

72. Jennifer Fearing

Jennifer Fearing led a team of women environmental wonks to put together a legislative deal pulling an initiative from the November ballot in exchange for new precedent-setting restrictions on single-use plastics. Lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the compromise she helped craft, Senate Bill 54: Near unanimous in the Assembly, 29-0 in the Senate. Fearing’s efforts prompted shoutouts from Senators Ben Allen and Bob Hertzberg and Assemblywomen Luz Rivas and Laura Friedman. Fearing’s role in the plastics deal makes clear that she’s expanded beyond her historical focus on animal protection (though plastic pollution impacts animals, too). She also helped score $50 million in state funding for animal shelters, $3 million for sea otter rescue, tens of millions for the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing over the last year, and successfully championed a new beaver restoration program. Aside from the animals, she helped deliver COVID sick leave relief funding for nonprofits and has her sights on more funding for California’s museums and a prohibition on deep sea mining.

Updated August 9, 2022

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