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Alameda County, CA June 6, 2006 Election
Smart Voter


By Mary Hayashi

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 18; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate

As the fifth largest economy in the world, California continues to be the state that most people want to live in and is the most visited state in the country. Protecting California's environment and natural resources is important to promoting economic growth.

California's appeal relies heavily on the attractiveness of our natural environment and our commitment to maintain clean water and air, beautiful parks and coastlines, and natural wonders. In fact, the environment is critical to our economy, as millions of tourists, many of whom are Californians themselves, spend over $82 billion to travel throughout the state. Thus in order to ensure our economic future, it is necessary and good for business to improve and preserve our environment, ensuring that we have clean water, healthy air quality, protections for our natural habitats, and utilize "smart-growth" principles as we work to address development needs in California. In particular, we must invest in increasing the accessibility and usage of public transit, and I believe that health can be a key motivational factor in urging the public to become part of the solution. Air pollution is an emerging public health burden that needs to be in the public eye. A recent study showed that people with diabetes are at higher risk for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular disease when they are exposed to high levels of pollution from traffic congestion and other urban sources of fine particles in the air. This is a major concern as over 13 million Americans, including 2 million Californians, have diabetes, and cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the country. Another study showed that neighborhood traffic congestion results in high rates of respiratory problems for infants who live near stop and go traffic areas. These are unacceptable consequences of our traffic congestion problem, and it is critical that legislators work with the public and private sector to prevent deaths and diseases caused by air pollution by improving and protecting our air quality.

Protecting our environment is essential to securing a high quality of life for California's future generations.

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