Government Affairs Director
As Government Affairs Director, Kerri works in partnership with local, regional, state and federal agencies and officials to advance sustainable communities strategies, climate action planning, energy efficiency programs and other SBC activities.
Kerri is a communications and management specialist with more than 25 years of public- and private- sector experience in community and government relations, business communications, land and water conservation, and nonprofit management and capacity building. Prior to joining SBC, Kerri spent six years with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where she served most recently as that agency’s Regional Policy and Program Manager. Before that, she was Executive Director of a non-profit conservation group, operated her own consulting practice where she cultivated relationships with watershed organizations, land trusts and other community groups within and outside the Sierra, and served as account executive and creative director for a community and government relations firm in San Francisco. Kerri holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University and a certificate in Land Use and Natural Resources planning through UC Davis Extension. Kerri has also authored a number of publications addressing land and water conservation and community sustainability issues in the Sierra Nevada.
Kerri and her husband John live in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada, where they enjoy hiking, biking, boating, camping and hosting backyard barbeques for friends and family.
California’s Drought Makes it to the National Stage
Despite the glorious rain and snow that fell Wednesday and Thursday across northern California, we are still undeniably in the midst of the most serious drought in the state's recorded history. The situation has gotten even worse since early January. DWR just released the results of its second snow survey of 2014, which showed statewide snowpack water content at only 12% of average for this time of year. Before this, the lowest similar readings were 21-25% of normal – which doesn’t sound half-bad right now.
Blaming dry weather conditions as well as “federal and state regulations that artificially reduce water supplies,” three California Congressmen, Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes, David Valadao, think they have the answer to the drought – suspending the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act and the court-mandated San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act. Their bill, H.R. 3964, would end what they call the “waste” of restoration flows to the Delta and the San Joaquin River and would pump more water from the Delta to agricultural areas in the Central Valley.
The State of California says, “not so fast.”
In a letter to the House Natural Resources Committee Chair Doc Hastings, Ranking Member Peter DeFazio and Members of the Committee, California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird reminds the Congressmen that the state’s water system is complicated and that federal legislation to alter it “in favor of some interests over others in a different part of the state” is not only “not helpful,” but also undermines California’s own ability to address the challenge. Instead, Secretary Laird suggests a more prudent approach of working together on solutions founded in sound science.
H.R. 3964 has been fast-tracked for a floor hearing next week. To see Secretary Laird’s full letter, click here. For additional background information on the drought, legislation and responses from California Senators, state legislators and others, visit www.mavensnotebook.com.