California News
Picture of Asha Sharma

Asha Sharma

California Updates: October 2022

As California is one of the states in which PAN does on-the-ground campaign work, we send out regular updates on PAN and partners’ work in California and beyond — from pesticide-related science to opportunities to take action. If you’d like to receive these updates via email, sign up here.

Dear California supporters,

This year’s legislative session has come to a close, and we’ve achieved some important wins in the state budget! We’re happy to report that with your support, we’ve helped secure funding for these priorities:

  • $12 million to support farmers’ transition to organic farming
  • Increased funding for enforcement of pesticide regulations, including increased financial penalties for pesticide use violations and more jurisdiction for Department of Pesticide Regulation officials to enforce regulations
  • $50 million for new farmworker housing and $15 million for improvements in farmworker housing
  • $1 million to help farmers transition to more sustainable pest management, with prioritization for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and urban growers
  • $15 million for the Pollinator Habitat Program
  • $85 million for the Healthy Soils Program, which incentivizes farmers to adopt farming practices that build soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • $14 million for a new Climate Smart Land Management Program

We are also excited to report that Governor Newsom signed AB 2183 into law – a bill put forward by our friends at United Farm Workers that allows for workers to vote on union representation at home, which will better protect confidentiality and their safety. Farmworkers and allies marched 335 miles across California to draw attention to the bill and held vigils throughout the state until it was signed.

Unfortunately, a couple of our other priority bills did not fare so well. Governor Newsom vetoed AB 2847, which would have created a pilot program for workers – including farmworkers – to qualify for unemployment benefits regardless of immigration status. He also vetoed AB 2146, which would have banned non-agricultural uses of neonicotinoids, a dangerous type of insecticide that harms pollinators and public health.

Despite these two setbacks, there is much to celebrate! We will continue advocating for state funding and policies that will accelerate California’s transition to equitable and ecological food and farming systems, and we very much appreciate your partnership in this critical work.


Picture of Asha Sharma

Asha Sharma

Asha has a decade of experience as an environmental and agricultural justice campaigner, organizer and researcher. She is passionate about agroecology and supporting food-growing communities in building power. Her previous work at the Union of Concerned Scientists and Mighty Earth resulted in dozens of agricultural and food companies improving their conservation and human rights standards and practices. She received her M.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis and her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Texas at Arlington. Asha is from Dallas, Texas and currently lives in Berkeley, California. In her free time, she loves to cook, garden and hike with her dog Frankie.

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