Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Jerry Brown stumps for Sharon Quirk-Silva in Irvine

What to do when your two-thirds legislative supermajority hinges on a tight re-election battle in a highly competitive district? Send in the big guns.

Gov. Jerry Brown will be in Irvine today to visit the future site of the Southern California Veterans Cemetery, which he directed the California Department of Veterans Affairs to begin developing when he signed AB 1453 last month. Though Brown made relatively few public appearances for bill signings in September, the cemetery legislation was written by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, one of the most vulnerable incumbents in any state legislative race this year.

Quirk-Silva ousted a Republican incumbent in 2012, but the fairly even party registration in her district and expected low turnout could hurt her chances Nov. 4. Campaign donors and independent expenditures are already spending big on both sides of the race. You can explore more with our “follow the money” election map.

Brown and Quirk-Silva will be joined by state Secretary of Veteran Affairs Peter J. Gravett and local veteran groups for the site visit, 12:15 p.m. at Orange County Great Park in Irvine.

VIDEO: Mail ballots are headed to voters this week, but there is still little enthusiasm for this year’s election, Dan Walters says.

WE’RE ALL WATER : After a worrisome spike in water use over the previous year in May, Californians are finally starting to get their conservation on. Urban water consumption declined 4.4 percent in June and 7.5 percent in July compared to the same months in 2013 – not quite the 20 percent Brown called for earlier this year, but a step in the right direction as the state faces the worst drought in a generation. The State Water Resources Control Board, which implemented stricter emergency regulations for water use over the summer, will get an update on how California fared in August during its meeting today, starting at 9 a.m. at the Cal/EPA Headquarters on I Street.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE: Vice President Joe Biden, on a visit to the West Coast this week, is set for quite the tour of California today. He’ll begin his morning in Los Angeles with Mayor Eric Garcetti calling for a higher minimum wage. Then Biden will head up to a campaign rally in Bakersfield for Democratic secretary of state candidate Alex Padilla and congressional challenger Amanda Renteria, whom the national party is hoping could provide the rare Democratic pickup. Biden will end his evening in San Francisco for a Democratic fundraiser.

DRIVE MY CAR: California’s metropolitan planning organizations are charged with creating sustainability strategies that incorporate land use, housing and transportation into reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles. Susan Handy, director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at UC Davis, discusses which projects and strategies have proved most effective, 1:30 p.m. at the Cal/EPA Headquarters on I Street.

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