It's Environmental Quality Report Card time again

The Environmental Quality Report Card series examines environmental stewardship of San Diego Councilmembers and the Mayor. The series looks at history of past reports, shows the voting record of individual Councilmembers, explains voting methodology and examines the environmental issues the Councilmembers voted on.



Photo Credit Jason Baker, Environmental Health Coalition

For the second year in a row, San Diego politicians are being graded on their record on the environment. And just like school children everywhere, there is certain to be a San Diego City Council member wishing he could turn a D+ into a B+ with the help of a felt tipped marker.

The Report Card is now available online at:

The annual Environmental Quality Report Card is commissioned by a coalition of non-profit, non-partisan environment organizations.  The Report Card is put together by the independent Strategic Community Consulting, which is staffed by UCSD graduate students.

This years grades were as follows:

District 1 – Sherri Lightner, C+
District 2 – Kevin Faulconer, B-
District 3 – Todd Gloria, A
District 4 – Tony Young, A
District 5 – Carl DeMaio, D+
District 6 – Donna Frye, A+
District 7 – Marti Emerald, A-
District 8 – Ben Hueso, A
Mayor Jerry Sanders, B+

The Council and the Mayor will be happy that overall, grades are substantially better this year over last year.  The improved grades are partly due to the avoidance of controversial issues.  The Report Card only grades environmental issues that were ultimately considered for a vote by the City Council. Therefore, City officials aren’t penalized for failing to initiate legislation on environmentally important issues.

Environmental-quality-report-card-2011Every one of the council members and the Mayor improved their individual grades this year over last year.   Only Councilmember Carl DeMaio received a non-passing grade. For the second year in a row, Councilmember DeMaio received the worst environmental grade in the City of San Diego.

The grades are based City Councilmember’s votes, and the Mayor’s positions, as deermined from staff recommendations or vetoes.  This year the methodology was streamlined to focus on a smaller number of votes by the Council.  This provides an objective and quantitative measurement of our elected officials’ stances on the environment.

Some of the important environmental issues that were graded included an ordinance to protect the seals at the La Jolla Children’s Pool, support for indirect potable water reuse, the Regents Road bridge project, and the vernal pools habitat conservation plan.  See the report for a complete list or votes at

The coalition is made up of the League of Conservation Voters San Diego, San Diego Coastkeeper, San Diego Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, the Sierra Club, the California Native Plant Society, Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation, Environmental Health Coalition, Friends of Rose Canyon, San Diego Audubon Society, and the Cleveland National Forest Foundation.  The complete report can be found at

You can also follow the news about the Report Card on twitter by searching for the #EQRC hash tag.

Patrick Finucane is a boardmember of the League of Conservation Voters.