Making Waves at the California Primaries on Tuesday, June 5th

The state of California just lucked out. You’re not going to like where we’re going with this, but trust us, it will make things a lot easier. The waves next week are gonna be small, and they might even suck. While on any other day of the week, this isn’t welcome news, on Tuesday, June 5th, it means that you can get all up in on American democracy. That’s right–it’s the primary election! And you won’t have to have any inner turmoil about going for a surf and then accidentally not making it to your polling place on time. Silver linings, right?

*Bored and just want to know what you need to do? Just skip down to the bottom of this post for some voting basics, links to a voter guide by The Sierra Club, and more. 

Setting our own destiny

As surfers and ocean lovers, we at Blue Uprising know a few things are for certain. One–you’re going to head the direction that you focus your gaze in. We set our own destinies–we create lifestyles that support our passions, connect us to nature and leave us stoked and salty. What would we even do without the ocean? Better question–what will we do if the ocean is steeped in even more garbage, or an oil spill happens at our home break?

We each create our paths in different ways. While we may not be able to set sail in the wilds for years, like the inspirational Liz Clark, we can make a difference by stepping up to the plate when it matters. And Tuesday, it matters. We love the way Liz talks about her revelation on how difficult it can be to choose how we are going to make an impact. Sometimes it’s all so overwhelming. In her book Swell, Liz says:

“It’s overwhelming, really. I want to dedicate myself to a specific environmental cause, but it feels impossible to pick just one. They’re all so interconnected and complex, and I know I’m up against huge forces of greed. All that’s in my power right now is to change myself.”

We all have a lot of ways to empower ourselves to improve the world, and this week, voting is one of them.

Why do the primaries matter?

California’s primaries are really important–they determine who our choices are going to be in November, along with establishing statewide offices and passing ballot measures. But here’s the tricky part, if you don’t vote on Tuesday, your choices in November could dwindle to some pretty bad options. That’s because California uses a top-two primary system (also called a jungle primary). This means that the top two candidates from your congressional district are going to be on the ballot in November, even if they’re from the same party.

California has a lot of other things going in the primary elections. Up for grabs are statewide offices like Governor, Attorney General and more. We support endorsements by the Sierra Club, which you can find here if you want to know how they suggest you vote. These offices matter, because they set the stage for environmental legislation–and if you’ve been keeping track, we have a lot of work to do to protect our environment.

Prop 68

California has 5 measures on the ballot, but the one we’re most excited about is Prop 68. Prop 68 is supported by all our favorite orgs, like the Sierra Club, Heal the Bay, Big Sur Land Trust, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and more. The measure authorizes 4 billion dollars for “state and local parks, environmental protection and restoration projects, water infrastructure projects, and flood protection projects.”

As so eloquently states:

“Prop 68 protects and restores our natural resources for the climate challenges ahead, ensuring our greatest asset is available for future generations. It funds restoration and conservation of our open spaces, rivers and streams, Redwood forests and coastlines, beaches and bays. Prop 68 also expands access to the open spaces, coast, forests, and other natural areas where families hike, camp, swim, and play."

Prop 68 also invests in efforts to mitigate natural disasters like wildfire, floods and severe droughts. By investing in local water infrastructure projects, fire protection, efficient farming practices, and forest restoration, Prop 68 protects us from ongoing threats that will get more severe with a changing climate.”

Voting basics

There are a few basic tips we’ve got when it comes to voting.

1. Make sure you’re registered to vote, and early! You must be registered to vote 15 days before an election. So if you’re not registered now, you won’t be able to vote in the primaries. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to vote in November, and we highly recommend registering right this second so that you don’t forget in October.

Register to vote

2. Bring your voting plan of attack with you. Not sure what’s going on in your district? Bring your phone and a saved link to a reputable voter guide. Make sure you have either your own research, or a trustworthy source with you since you might not be able to remember everything once you get there.

Check out the Sierra Club’s 2018 Voter Guide

3. Encourage your friends to vote! Share this blog post, tag your friends, do the #bluewavechallenge and let’s make sure that we don’t let kooks in congress, and that elect candidates that fight for the ocean.

4. Celebrate! And know that you’re contributing to protecting the ocean, and our natural resources. Protecting what we love is our duty. Democracy, like surfing, isn’t a spectator sport. We'll see you at the polls. 


William Rinehart