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Legislative Affairs

Each year the Legislative Committee picks key issues - they may be local, state, or national issue chosen specifically to focus the committee’s energy, resources  and facilitate input and/or real change. What does that look like? It means that this committee meets with our Legislators and Industry Leaders, investigates how projects in our industry are funded and participate in the process of how policies are formulated and implemented.

In 2016, WTS San Diego Legislative Committee has chosen to focus their energy on three key issues:


1.    Paycheck Fairness 

Former President Jimmy Carter states in his book, A Call to Action; Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, “One of the most widespread and punitive examples of sexual discrimination is in compensation for work. […] Although women compose almost half the U.S. workforce and now earn more college and graduate degrees, government statistics show that full-time female workers still earn about 23 percent less than men.”  The WTS Legislative committee provides information, including the legislative progress underway, that assists in creating a greater awareness of the challenges that have enabled this discrepancy, to continue and how it impacts couples, families and the economic health of our San Diego region.


2.     Cap & Trade

With the implementation of AB 32, a regulatory program to reduce GHG emissions from transportation, it’s been a curious observation in human behavior to witness the outcome of the auction revenue anticipated to be generated from the Cap and Trade and how the Governors’ office, the State Legislators and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are appropriating what funds will go to which projects.  The Legislative committee is keeping our eye on the ball and updating our members as the actual implementation of this program continues to play out.


3.     San Onofre Nuclear Generating System (Click for full article)

The simplest way to explain the story of San Onofre is that it had a plumbing failure that was predicted, should have been corrected, and could have been prevented to ensure the safety of millions of lives endangered by a design flaw.The WTS Legislative committee has focused specifically on raising the awareness in our community and asking the questions regarding the risks that might adversely impact our transportation infrastructure, goods movement and passenger safety.

Check out the NBC Investigative Series on San Onofre Transportation Corridor Concerns.



What’s been happening? 


April 28, 2016 - Are Our Roads & Rails at Risk?

122WTS__img_2829__The WTS Legislative Committee held its annual lunch program at the University Club atop the Symphony Towers. The program focused on the concerns of a recent permit granted by the California Coastal Commission for Southern California Edison (SCE) to bury 1,632 tons of nuclear waste at our local San Onofre State Beach Park in Oceanside.

This now permitted nuclear waste site is in close proximity to the Newport-Inglewood Fault, I-5 Freeway, and LOSSAN rail corridor. Therefore, this WTS program addressed the topics of chemical composition, community awareness, legislative advocacy, and legal proceedings as related to the transportation aspect of this plan and the risks assessed to it.

A panel of 4 speakers included Justin Cochran (California Energy Commission’s Nuclear Policy Advisor), Jerry Kern (Oceanside City Council and SCE Community Engagement Panel), Rita Conn (Let Laguna Vote), and Maria Severson (Partner of Aguirre & Severson, LLP).  Each speaker contributed different insights into not only the effects of radiation and the potential tribulations to our transportation corridors that could result from a nuclear leak, but also the safety risks to local residents who live near the site.

For those in attendance at this event, the presentation regarding the storage of nuclear waste at San Onofre was both informative and eye opening. We learned that if nuclear waste is to remain on our local San Onofre State Beach Park, then the storage containers be as safe as humanly possible. There also must be a well-planned and funded emergency preparedness/response strategy in which an unanticipated radiation leak and the accompanying repercussions on the transportation corridor and the surrounding population of nearly 10 million people are addressed. The California transportation industry has found itself in an interesting position, as we observe what is sure to be a combination of political wrangling, bureaucratic corruption, corporate profit-making priorities, and human behavior. Stay tuned – your WTS Legislative Committee is on it!

    Check out our Photo Gallery for more photos of the event!


January 26, 2016 – Only women turned up to run the Senate?

Watch a video of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski as she points out just what kind of presence women have in the Capital. We think it’s “fabulous!” See for yourself.


January 17, 2016 – Around town

nina_img_0915_WTS Legislative Committee Chair Nina Babiarz met up with the familiar face Taylor Dupont, Field Representative for San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, at a ribbon cutting for The Art Stash on January 17, 2016, in La Mesa. WTS; makes it a small world once again!



March 9, 2015 – WTS San Diego goes to Washington!

WTS Washington D.C. Chapter’s Glass Ceiling Committee requested WTS San Diego Legislative Committee Chair Nina Babiarz to speak on ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ at their March 9, 2015 evening meeting. While in D.C. for the annual APTA Legislative Conference, Babiarz also met on March 10th with Congresswoman Davis’ staff in D.C. office responsible for Transportation Legislation to secure Congresswoman Susan Davis’ support for the ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’.

Check out Nina’s presentation in our Document Library


December 23, 2014 – Men-only until 3pm? I don’t think so!


Did you know that downtown San Diego’s Grant Grill of the U.S. Grant Hotel was “Men-Only until 3pm” until 1970? In 1969, a group of local female attorneys staged a “sit-in” as what has come to be called “the Grant Grill invasion”, which led to the strict policy finally being overturned. It only took the women showing up multiple times over the course of a year!

The Grant Grill was the perfect setting for WTS San Diego Chapter President Lauren Ferrell and Legislative Committee Chair Nina Babiarz to host and connect with WTS Washington D.C. Chapter member Tiffany Batac. Batac, formerly with the San Francisco Bar Area WTS Chapter, was instrumental in the ‘Women in the San Francisco Bay Area Transportation Industry; A Baseline Study for Future Benchmarking of Women in Leadership Roles ’.

The lunch resulted in Tiffany Batac requesting, on behalf of the WTS Washington D.C. Chapter, that Babiarz speak on ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ at WTS event in D.C. Stay tuned as one of our own makes her way to Washington!


November 19, 2014 – WTS San Diego rubs shoulders with San Diego leaders


ChamberofCommerceLegislativeLounge2WTS San Diego Board Members Tueré Fa’aola, Bethany Dawa, Mary Holland (far left photo from left to right) and

Nina Babiarz (near left photo on the left) meet San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (top) and Jerry Sanders, CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce (bottom) at the San Diego Chamber of Commerce Legislative Lounge on November 19, 2014.











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