Pedro Nava (politician)
California State Assembly member (November 2004-November 2010) Pedro Nava grew up and attended public schools in Southern California. He studied at San Bernardino Valley College, graduated from California State University, San Bernardino, and obtained his law degree from the University of California, Davis, Martin Luther King Jr. Hall, School of Law. Before attending law school, he managed a program for at-risk high school students at the Chaffey Unified School District. After graduation from law school, Nava worked in job training programs for the economically disadvantaged in Fresno. Nava later became a Deputy District Attorney in the Fresno County DA's Office, involved in Targeted Narcotics Prosecution; headed up the county-wide Drug Crime Task Force; was a Board member of the Fresno Rape Crisis Center; and was President of the Fresno Community College President's EOP&S Advisory Committee. In 1985, he joined the Santa Barbara DA's office where, for a time, he was assigned to the Consumer/Business Law Section. From 1987 until his election in 2004 Nava was a civil litigator, primarily representing nurses and health care practitioners. Nava also served on the California Coastal Commission from 1997 until 2004, appointed by then California State Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamante, where he earned the highest environmental protection vote awarded by the Sierra Club.
Nava is the domain registrant of the website savethecondor.com, and the author of legislation to ban the use of lead-based ammunition in the habitat of the endangered California Condor, which was signed into law by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
During his time in the legislature, Nava has introduced legislation on environmental protection, California's emergency preparedness system, consumer protection, public safety, women's issues, education and animal welfare.
The La Conchita landslide in Ventura County occurred during his first week in office. 10 people lost their lives and 30 homes destroyed. In response Nava introduced legislation to reform and streamline the state's emergency preparedness, response, and recovery system by merging two departments into one agency, CalEMA (the California Emergancy Management Agency). He was named the first "Legislator of the Year" by the American Red Cross's California Chapter, and "American Hero" by ProtectingAmerica.org.
As a former prosecutor he has seen families and communities devastated by crime. He worked with Moe Dubois, whose daughter, Amber, was abducted and killed in San Diego; they passed legislation to enhance law enforcement training, response, coordination, and data-sharing when children go missing. Nava also authored legislation protecting victims' personal information from violent sexual predators. He was twice named "Outstanding Legislator" (2008 and 2009) by the California State Sheriffs' Association, and has received recognition from the State Coalition of Probation Organizations and the National Latino Peace Officers Association.
On environmental issues Nava worked with Audubon California and others to ban the use of lead shot, to protect the endangered California condor from lead poisoning. In response to the spills of hundreds of thousands of gallons of polluted materials in Santa Barbara County by Greka Energy, he passed legislation that holds the state's polluters accountable, or shuts them down if they do not meet minimum maintenance and pollution prevention standards. With support from a coalition of more than 100 environmental organizations from across the state, he was instrumental in stopping what would have been the first new offshore oil drilling off Santa Barbara's coast since the 1969 oil spill, the Plains Exploration & Production Company proposal in 2009. Well respected environmental organizations such as the California League of Conservation Voters, Environment California, the Planning & Conservation League, and the Sierra Club have recognized Nava's role.
As chair of the Banking and Finance Committee, he introduced legislation to force banks to work with consumers to help prevent foreclosures (2009). He introduced a measure that would give mobile home park residents input and require any park owner wanting to convert a mobile home park into condominiums to include the residents in the process (2010). He was recognized for these efforts by the Consumers Union (2009), Congress of California Seniors (2009) and was the Golden State Manufactured Homeowners League "2009 Legislator of the Year".
When low-income women were threatened with losing access to life-saving mammography because of state budget cuts, he helped rescue the Every Woman Counts program (2010). He also authored legislation to help school districts free up money locally, and to help provide education for much-needed medical professionals.
Navas authored a bill to stop puppy mill abuses; working with the Humane Society and ASPCA, he authored the Responsible Breeder Act (AB 241), the Dogfighting Prevention Act (AB 242), and the Animal Abuse Prevention Act (AB 243. He requested the formation of the newly formed Assembly Select Committee on California’s Green Economy (2010), and as its chair has held briefings in Ventura County and throughout California to gather information about successful California Green Economy endeavors in order to assist state and local governments in determining which policies will encourage investment and job creation in this sector.
In 2009 Nava successfully opposed a provision for new offshore oil drilling in the Tranquillon Ridge field in the Pacific Ocean west of Vandenberg Air Force Base, off the coast of Santa Barbara County. Texas-based company Plains Exploration & Production (PXP), the fourth-largest oil producer in California, sought to drill from its existing Platform Irene, in Federal waters, using slant-drilling technology into an oil reservoir within California waters. It would have been the first new lease in California Sanctuary Act waters in over 40 years. A close review of the State Lands Commission staff report revealed numerous flaws in the deal. For example, PXP admitted to the SLC staff that they did not own clear title to all of the land that was supposed to be donated. The deal had been rejected by a 2-1 vote of the State Lands Commission in January 2009 due to what the SLC called the deal's unenforceability, and that the alleged environmental benefits were "illusory". The Governor attempted to create a review committee to bypass State Lands's authority. Several Assembly members including Nava, and a coalition of environmental groups, defeated the deal. An investigative reporter leaked a copy of the draft confidential agreement that the parties had refused to disclose. The deal contained information previously unknown by the public, including the payment of US$50,000 to the Environmental Defense Center for negotiating the deal with a promise to pay another $50,000 when the deal was approved. In addition, the Environmental Defense Center was obligated to "lobby" for the PXP project before regulatory bodies when asked to do so by PXP.