Following the old movie sports adage “build it and they will come,” a political fund-raiser at the home of Sara and Larry Wan, with guest of honor Sen. John Burton of San Francisco, president pro tem of the state Senate, turned out many of the poobahs of the California environmental community
The Wans are rapidly emerging as the California Coast’s most prominent environmental couple, with Sara Wan as chair of the California Coastal Commission and Larry Wan as treasurer and board member of the California League of Conservation Voters. Additionally, the Wans played a pivotal role in the political action committee Vote the Coast, which was very influential in the last statewide election and helped to swing some very close Assembly races into the Democratic column.
The fund-raiser for the State Senate Democratic campaign committee at the Wans’ home turned out Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) and Sen. Jack O’Connell (D-Santa Barbara), as well as Burton, arguably the most powerful state Senator by virtue of his role as Senate pro tem. Also in attendance were Assemblymember Sheila Kuehl, chair of the Assembly Judiciary committee, Mary Nichols, secretary of the California Resources Agency, and practically enough California Coastal Commissioners to make a quorum.
The environmental community included Joe Edmiston and Liz Cheadle of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy; representatives from many environmental organizations, including Heal the Bay, NRDC, Sierra Club, L.A. Watershed Coalition; former Assemblyman Mike Roos; and numerous representatives from federal, state and local governmental agencies, as well as a number of industry representatives who couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend and lobby all these people at one time.