4 Questions About Climate Change in California

California is the leading U.S. state in climate change efforts. On September 30, 2022, the CalAsian Chamber hosted a virtual Meet & Greet with California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair, Liane Randolph. She chatted with attendees and explained CARB’s core mission to promote and protect public health by reducing air pollution while considering the effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for California’s climate change programs. Here are 4 questions that attendees asked, and here are Chair Randolph's answers:

  1. How are California’s air resources and air quality monitored, and what kind of granularity are they forecasted?

    Accurately measuring air quality is the foundation of California’s efforts to reduce air pollution. For more than 50 years, California has maintained one of the most extensive air monitoring networks in the world, collecting data on a wide range of pollutants.

    The California Ambient Air Monitoring Network consists of more than 250 monitoring stations operated by federal, State, and local agencies. The air monitoring data generated define the nature and severity of pollution in California, provide real-time air quality information, assess community exposure, and more. To find real time and historical air quality data by local air district, click here.

    Additionally, the Pollution Mapping Tool includes emissions data for toxic air pollutants along with previously available criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHG) from large facilities in California. The tool can be found here.

    Community air monitoring, conducted under California Assembly Bill 617, is intended to generate data that will support action to reduce emissions and exposure. CARB has developed an online resource to provide an abridged compendium of information on air monitoring technologies and activities, and pertinent resources for developing effective community air monitoring programs. Click here.

    CARB worked with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to conduct a large-scale statewide aerial methane survey. This first-of-its-kind survey utilized an imaging camera, called Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer - Next Generation (AVIRIS-NG), capable of seeing methane to visually identify large methane plumes throughout the State. Information on this study can be found here. Additional information can be found on local air district websites. 

  2. What incentives are available to businesses to lease/purchase/or utilize EV modes of transportation for commuting and business travel within the city (electric vehicle cars, buses, e-scooters, etc)?

    There are several resources available for identifying incentives, including the following:
    - Electric for All: https://www.electricforall.org/rebates-incentives/
    - Moving California: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/movingca/movingca.html
    - CARB Incentives: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/topics/incentives
    - California Bicycle Coalition: https://www.calbike.org/bike_purchase_incentives/
    - Guide to State & Local E-Bike Rebates and Tax Credits: https://www.juicedbikes.com/blogs/news/state-guide-electric-bike-rebate-and-tax-credit
    - The Funding Wizard: https://fundingwizard.arb.ca.gov/we

  3. What information is available on charging large electric trucks? Do you plan to look back at specific regulatory costs to results?

    There is a lot of information available on zero emission vehicle infrastructure for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles. Check out the resources available here.

    As part of CARB’s rule-making process, the benefits and cost impacts to small businesses are included in the Initial Statement of Reasons. Following several workshops, the economic analysis is reviewed, revised, and presented in the Final Statement of Reasons. Some regulations and programs (e.g., California Climate Investment Program) do track costs and/or other metrics (e.g., tons of greenhouse gases reduced, jobs created, etc.) over a few years. 

  4. How can California small businesses help measure, track, and report emissions?

    Small businesses can get involved in air monitoring activities through the Community Air Protection Program (AB 617).  Check the map to find a nearby community and take a look at the community’s website (see the links on the left side of the webpage) for community engagement opportunities, emission reduction activities, implementation progress, and other resources.

    Small businesses can also apply for a Community Air Grant. A workshop on the forthcoming solicitation for applications was held on October 20. The video recording of this workshop can be found by clicking here. Sign up for the mailing list by clicking here. The request for applications was released on December 5, 2022 and the applications are due March 3, 2023. Your local air district may also have opportunities for small businesses to participate in air monitoring activities. 

More about CARB's work

CARB actively works to:

  • Set health-based air quality standards for vehicles, fuels, consumer products, and sources of toxic air contaminants. 
  • Develops and implement policies and rules to address greenhouse gas emissions. 

CARB’s efforts this year have focused on moving away from fossil fuel combustion, including by:  

California has committed a record $54 billion to support the State’s transition to carbon neutrality, build resilience to climate change, and embed equity and economic opportunity across our climate investments. This includes a combined $10 billion over six years to accelerate the transition of the transportation sector to zero-emissions, with a focus on communities most impacted by pollution. In addition, the State is working to maximize California’s share of federal funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Q&A with Board Member Jason Chan

The CalAsian Chamber is advised and led by a Board of Directors with invaluable insight across all industries. One of these voices is Jason Chan, the Director of External Affairs at AT&T. Jason has led an impressive career spanning more than 15 years, with vast experience forging powerful, strong relationships among individuals and organizations. Read more below on Jason's experience and advice.

Tell me more about your role at AT&T and what drives you.

I have two roles at AT&T: working with the national public affairs team and serving as the Chief of Staff to the President of the West Region. In my role with the national public affairs team, I support a variety of third-party groups, largely with the AA/NHPI community, which I’ve been doing for almost eight years. In the chief of staff role, I support Ken McNeely, President of the West Region for AT&T’s External and Legislative Affairs team. There, I work with a variety of state presidents, supporting Ken on day-to-day operational activities.

What drives me? Finding intersections between the AA/NHPI community and AT&T/corporations for potential areas of alignment. Most of the time, diverse communities or nonprofit organizations rarely align with corporations. I always enjoy trying to find areas where the two elements can share space looking for opportunities to expand it.

What kind of impact do you hope to make in California’s diverse communities? Why is this work so important to you?

California is a majority minority state; it’s a melting pot of different communities — people of different backgrounds and cultures. California’s diversity is one of the reasons why it is the fifth largest economy in the world. That diversity is why California is a beacon of hope for people around the world and it’s why people want to live here. What I want to do is lean in on that diversity because California is a state where we celebrate our diversity, whereas other states only tolerate it. The impact I want to make is to continue to highlight California’s diversity and use it to further expand opportunities for California’s residents and to demonstrate to the U.S. the positive power that diversity has on our society.

As a child, I had a lot of help when I came to this country; there were many people that helped me and my mom, adjust to living in the U.S. I want to be able to help new immigrants and minorities just as I was helped. People come to the U.S. thinking of the American Dream, and I want to help these groups achieve their American Dream. My goal is not about cutting up a pie into smaller pieces or getting a larger piece of the pie, it’s about making a bigger pie so that everyone can get more. That’s the impact I want to make.

What is some key advice that has helped you throughout your career?

There's a saying, "A rising tide lifts all boats.” One of the key pieces of advice that I’ve received is that a lot of people have helped me get to where I am, and I should continue that cycle as I move forward. Secretary Norm Mineta used to describe the concept of a ladder, where you use one arm to pull yourself up, and use your other arm to pull up others. Over the years, I’ve received help from countless people, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities that have risen because other people believed in me. Now I’m in a position where I can give back to those that are in my shoes from my past experiences, so I do my best to bring them along whenever I can.

The other piece of advice is that participation is important. You must speak up, otherwise you won’t been seen. It can be hard to find your voice, especially when you feel like you’re the only person like you in the room, and it can be easy to fall prey to imposter syndrome, to feel like you don’t belong — but you can’t let that thought process take over. You were invited to the space, and you need to take that opportunity to shine. Whenever you’re in that situation, you need to remember that you’re speaking not just for yourself, but you’re speaking for your community, so you should never shy away from an opportunity to do just that.

Learn more about CalAsian's Board of Directors here

Q&A with Board Member Melinda Yee Franklin

Earlier this year, the team at the CalAsian Chamber welcomed Melinda Yee Franklin to our Board. Melinda is the West Region Executive, Community Engagement/Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan
Chase. She is a thought leader and strategist with a sustained track record of successfully enhancing corporate reputation to generate sales revenue and drive business development. Melinda has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times and more. Read the advice Melinda shared with us below, and scroll to the bottom for her full bio.

Tell me more about your role at JPMorgan Chase and what drives you.

As the West Region Executive for Community Engagement at JPMorgan Chase, I work closely with colleagues in Global Philanthropy, Government Relations, and across the firm to build sustainable relationships with local policy, community, and business leaders, advocates, and nonprofits and develop solutions that help create an inclusive economy. What drives me are opportunities to make a difference in the community, impact individual lives, and do good for society. I believe I’m in a great place to do just that in my current role.

What is your goal for making an impact in diverse communities across California?

There are many ways my team and I are striving to make an impact in diverse communities across California. We continue to identify organizations to work with communities that need support across multiple focus areas, including jobs and skills, affordable housing, small business growth, and financial health. Through the firm’s Racial Equity Commitment, we’ve already deployed or committed more than $18 billion toward our $30 billion goal. This commitment helps to address key drivers of the racial wealth gap across underserved communities throughout the state.

What's some key advice that has helped you throughout your career?

Take risks. Don’t be overly cautious, don’t be afraid of the unknown, and trust your instincts. Take a leap of faith to go after new opportunities and take on new challenges.

Learn more about the CalAsian Board of Directors here.

Melinda Yee Franklin is a thought leader and strategist with a sustained track record of successfully enhancing corporate reputation to generate sales revenue and drive business development. She has cultivated a global network of high level corporate, government, non-profit, and civic leaders which enables her to execute on business initiatives. Through her various leadership roles, she has demonstrated strong expertise in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG), risk and crisis management, public policy, strategic development, and international affairs.

In January, 2021, Melinda was appointed to serve as the West Region Executive, Community Engagement/Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. She is responsible for the development and execution of the firm's Corporate Responsibility strategy and Community Engagement efforts throughout the Western United States, including California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. In this capacity, she leads her team’s efforts to shape business initiatives and investments to support local communities and to drive the firm's impact. Prior to United, she held executive positions at The Siena Group and Meet World Trade where she advised organizations on strategic investment, marketing, human resources, and business development initiatives. She was also a White House presidential appointee in the Clinton Administration and served as a senior international trade official with the City and County of San Francisco.

In 2021 and 2019, she was named one of the most influential women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times. She is the immediate past Chair of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. She is also a past Chair of the San Francisco Travel Association and sits on the boards of the San Francisco Opera and the National Association of Corporate Directors, Northern California Chapter.

Since 2006, she served as the Managing Director of Corporate and Government Affairs for the Western Region for United Airlines. She was the company’s lead advocate on corporate and policy issues in the region. She lead legislative strategy on privacy, tax and other critical business issues that impacted the aviation industry.

Prior to United, she held executive positions at The Siena Group and Meet World Trade where she advised organizations on strategic investment, marketing, human resources, and business development initiatives. She was also a White House presidential appointee in the Clinton Administration and served as a senior international trade official with the City and County of San Francisco.

In 2021 and 2019, she was named one of the most influential women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times. She is the immediate past Chair of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. She is also a past Chair of the San Francisco Travel Association and sits on the boards of the San Francisco Opera and the National Association of Corporate Directors, Northern California Chapter.

12 Small Business Resources You Should Know About

During the CalAsian Chamber's 9th Annual California Policy Summit, several statewide leaders, policymakers, and influential advocates joined us to share useful tools and resources for our small business community. This list was compiled during the event, all the below resources are available to explore. To receive updates from our policy team regarding upcoming events and resources, subscribe to our newsletter!

  1. AB-617 Community Air Protection Program: In response to Assembly Bill (AB) 617 (C. Garcia, Chapter 136, Statutes of 2017), California Air Resources Board (CARB) established the Community Air Protection Program (CAPP). The Program’s focus is to reduce exposure in communities most impacted by air pollution. Communities around the State are working together to develop and implement new strategies to measure air pollution and reduce health impacts.
  2. California Climate Investment Program: Funded solely by Cap-and-Trade proceeds, California Climate Investments puts billions of dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment - especially in disadvantaged communities.
  3. California Foodservice Instant Rebates: With the California Foodservice Instant Rebates Program, California Investor Owned Utility (IOU) customers can get valuable Instant Rebates on qualifying energy-efficient equipment for their businesses. You can skip the paperwork and receive an Instant Rebate as a discount directly on your invoice when you purchase qualifying high-efficiency natural gas or electric commercial foodservice equipment from participating dealers. Qualifying equipment must be installed at a non-residential site that receives natural gas and/or electricity service from one or more of the California IOUs.
  4. California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) Funding Programs: CalOSBA offers numerous small business grants and loans. Many of these funding opportunities are ongoing, while others have application periods with current deadlines approaching. This funding is available for eligible small business owners across California to apply.
  5. California Air Resources Board (CARB) Email List Sign-Up: CARB shares regular updates regarding clean energy news, initiatives, and policies across the State of California. This is an easy and helpful way for small business owners to ensure they are complying with clean energy requirements while also receiving resources that can support them in doing so.
  6. CARB Board Meetings: In addition to the newsletter, you can attend CARB Board Meetings to participate in discussions about California's decarbonization efforts.
  7. CARB contacts for assistance: Helpline: 800-242-4450 or helpline@arb.ca.gov Ombudsman's Office: 916-323-6791 or ombudsman@arb.ca.gov
  8. Cool California: Cool California's goal is to provide resources to help all Californians reduce their environmental impact and be part of the climate change solution. Their resources include a carbon footprint calculator, climate action map, funding opportunities, and more.
  9. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA is a great resource for staying up-to-date on current and changing policies regarding clean energy and climate action. Their webpage contains helpful information and news, plus other resources and topics regarding public health.
  10. Funding Wizard: This is a tool for financial incentives, grants, rebates, and more. The website is easy to navigate and can connect individuals and small business owners with potential opportunities to receive funding from a number of organizations and sources.
  11. Sacramento Municipal Utility District's (SMUD) Mapping Tool: If you're based in the Sacramento region, SMUD's interactive mapping tool helps analyze current data to indicate the local areas most likely to be underserved or in distress by lack of community development, income, housing, employment opportunities, transportation, medical treatment, nutrition, education, and clean environment.
  12. SMUD's SEED Program: This is another resource from SMUD. Their SEED program offers incentives to local small businesses that participate in SMUD's competitive bid process. It also helps prime contractors find local sub-contractors, which gives their bids or proposals a competitive edge.

For more information regarding the CalAsian Chamber's work in policy, you can contact our Senior Public Policy Manager, Andrea Cao, at acao@calasiancc.org

Thank You to California's Legislators!

Several legislators in California are terming out in 2022, and the CalAsian Chamber would like to recognize and honor their contributions to Statewide policy work. Below are four legislators who worked with the CalAsian Chamber or the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus, or carried a bill that benefitted the AAPI community. Thank you for your dedication to AAPI communities across the State!

Dr. Richard Pan

Dr. Richard Pan is a pediatrician, former UC Davis educator, and State Senator proudly representing Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove and unincorporated areas of Sacramento County.

Dr. Pan is Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and the Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Ca

ucus. He also serves on: Budget and Fiscal Review; Education; Business, Professions & Economic Development; Human Services; the Budget Subcommittee on Health & Human Services; and the Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response.

TIME magazine called Dr. Pan a “hero” when he authored landmark legislation to abolish non-medical exemptions to legally required vaccines for school students. Dr. Pan also authored one of the most expansive state laws regulating health plans eliminating denials for pre-existing conditions and prohibited discrimination by health status and medical history. He demands transparency and accountability in state health programs.

Dr. Pan and his wife are raising two young sons and run a small business dental practice. The son of immigrants, Dr. Pan attended public schools and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University, a Medical Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University.


Senator Jim Nielsen

A successful farmer and rancher, Senator Jim Nielsen grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley and graduated from Fresno State with a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Business. After college, Jim worked as a ranch foreman and operated the family cattle, field and row-crop ranch. He later founded a company that utilized rice hulls and rice straw for fuel.

Elected to the State Senate in January 2013, Senator Nielsen proudly represents the citizens of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties. Senator Nielsen serves on the following committees: Budget and Fiscal Review (Vice Chair); Elections and Constitutional Amendments (Vice Chair); Governance and Finance (Vice Chair); and Governmental Organization (Vice Chair). Sub-Committee: No. 4 on State Administration and General Government. Select Committees: 2020 United States Census; and Mental Health and Addiction. Joint Committees: Fairs Allocation and Classification; Fisheries and Aquaculture; Rules; Legislative Audit (JLAC); and Budget.

Given his extensive experience, Senator Nielsen is a Commissioner on the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency whose mission is to investigate state government operations and policy.

Senator Nielsen was originally elected to the State Senate in 1978 and served as Republican Leader from 1983 to 1987. In 1992, he was appointed Chairman of the California Board of Prison Terms, where he served until 2007. He was elected in November 2008 to represent the North State's Second Assembly District in the State Legislature.

Read more of the Senator's bio here.


Assemblymember Jim Cooper

Assemblymember Jim Cooper proudly represents California’s 9th Assembly district, which includes the cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Galt, and Lodi.

Cooper currently serves as Chair of the Public Employment and Retirement Committee and is also a member the Governmental Organization Committee, Insurance Committee, and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration. Cooper has also served as the Assistant Majority Leader and Assistant Majority Whip under then Speaker of the Assembly, Toni Atkins.

Assemblymember Cooper has an extensive background in law enforcement and local government and serves as the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Community and Law Enforcement Relations and Responsibilities.

Before joining the Assembly in 2014, Cooper served as a Captain in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for 30 years and spent 15 years as Elk Grove’s founding mayor and councilmember. He established solid governing values, balanced the city’s budget, and built a city from the ground up.

Cooper has earned numerous awards, including the Bronze Star for Bravery for actions during the 1991 “Good Guys” hostage crisis. He also spent three years working as the Department’s spokesperson and spent nearly a decade working as an undercover narcotics officer and gang detective –investigating illegal activity to fight drug trafficking in Northern California.

Community service is a significant part of Assemblymember Cooper’s life. He has served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home.

Cooper grew up in Sacramento and is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Academy and FBI National Academy. He earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College.

Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian

Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (He/Him) was elected in November 2012 to represent California’s 46th Assembly District, which includes the Hollywood Hills, Lake Balboa, North Hills, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Universal City, Van Nuys, and Valley Village.

Since his election, Adrin has diligently worked to create educational opportunities for young adults, increase mass transit in the San Fernando Valley, provide smarter management of vital water resources through infrastructure improvements, protect and expand the film industry, and strengthen our infrastructure for much-needed earthquake resiliency. He chairs the Aging and Long-Term Care Committee, as well as the Select Committee on 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games; he sits on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee, Health Committee, Transportation Committee, and Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration.

Adrin is proud of his record, taking on powerful special interests in Sacramento. He has led the fight in Sacramento by doing the following:

  • bringing entertainment jobs back to our communities
  • protecting our affordable housing and helping homeless individuals get off our streets and back on their feet
  • taking on the NRA to pass sensible gun laws
  • standing up to health insurance companies to allow doctors to prescribe medicine, not health insurance companies

Read the Assemblymember's full bio here.