Protestors Claim Victory Following Demonstration at Assemblymember Holden's Holiday Party

Holden reportedly agrees to meet with activist groups opposed to support for PG&E following Woolsey Fire

Published : Monday, December 17, 2018 | 5:29 AM

Activists demonstrate and sing protest holiday carols during Assemblymember Chris Holden's Holiday Party and Shoe Drive on December 13, 2018 both inside the party (left) and outside for Holden (right) . Images courtesy Ian Jameson and Lauren Steiner via Facebook.

A group of local activists is claiming a small victory following their protest action during Pasadena Assemblymember Chris Holden’s annual Holiday Party and Shoe Drive event last week.

The protestors were urging Holden to rescind his proposal to bailout Pacific Gas & Electric and instead support nationalizing the utility. The utility “has the blood of scores of Californians on its hands.” they said.

About a dozen protestors representing the California Progressive Alliance, the San Gabriel Valley Progressive Alliance, the Californians for Energy Choice, and Consumer Watchdog entered the party at Holden’s East Pasadena office and sang holiday songs with re-written protest lyrics to the gathered guests and families.

The protestors were prevented from getting close to Holden.

But Holden later left the party and came out to the parking lot to watch the group perform.

According to one activist leader, the Assemblymember agreed to meet with the activists to discuss their position that PG&E should not be protected by lawmakers.

“Chris Holden has suggested we activists schedule a sit-down meeting with him to discuss our concerns. The caroling creative protest was a success, though we were blocked by security and police from entering the main tent where he was addressing constituents,” activist Ian Burke Jameson said.

Holden was widely reported to be on the verge of introducing legislation last November to protect PG&E from possible bankruptcy following the Woolsey Fire. The utility could face billions of dollars in fines and penalties, effectively putting the utility out of business.

Holden told Pasadena Now last week that PG&E’s failure would exert a destabilizing shock reverberating through California’s economy. He said he has heard estimates as high as $40 billion for the State to take over the services that PG&E provides should the utility fail.

“I think what we’re trying to do is figure out what is the best way to go forward to make sure that the ratepayers are made whole and not harmed in any potential fallout from the wildfires,” Holden said.

“I remain committed to protecting ratepayers and making sure we have a safe and reliable electric grid. These are important issues that warrant further comprehensive discussions around wildfire preparedness and response,” Holden said. “I will be organizing a town hall early next year and we look forward to sharing the details once they are established.”

But Liza Tucker of Consumer Watchdog, said, during the protest, “If (PG&E) goes bankrupt, we will try to buy the assets and see if we can run this more cheaply.”


Editor’s Note:  This story originally said that Assemblymember Holden had introduced legislation in November to protect PG&E from bankruptcy. That is not correct. In fact, Holden was reported in numerous media to be about to do so, but as of this writing has not actually moved forward with any such bill.


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