Simitian, Joe

Are You Dense? Breast Cancer Detection Day

By Joe Simitian

Everywhere there are campaigns with pink ribbons. People march in pink T-shirts. Baseball players hit with pink bats. These campaigns to save our mothers, sisters and wives from breast cancer have had great success in increasing awareness and in raising funds for a cure.

As a result, most women know they need to get regular mammograms as they get older. Yet surprisingly few of them are aware of a widespread condition that raises the risk of breast cancer and makes it harder to detect.

The condition is dense breast tissue. Although 40 percent of women tested by mammograms have dense breast tissue, a recent survey found that fewer than 10 percent of women are aware of their breast density. To spread the word, and to encourage women to talk to their doctors, the Legislature has declared Aug. 8 “Are You Dense? Day.” Women need this essential knowledge to make informed decisions about their health.

California Leads Way on Green Energy

By Senator Joe Simitian

While a new Congress covers its ears and shuts its eyes to global warming, power-plant pollution and turmoil in the oil markets, California has seized the national leadership in clean and sustainable energy by committing itself to obtain 33 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

On Tuesday, when Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 2X, a longstanding goal became law. It is essential to address climate change, reduce air pollution, diversify our sources of energy and stimulate the economy. And it is readily achievable.

Already many utilities are closing in on the previous renewable energy mandate of 20 percent. Billions of dollars are being invested and thousands of jobs are being created by renewable energy companies whose enthusiasm for doing business in our state will be multiplied by the clear market signal sent by SB 2X that California wants the kind of electricity they generate.