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Lieutenant governor candidate Janelle Kellman recently held a meet-and-greet in Encinitas. Courtesy photo/Kellman
Lieutenant governor candidate Janelle Kellman recently held a meet-and-greet in Encinitas. Courtesy photo/Kellman
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Lieutenant governor candidate brings climate conversation to Encinitas

ENCINITAS — Lieutenant governor candidate Janelle Kellman brought her campaign for climate leadership to Encinitas, hosting a casual meet-and-greet event on Dec. 1 with beer and tacos at a local supporter’s home.

Kellman, an environmental lawyer and Sausalito City Council member, has worked on coastal adaptation and stakeholder engagement across California and beyond. She also wanted to let people know about the lieutenant governor race and why they should care about it.

“Part of my motivation to come down here is, of course, to connect with voters in Southern California, but also to understand, on the ground, how this is playing out in Southern California,” Kellman said. “What does it mean to have a beach renourishment project? What does coastal adaptation mean for folks that live along the Southern California coastline versus maybe living up in Humboldt? Or Eureka or someplace?”

In California, the lieutenant governor holds the second-highest executive office after the governor and serves as the president of the California State Senate, casting tie-breaking votes, presiding over legislative sessions and maintaining order and decorum.

Janelle Kellman, center, a candidate for California lieutenant governor, pictured with supporters. Courtesy photo
Janelle Kellman, center, a candidate for California lieutenant governor, pictured with supporters. Courtesy photo

The lieutenant governor is also involved in education, environmental and economic governance, serving as a voting member on boards overseeing the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges systems.

The statewide elected position chairs the State Lands Commission with the state controller, managing vast areas of state-owned land, including offshore oil resources and navigable waterways. They are also involved with the California Ocean Protection Council and the California Coastal Commission.

The lieutenant governor also leads the California Commission for Economic Development, which advises the governor, legislature and private sector on fostering the state’s economy.

The current lieutenant governor, Eleni Kounalakis, is the first woman elected to the office in California history. Kounalakis, a Democrat, is serving her first term, which ends in 2026.

Kellman said she sees the role as an important position to address climate change.

“Each community faces unique climate challenges, but we’re all dealing with threats to our coasts, jobs, and quality of life,” Kellman said. 

As mayor of Sausalito last year, she secured $1 million in state funding to conduct a vulnerability assessment and coastal adaptation planning.

Kellman’s nonprofit, the Center for Sea Rise Solutions, works on issues like stakeholder engagement, community education and developing regional advisory boards to help communities tackle climate challenges in coastal areas around the world.

Kellman’s supporters said her experience taking action at the local level makes her the ideal candidate.

“She’s the type of leader who can bring people together and cut through bureaucracy to get results,” said Encinitas resident Victoria Fulton.

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