Council President George Christopher Thomas

Hon. Mayor Thomas Locks in Support From Winnetka Council President Eric Lewis

WINNETKA, CA — State Senate candidate George Christopher Thomas has secured the support of community leader and Council President Eric Lewis of the Winnetka Neighborhood Council. Lewis has been the Council President for nearly four years, and served as the Vice President before his current stint as Council President. Lewis has a strong family background in public service: his father, Bob Lewis, was elected to the Thousand Oaks City Council, and also served as the Mayor of Thousand Oaks in the early 1990’s.

“I am extremely happy to have the support of fellow Council President Eric Lewis.  Community leaders like Eric Lewis are the backbone of our democracy and our local city government.  I attended and spoke at the Winnetka Neighborhood Council meeting this past Tuesday night as part of my State Senate listening tour, and know that Council President Eric Lewis is a professional and dedicated public servant who runs a fine meeting.  I embraced the opportunity to compare notes with him and discuss the issues facing our communities, which are largely the same issues facing the mid-San Fernando Valley and all of us in Southern California,” said Hon. Mayor and Council President George Christopher Thomas.

Council President Eric Lewis and the Winnetka Neighborhood Council also hosted a forum on the Porter Ranch gas leak at last Tuesday’s council meeting.  The Gas Company engaged in a thorough and dynamic discussion with representatives from Food & Water Watch, with the question-and-answer session lasting more than an hour.

“My position on the situation in Porter Ranch is to shut down all 115 storage wells, and to have the property become part of the Aliso Canyon Park facility.  We would use the land for undeveloped open space with some rugged horse trails, as well as hiking and biking paths. Until that happens, I support the language in all three State Senate bills that have been introduced: SB 875, which enacts an immediate moratorium on any new injections of natural gas and the use of vintage wells; and SB 876, which ensures that SoCal Gas will pay housing, relocation and emergency response costs and prohibit the California Public Utilities Commission from allocating those costs to ratepayers, and that it will pay the costs to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions from its utility profits.  And finally SB 877, which requires all 14 underground natural gas storage facilities to be inspected within the next 12 months and at least annually thereafter. It would also require enhanced safety standards such as the installation of subsurface safety valves, using new leak-detection technology and development of rigorous response plans,” said Thomas.

“I want to publicly thank Council President Eric Lewis for his support and endorsement of my State Senate bid. I look forward to continuing to work with him on the local government level, and as a member of the California State Legislature,” said Hon. Mayor and Council President George Christopher Thomas.

(Food & Water Watch is a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization and consumer rights group which focuses on corporate and government accountability relating to food, water, and fishing.)

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