Statement: Senator Laird on CA request for Presidential Major Disaster Declaration

SACRAMENTO — Senator John Laird (D - Santa Cruz) released the following statement in response to the State of California’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration: 

“I want to take this time to convey my thanks to Governor Newsom for his recent request of a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration in response to the extreme weather events that have hit the state, particularly in the 17th Senate District, disproportionately impacting communities in the Santa Cruz mountains, Pajaro, San Ardo, and Big Sur. 

This request signifies the administration’s recognition of the severity of the situation, and I appreciate the Governor’s actions in seeking additional federal assistance to help those affected by the damages of climate change. 

I urge President Biden to expedite and approve this request so that our most vulnerable residents are able to move forward with their recovery and relief efforts. The work is not done, and I am committed to ensuring the necessary resources are available to all of our communities to rebuild.”


Senator John Laird represents the 17th State Senate District, which includes all of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties, the majority of Monterey County, as well as parts of Santa Clara County. He previously served as the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board, a member of the State Assembly, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Aids Project, and two terms as Santa Cruz Mayor. His lifetime of public service and social justice advocacy saw him become one of the first openly gay mayors to serve in the United States. Senator Laird has been a long-time resident of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores.