Gavin Newsom's 'culture of distrust' revealed by ex water conservation manager
Max Gomberg tells about working for environmental justice at the State Water Board under Govs. Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom
This is the first of two parts from my interview with Max Gomberg that took place recently in Santa Monica, in which he talks about how he got to work for the water board and the differences in management styles between Gov. Jerry Brown and Newsom that led to his departure.
Max Gomberg served as a conservation manager for the California State Water Resources Control Board for ten years under Governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom. Working there, he faced challenges from two historic droughts, climate change, and the pandemic.
Gomberg resigned in July of last year in a letter addressed to “everyone.” In it, he warned of “dark and uncertain times” due to rising fascism and decreasing habitability on Earth from human-caused climate change.
Gomberg slammed the Governor’s failure to adequately respond to those issues. “Sadly,” he wrote, “this state is not on a path towards steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.”
Gomberg looks at climate change and water management though an environmental-justice lens. He calls for massive housing construction instead of more prisons, reduced law enforcement budgets, and sharp cutbacks in big-agriculture in order to reallocate “resources to programs that actually increase public health and safety.”
He accuses Gov. Newsom of blocking the ability of his handpicked water board to respond to climate change with policies that promote the reasonable use of water and environmental justice.