In May 2002, Stein and his wife hosted the first of several EcoSalons in their home to keep members abreast of important environmental issues being addressed by E2 and the NRDC. Over the years, Stein personally walked the legislative halls in Sacramento and was influential in the passage of California’s landmark AB 1493 legislation to mitigate global warming by reducing harmful emission of greenhouse gases from vehicles.

“I played an unusual and active role in the passage of that bill,” Stein recalled.
Days before the California Assembly vote on the bill, the predicted vote count was one vote short of the 41 needed to win.

“I accepted the lead responsibility to educate Assemblyman Juan Vargas of the importance of the passage of the bill because he was San Diego-based and he was identified as one of five whose vote might change. The initial feed-back from Vargas was ‘no’ he was not going to vote for the bill.”

But Vargas asked for a face-to-face meeting with Stein before he flew to Sacramento for the vote “so I could explain to him again the magnitude of the bill.”

“We arranged to meet at the airport that night,” Stein said.

At Stein’s urging, Bob Epstein, the founder of E-2, passed up his fiftieth birthday party and flew in from Berkeley to join in the meeting.

The next day, Vargas cast what some consider the 41st and deciding vote in favor of AB 1493.

“Now thanks to you,” the then-Governor of California Gray Davis wrote to Stein, “California’s environmental leadership has gone global.”

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