State Sen. Steve Glazer may not exude much warmth toward constituents, but some of election year strategies in recent years have been electric. Days before Thanksgiving, Glazer announced a bill proposed for the next legislative session in January that would ease some of the more inconvenient aspects of PG&E’s power shut-offs — the inability to use your beloved cellphone.
While most cities in the North Bay and East Bay are figuring out how to respond with the haphazard nature of PG&E’s power shut-offs, which are intended to limit exposure to potential wildfires during dry and windy days, Glazer’s proposed bills would put the onus on telecoms to make sure their cell towers remain powered.
The proposed legislation would require cellphone company’s towers to have a minimum of 72 hours-worth of back-up power and to give battery packs to all customers who could be endangered by long power shut-offs.
Glazer has used a high-profile local issue that poses a threat to the daily rhythm of his constituent’s lives with great success in the past. He was elected to the Lamorinda and Tri-Valley state senate seat by way of his strong opposition to BART strikes that were roiling the Bay Area on 2015 and 2016. The labor unrest angered many commuters, especially those in the politically-moderate suburbs that Glazer represents.
In addition, anti-PG&E sentiment could be a bit higher in some parts of Glazer’s district, such as Lafayette, which was one site where the utility’s equipment started two fires last October that destroyed a tennis club.
Glazer, a Democrat, is facing a intraparty challenge from Marisol Rubio, a health care provider and Berniecrat, in the Mar. 3 primary. Republican Julie Mobley is also a candidate in the top-two primary.