Bill Quirk was elected to be the Assemblyman for District 12 in November. Quirk shared with The Olympian his ideas and motivation for serving in the state government.
Quirk has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and has worked on the Goddard Institute Climate Model. He taught physics at Columbia, Caltech, and UC Davis. He served two terms on the Hayward City Council. He currently serves on the utilities and commerce, agriculture, and public safety committees.
“I’m here because I was studying greenhouse warming in the 70s. We knew it was a real problem but we couldn’t see how bad it would be and it’s much worse than we ever expected,” said Quirk.
As a member of the utilities and commerce committee, Quirk wants to focus on reforming the energy grid instead of improving existing technologies. He explained that the grid is not set up to facilitate alternative energy sources to a capacity that would allow these technologies to supply a majority of the energy for California. He explained that wind turbines work best at night but not on hot days, and how solar works well on a good day but needs a place on the grid to store the energy.
Quirk wants to streamline agricultural regulation, as a part of the agriculture committee. Rather than changing the policies that protect the environment and the safety of the farmers, he wants to reduce the number of regulatory agencies and remove legislation he thinks is cumbersome for farmers.
“We try and make the regulatory system easier for farmers,” said Quirk.
Quirk would like to help businesses in the same way by simplifying the regulatory system. In addition, Quirk is a member of the Assembly’s public safety committee. His main objective is to reform the penitentiary system to include more rehabilitation programs for convicts. Additionally, he does not want too many additions to the legal code.
“Just get involved,” Quirk responded when asked about what a student in high school can do to influence global warming. “When you’re in college, there will be young Democrats and Republicans, so just be involved because you have a voice. It’s about being out there and involved that’s how you make a difference.“