What right does a Swiss transnational corporation have to come into our drought-hit state and steal hundreds of millions of gallons of freshwater from beneath our feet?

None. At. All.

Yet that’s exactly what Nestlé has been doing, bottling our public water then selling it back to us, day in and day out, for years. While anxious Californians count the inches of rainwater we’ll need to get through next growing season, this corporation is busy draining our aquifers to pad its shareholder profits.

The water grab must end, and when I am Lieutenant Governor I will make sure it does. A corporation that illegally abuses our ecosystem, resources and communities is not a corporation we can tolerate. It is time to stop Nestlé and put regulations in place that protect California’s public water from private hands.

Sign this petition calling on lawmakers to outlaw Nestlé’s water grab! #NotOneMoreDrop

The point here isn’t that I’m against all corporations, or against business in general. I am against corporations that illegally suck up every inch of our state’s water that they can – even in times of dire shortage and drought – then profit by selling our precious resource back to us. In the San Bernardino National Forest alone, Nestlé has stolen some 62 million gallons annually, depleting this most vital of resources on our public lands.

I am also against corporations that influence the political process in the way that Nestlé has done. Since the 2012 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org, the company has spent $22 million on lobbying efforts to shape legislation favorable to its bottom line. It has also, over the last two decades, contributed a reported $4.2 million directly to candidates running for office. This is money influencing politics at its worst.

And it’s not only in California, Michigan, and other U.S. states where Nestlé is robbing the people’s water. In conjunction with Coca-Cola, Nestlé is now attempting to privatize the Guarani Aquifer, one of the world’s largest freshwater reserves located beneath Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. According to estimates, the reserve could provide enough water to support the entire world’s population for 200 years. Will we really let a corporation, or handful of corporations, do this kind of damage?

Nestlé’s activity, both abroad and in our backyard, isn’t something the law should allow – so it is time to change the law and make this kind of water extraction for private gain illegal! As California’s Lieutenant Governor, I will have a seat on the State Lands Commission, giving me a powerful platform to fight to protect our state’s water.

I am running a corporate-free campaign because I believe that corporations have profoundly corrupted the political process and I believe a different, more honest, more people-powered politics is necessary to create an economy that works for everyone. My message is a clear one: Politics should not be for sale. When corporations have their way, like Nestlé with our state’s water supply, a sliver of the population – the 1% – gains while the rest of us lose.  

It is time to act to save our precious resource. And it is time to elect corporate-free progressives to office, end Citizens United, and get money out of politics once and for all.