About Michael


I am a lifelong Democrat and have worked for progressive causes all of my life.

In the 1990s I helped win improvements to working conditions in Nike's Indonesian factories, save the last ancient redwoods in northern California, Headwaters Forest, and keep juvenile offenders out of adult prisons.

In the 2000s, I helped persuade the Obama administration to make a big investment in clean energy, and was named a Time Magazine"Hero of the Environment" for my writings on climate change.

Today, I am president of Environmental Progress, an independent research and policy organization located in Berkeley.

I was against nuclear energy for most of my life but changed my mind after I considered the facts. I now believe it is essential to the goal of lifting all humans out of poverty while protecting the natural environment. 

I decided to run for governor because California's young people, middle class, and poor are being sold down the river by selfish interest groups.

I believe that California is our greatest state because it has for so long been committed to prosperity and nature for all, not just the wealthy and those of us who are lucky enough to own a home.

I am married to Helen Lee, a sociologist who researches public health, and I have two children, including a son at the University of California and a daughter in Berkeley public schools.