Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Greening LA

When I hear the words Green and LA in the same sentence I have a wide range of images, not all of them with positive connotations. In fact I have indulged myself in a rant against one part of Mayor Villaraigosa's Green LA plan. There is one view of water wasted on picture perfect suburban lawns while we are beginning to wonder whether we will have enough for a shower.

However, Siel gives us another picture from the Emerald City. She nets out what an environmental coalition called Green LA is trying to accomplish.
Enter Green L.A., a coalition of 50 or so environmental and community-based organizations in L.A, working to shape city policies. According to Jonathan Parfrey, director of Green L.A., the coalition basically came together when Mayor Villaraigosa got elected, because many groups saw the new mayor's enviro-commitment as an unprecedented opportunity to push the city into a greener direction. After all, back in 2005, Villaraigosa said "Let's dare to imagine Los Angeles as the cleanest and greenest big city in America." So enviro and community-based groups linked arms and launched Green L.A. in Dec. 2005 to take Villaraigosa at his word.
The list of what they are trying to do is almost right. There is one topic that is missing from the list. That is to influence LA's Planning Commission, Building Code, permitting process to back adhere to the standards put forward by Architecture 2030. Anyone who has viewed Ed Mazria's recent webcast knows that this is job 1 (to steal a line from Ford).

Every city seems to be getting in line to do something. Chuck Reed has a big public Green Vision for San Jose. Like Villaraigosa's Green LA plan, it is long on goals and short on effective specifics. Gavin Newsome made the same claims for San Francisco since 2004. None of them has it right, but Siel has shown us where our non-profits are making a difference.

It would seem to me that there is a real opportunity here for local Green Party candidates to step in, point out the obvious failings of the Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose paper plans and to begin attracting real backing from those who still care about the environment. Take the time to watch Mazria's web cast is you have not yet done so.. I did mention it before.

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