When I’m elected to the City Council, I will work tirelessly to make LA’s streets cleaner, greener, and more livable for everybody. I have cared about environmental issues for my entire life and have a lifelong love for the great outdoors, ever since I spent summers in the wilderness as a young kid.
Residents of Council District 5 care about the effects of climate change (including rising sea levels) as a community relatively close to the coast and many need to deal with the unique environmental risks of living in the hillsides. They worry about the drought as well as air pollution. Residents also care about greener ways to move around the city, including public transit and bikeway projects, as many look for alternatives to the soul crushing traffic of the Westside and the San Fernando Valley.
Particularly in Southern California, local leaders worry about drought and other consequences of climate change. Lucky for us, people here recognize that climate change is real and one of the greatest existential crises of our time. While the big solutions will need to come from the federal government and the international community, our cities have a role to play.
We need to make our public transportation systems more accessible and affordable. We need to reduce water and energy consumption. And we need to ramp up the usage of green energies. Additionally, we can’t take our eye off the ball of the still-significant problems of air and water pollution.
The top five environmental issues facing our district and the City are (1) greener transportation, (2) the drought, (3) rising sea levels, and (4) the creation and conservation of open space.
We need to both create and conserve open space. Many cities have been creative in creating new open spaces through public-private partnerships, like New York’s High Line park or Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail or New York City and San Francisco’s creation of urban parklets. I will create a public-private partnership program in Council District 5 to explore new, creative ways to create great park and recreational spaces. I will flat out oppose any efforts to reduce the total amount of park space in Council District 5. I will be committed to a policy of conserving parks and open space.
With the new Trump EPA director appointed, who is a climate change denier, it is more important than ever that we be vigilant against efforts to turn back the progress we've made on the environment. We can not allow CO2 emission standards to be eliminated, allow off-shore drilling, and fracking to occur in the city, and we must continue to properly regulate toxic chemicals.
I will fight to make mobility greener by giving people options to take mass transit or greener ways of getting around. Transportation is now the largest source of GHG emissions in Los Angeles (largely due to the effort to reduce LADWP's reliance on coal power). We need to focus the sustainability agenda on transportation, because that is one area where the City has the power to change things. We need to give people more mobility options by creating human-scale neighborhoods that are walkable, bikeable, or accessible to public transit (including ridesharing). We have enormous potential with Measure M funding and the new Purple Line going through the District.
For the drought and other consequences of climate change, we need to do everything we can to ramp up the city’s usage of green energy by continuing to cut down on dirty coal. Additionally, we need to improve our data analytics on water consumption to see how we can make our water-recycling program more effective. We need to focus our efforts on demand, as well as supply.
While I see no clear solution at a local level to the rising sea levels, community leaders in Council District 5 need to see how we can better equip our transportation system and re-enforce our hillsides and other infrastructure for the pending changes to our coastline. I will also fight any effort by the federal government to encroach on the progress we’ve made on climate change.