We call upon the City Of Los Angeles to adopt a climate action and adaptation plan to include all of the urgent items listed below, or implement them now.  Please note, these items are not ‘food  for thought’ – –  these are our demands.

 

CLIMATE EMERGENCY

#1 – We demand that the City of Los Angeles adopt a climate emergency bill package, creating a CEQA binding climate action and adaptation plan as soon as possible.

Councilwoman Yaroslavsky introduced and moved a motion with CF#22-1566 to do some of this.  But considering the Planning Department has taken 9 years and still hasn’t finished the wildlife corridors pilot, we have no faith that the department can complete an effective climate action plan in a reasonable timeframe.  The City Council already approved a motion with CF#21-1042 calling for a moonshot goal of carbon neutral by 2030, and there hasn’t been a report back yet. We want to see the City deliver that report back, and for any proposed climate action plan to aim for that timeframe. We understand LADWP believes they can’t get to carbon neutral until 2035, but we want everything else to aim for 2030 or earlier.

We’ve heard that Climate Resolve—the only organization whatsoever to oppose the formation of the Climate Emergency Mobilization Office—might be considered to receive significant funding from the City’s Climate Equity fund from the new SoCalGas pipeline franchise agreement. Climate Resolve has been funded by SoCalGas in the recent past and — and   even after the Aliso Canyon gas storage blowout — they gave SoCalGas’s VP, George Minter, a sustainability award. It is not acceptable to fund a fossil-fuel ally to do climate work, we can’t trust Climate Resolve. The City’s Climate Emergency Mobilization Office (CEMO) was created by environmental justice groups to do this work and to appropriately center Indigenous, frontline and labor communities.  CEMO should be receiving the funding and leading this work with Environmental Justice groups – not Climate Resolve.

Lastly, we need far more than a Climate Emergency Office, we need a Climate Emergency Department as originally proposed in CF#18-0054, one that can bring all Departments together to coordinate and collaborate on all of these interconnected challenges.

 

CLIMATE CLOCK

#1 – Permanently install a climate clock in City Council chambers and the Mayor’s office – as has been done in so many cities all over the world – as a constant reminder of what is at stake if this inaction continues!

 

COMMUNITY

#1 – Work with communities to develop and support accessible Resilience Centers to provide resources and relief in the climate emergency!  Prioritize the most heat-stressed neighborhoods. And SoCalGas lackeys like Climate Resolve MUST NOT be funded to do that work. Keep it in the EJ groups.

 

#2 – Up-zone the city to allow creation of green walkable neighborhoods without car dependency!

 

This is consistent with the California Air Resources Board’s 2022 Final Scoping Plan for priority local actions to eliminate GHG emissions by reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled.  This is also consistent with the Livable Communities Initiative’s vision.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

#1 – Update zoning laws to prioritize a Climate Justice framework, forcing stronger enforcement & taxes on polluters and corporations!

 

A punitive damages fund should be created for the City Attorney’s office for when they win big environmental justice lawsuits, and the money must go to projects in environmental justice communities to mitigate and address pollution damages.  Kevin James in the City Attorney’s office had this as one of his campaign pledges, and it should be actualized.

 

FOSSIL FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE

#1 – End the permitting of new gas stations and end the sale of fossil fuel vehicles.

 

A motion in CF#21-0533 was introduced to end permitting of new gas stations in Los Angeles. CouncilMember Harris-Dawson has tied the motion up in bureaucracy, calling for a report back in Energy & Environment before it is heard again in PLUM.  It needs to be kicked loose.  It is not a new issue, the Cities of Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, and Cotati in Northern California have already ended the permitting of new gas stations.  Given that the State of California is aiming to end the sale of gas vehicles in 2035, we don’t need any more fossil fuel infrastructure.  There are enough gas stations in LA; all you have to do is Google “gas station”  to see there’s one (or several) on some corners. Los Angeles can send a strong message around the world to other cities – it is time to end fossil fuel infrastructure expansion.

 

Another motion, CF#21-0890-S3 introduced to end the sale of fossil fuel vehicles in the City by 2030, must be heard and moved forward. If the State of California is to end those sales by 2035, Los Angeles needs to lead the way to end them earlier, and to bring along all of LA County to join them!  The City of Berkeley has already been exploring this pathway.

 

#2 – Close down the Ballona and Aliso Gas Storage sites.  Clean up the coal plants & fully remediate coal mines for the Indigenous tribes whose lands we have polluted for nearly half a century.

 

A pending CF#22-1466 is awaiting a hearing in the Travel, Trade and Tourism Committee and in Energy & Environment about the massive financial potential impacts to LAX, Silicon Beach and Loyola Marymount University if the Playa Gas Storage Site leaks as Aliso Canyon did. This report must be heard as a first step towards closing down the Playa Gas Storage Site.

 

In December, the City Council adopted CF#22-1467 to ensure the remediation and clean up of the Navajo and Mojave Generating Stations and their respective coal mines, to ensure the Navajo and Hopi people are made as whole as possible after a half century of providing LA power.  We need this report to be heard and acted upon.

 

After the ongoing leak at the Valley Generating Station, CF#20-1150 calls for LADWP to report on leaks in any of its power plants and educational efforts to train employees what to do.  We need to hear this report-back and act on it.

 

#3  – Fully electrify all City equipment and fleets, prioritizing the most polluted neighborhoods.

 

The CF#18-0131 requires a Zero Emissions Maintenance Equipment Pilot for City Parks and Golf Courses, beginning in the most polluted neighborhoods. The CF#22-0532-S1 requires elimination of all Fossil Fuel Equipment to decarbonize city emissions by 2025.  AQMD and the State of California have rebates.  This effort needs to move along, get the reports completed and implemented. In addition, accelerating a transition to smaller, electric fire trucks in the City—like the one at Fire Station 82—would have the added benefit of making high fire risk communities in the wildland urban interface more accessible in emergencies, and would reduce barriers to retrofitting streets to be both greener and safer.

 

HARDSCAPE

#1 –We must un-pave LA if the City is to meet its resilience targets. LA must reduce hardscapes 30% by 2037.

 

Asphalt and pavement increase temperatures, concentrate waterway pollutants, exacerbate flooding, prevent groundwater recharge, and deprive the region of critically needed living landscapes and soil carbon sequestration. The goal above underpins both Measure W and DWP’s Stormwater Capture Master Plan, yet no progress has yet been made in the City of Los Angeles. Nature-based solutions address multiple intertwined challenges hardscapes create. Reinvigorate the City’s Green Streets Committee to identify opportunities to integrate meaningful nature-based solutions into all Mobility Plan, Vision Zero, Green Streets, Complete Streets, Stormwater Capture, Green Schoolyards with the 30% target top of mind.

 

Fund and expand the effort started by the RegenerateLA motion in CF#12-1225 to spread compost in order to implement SB 1383 and create healthy, carbon-sequestering soil in all the City-managed landscapes, including parks, golf courses, medians, and parkways. The report back from LA Sanitation was approved and needs to be implemented and heard again in Committee.  Launch the jobs training program that is supposed to go with this effort.

 

HOUSING

#1  – Ensure new housing comes with new parks, so that 75% of Angelenos live within a 10-minute walk of a park by 2028. Embed these requirements in Community Plan documents, and update the City’s Open Space Element of its General Plan to prioritize provision of adequate open spaces, habitat, and biodiversity connectivity.

 

We have known for decades that the City of Los Angeles is park-poor, ranking 80th out of 100 large cities on park investments, acreage and equity. Yet despite the science, we have failed to connect that deficit to public health, economic vitality, mental well-being, and climate risks. Densifying communities without significantly expanding living open spaces addresses one crisis but compounds others. Your opportunity is to tie development and stormwater credits to acquisition properties and to bond against future Quimby funds to create these needed spaces.

 

SB 1425, which was supported by the City, requires an update to the Open Space Element of our General Plan by January 2026. The Planning Department began, then abandoned that process—OurLA2040— back in 2017. The City MUST FUND the Department to immediately reinvigorate it in a transparent, robust and inclusive process.

 

#2 – Build new Green Social Housing!

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

#1 – Create a Capital Infrastructure Plan to improve our cityscapes with green infrastructure: landscape and trees.

 

The City lacks a comprehensive multi-year CIP for our public rights of way. Programs, projects, and budgets are spread out over multiple agencies and impossible to track and manage for accountability towards progress. Department goals do not align, many are counterproductive to addressing the climate crisis. Invariably, communities most in need see the least investment, while redundant expenditures cost the City critical dollars. The non-profit Investing in Place has begun a campaign to address this and attention must be paid.

 

#2 – Retrofit existing buildings for electrification & heavy build out of urban green spaces, including for public schools.

 

The existing City Council motion in CF#21-1042 calls for retrofitting existing buildings. It is awaiting a report back and a hearing in Energy & Environment and needs to be heard and moved forward.

 

METHANE

#1 – The City must figure out the source and solutions to the massive methane problem identified by NASA years ago.  The methane leaks are 61% higher than expected.

 

PRIVATE PLANES

#1 – Solve the Climate Problem from the use of private planes: we want to see a 30% tax increase/landing fee on use of private planes, to be used for fossil fuel and pollution mitigation in environmental justice communities, and a commitment to close local private airports by 2030.  The revenues raised from this tax/fee can be used to fund other items on this list.  This may feel politically crazy, but not doing it and allowing uncontrolled climate chaos is crazier.

 

This motion from CF#22-1468 calling for a “greenhouse gas pollution fee” for private jets was approved by the City Council in December and is awaiting a report back and needs to be heard again in committee.

 

PURCHASING & CONTRACTING

#1 – Establish climate-friendly contracting standards for city departments and for the contractors and subcontractors they do business with.

 

CF#19-1351 was approved.  The report must be completed and heard in committee.

 

#2 – Audit and update the City’s Good Food Purchasing Program to ensure compliance by all City departments and concessionaire agreements, including LAX concessionaires.

CF#11-1678 was approved by the City Council and had regular reports back, but hasn’t been heard for several years. Need a refresh and to ensure that Vegan Protein Options (CF#11-1678-S3) are included as a requirement at City concessions and large entertainment venues.

 

#3 – Paperless City Offices

 

DWP was caught using virgin rainforest paper to bill customers for their coal power use     (CF# 14-0959-S1). The City Council has approved the report back for paperless offices (CF#20-1587, but it needs to be heard and acted upon. This is easy and saves money.

 

#4 – Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Master Plan.

 

A number of motions have been introduced in recent years in a piecemeal attempt to improve the City’s purchasing policies, including an overall policy review of the EPP (CF#19-0518); adding both Fair Trade (CF#09-0729-S2 and CF#20-0150) and the Buy Clean California Act (CF#09-0729-S1) provisions to the EPP; eliminating rainforest-impacting purchasing (CF#19-1418); requiring paperless offices (CF#20-1587) and paperless billing (CF#14-0959-S1); requiring EPP compliance for procurement of custodial cleaning supplies (CF#18-0600-S22); requiring compliance by the City’s proprietary agencies, the Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles World Airports, and the Port.

 

#5 – Develop a process to factor in both the social and environmental cost of carbon emissions (aka a shadow carbon price) when making cost-based decisions.

 

Minneapolis, Portland, and Vancouver, BC are examples of cities on this path. Why is Los Angeles not a leader in this space?

 

#6 – Divest from fossil fuels.

 

The City of LA does a lot to support the fossil-fuel industry in ways that we do not see. Both CF #19-1577 and CF #20-0492 passed…and stalled.

 

#7 – Establish a public bank.

 

A public bank has the potential to be a powerful tool to help us finance the changes we need to see in our economy. The motion in this CF (# 19-1235), as with most, is moving far too slowly.

 

All of these Purchasing and Contracting motions should be compiled under one Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Master Plan to ensure that the City is spending its money in the most prudent and climate-friendly way possible.

 

SCHOOLS

#1 – Work with LAUSD to invest in greening of school campuses, prioritizing those identified in LAUSD’s Greening Index analysis in most need.

 

LAUSD has committed to ensure that all District campuses are 30% greened by 2035. Their Greening Index identifies campuses in the City that are high priority. The City must collaborate with LAUSD and community-based groups to meet these targets equitably and sooner.

 

#2 – Accelerate the Joint Use Memorandum of Agreement with LAUSD to make 100 greened campuses accessible to communities on weekends, holidays and summers by 2028.

Executive Directive 31 (December 2021) directed Recreation & Parks to undertake a park equity and access analysis, create a working group, explore barriers to a master joint use agreement with LAUSD for all schools in the District, and identify City-owned properties for potential park development. This program has the potential to serve surrounding communities as well as to improve the health of students if paired with Campus Greening and the development of Resilience Centers.

 

TRANSPORTATION

#1 – End Freeway Expansion: Caltrans & Metro MUST end expansion of highways and prioritize pedestrian, multimodal, and public transit infrastructure over the speed and convenience of single passenger vehicles.

 

Governments and municipalities around the globe are adopting Green Transportation Hierarchies. Why is Los Angeles so far behind on the most basic of principles? Direct the Department of Transportation, Streets LA, and Metro to adopt a Green Transportation Hierarchy and to provide transparent reporting to demonstrate that their budget expenditures align with the hierarchy. Again, this may seem crazy with conventional thinking, but not doing it is far worse.

 

#2 – End non-essential travel by City departments, both around Los Angeles and travel to conferences, as well as institutionalizing remote work.

 

This motion from CF#22-1544 aims to have a report back on what it takes and any externalities to do that.  It must be heard in the Budget & Finance Committee and approved.

 

#3 – Implement City Mobility Plan 2035 whenever a street is repaved.

 

The City Attorney’s August draft ordinance (in CF # 15-0719-S26) is far too weak and bureaucratic to put this very simple and obvious change into effect.

 

TREES

#1 –  Trees are critical infrastructure in our climate emergency, and must be treated as such.

 

Increase protection of existing trees by implementing long-overdue update that strengthens protected tree ordinance and enacts meaningful penalties for tree removals and unapproved pruning. Penalties for damage to trees should be commensurate to damage done to a utility line. The Protected Tree ordinance update from CF#03-1459-S3 was approved by the City Council and is way overdue for hearing a report back. Without this in place, swaths of trees keep getting destroyed.  Trees must be at the top of any permitting checklist, not last.

 

#2 – Expand the City’s tree canopy in heat-stressed neighborhoods.

 

The interdepartmental memo responding to CF#15-0499-S2 includes some decent recommendations and should be forwarded to Council for a vote after consultation with the Community Forestry Advisory Committee. Crucially, funding to advance this must be a priority in next year’s budget.

 

WASTE

#1 – Comprehensive Plastics legislation

 

CF#21-0064 just had the Styrofoam and expanded plastic bag ban ordinances approved.  There is a lot more to do from this comprehensive report from Sanitation. Council President Krekorian has been a champion on these issues and is likely very willing to move more of them forward.

 

#2 – Rapidly implement a city-wide composting program to support healthy soils initiative to sequester climate emissions.

 

The City Council approved an ordinance requiring food waste recycling in order to meet the requirements of SB 1383 (CF#21-1208) and launched a healthy soils effort (CF#12-1225).     The ordinance and initiative need full implementation as soon as possible. Twenty-five states now have healthy soils legislation approved. LA was ahead of most of them to use compost on city managed lands to replace fossil fuel-based fertilizers and pesticides. Jobs development and city staff training of the healthy soils effort need to be prioritized.

 

Currently single family homes are well-served by the new composting program, but most Angelenos live in multifamily homes and are completely left behind. The City should explore an alternative pathway to expand community based compost drop-off, processing, and distribution sites rather than trucking green waste outside the City—a more community-based approach, and one that can provide green, local jobs.

 

WATER

#1  – Invest in local water by requiring LADWP to partner with communities to implement the Critical Scenario of its Stormwater Capture Master Plan.  Retrofit 4.5% of residential properties each year, as the plan calls for, which will help LA address water conservation, groundwater recharge, water quality, biodiversity, and community cooling goals while mitigating flood risk.

 

LADWP’s 2014 Stormwater Capture Master Plan has taken a back seat to planning for recycled water. They are failing to leverage existing data, and don’t appear to be aiming for— much less hitting—their own targets for distributed parcel-based projects.

 

An overhaul of their Turf Replacement Program as detailed in CF#15-0768 to better incorporate and incentivize stormwater capture is overdue. Larger investments in a more robust version of this program—and related workforce development programs—would help Los Angeles meet several climate goals sooner, more cost-effectively, and with greater community benefits than the large-scale concrete projects and low-flow diversions ever can.

 

#2 – Recycled water is only one tool in our portfolio, not the whole game.

 

Recycled water is an important component of a resilient local water supply, but it has dominated attention, staffing, and funding to the detriment of stormwater and conservation. Recycled water will require significant new infrastructure when our existing infrastructure already faces a staggering maintenance backlog. It is essentially a single purpose solution. OurWaterLA Plan began well, but ended behind closed doors as an opaque and confusing document that even consultants that worked on it have trouble recognizing. Investments in recycled water must be proportional to stormwater and conservation, which address more critical challenges with greater direct benefits to communities and a lower carbon footprint.

 

Like with the transportation hierarchy, the City must develop a water investment hierarchy and provide transparent budgets to support that commitment. Measure W promised a prioritization of nature-based projects that provided direct benefits to communities, but it has not delivered. Local Return funds should implement this hierarchy and appointees to its Watershed Area Steering Committees must commit to this prioritization as well.

 

#3 – Commit to a new vision for the Los Angeles River and its tributaries that acknowledges their importance to our past and future.

 

The City’s 2007 Revitalization Plan for the river did not account for climate change. The existing agreement with the Army Corps is not serving us well, and should be reconsidered. The role of Community Land Trusts, equity groups, social and environmental scientists, and affected stakeholders are critical to ensuring that investments along the river address the interrelated climate and housing crises. The River and its many tributaries—which wind through numerous park- poor communities—were once key habitat linkages for biodiversity.

 

Meeting City goals of securing local water supply, increasing park and open space, expanding habitat, and protecting biodiversity would all be served by facilitating the restoration of ecosystem function throughout the system. In addition, wetland and riparian habitats sequester more carbon than other land-based ecotypes. Ultimately, this comes down to land use decisions throughout the watershed. The interconnectedness of housing, transportation, parks and open space, heat island, water supply and quality, critical services, and flood risk around the LA River and its tributaries need new vision and leadership. The Army Corps’ Engineering with Nature division would be a better partner for climate-centered planning on our river system.

 

#4 – Develop a long-term floodplain reclamation plan, using the vision developed for Sepulveda Basin as a template.

 

The 2016 Los Angeles Basin Study for Conservation demonstrated that floodplain reclamation was one of the most cost-effective strategies to ensure both local water supplies and flood safety for Angelenos. The Feasibility Study for Restoration of the Los Angeles River and Tributaries in Sepulveda Basin shows what that looks like, and what critical benefits accrue. Fewer than 2% of Angelenos facing future flood losses carry flood insurance, and insurers are backing away from coverage of high-risk areas. The City needs to invest in a community-driven process to develop a long-term floodplain buy-back program that supports public safety, community coherence, local water supply, and biodiversity.

 

WILDLIFE & BIODIVERSITY

#1 – Complete the long-pending wildlife corridors pilot ordinance, and immediately begin a process to expand the ordinance throughout the City jurisdiction in the Santa Monica, San Gabriel, and Verdugo Mountains, and Repetto Hills.

 

CF#14-0518 has been heard and approved by the Planning Commission, heard and improved by Councilwoman Yaroslavsky and Raman in the Planning Committee.  Now the City Attorney needs to finish the ordinance, complete the City department process and send it to the City Council for a final vote. During public comments for the pilot ordinance, hillside communities throughout the City but outside the pilot boundaries requested future expansion of the ordinance. This should not be delayed.

 

#2 – Daylight and address the secret deals between the City and the Olympics that are delaying nature-based approaches to critically needed flood risk reduction, local water supply augmentation, habitat and biodiversity expansion in Sepulveda Basin in favor of short-term economic development. Call for a public process centering climate adaptation and community stability.

 

The CF#22-1474 aims to create a fair and public process to prioritize biodiversity, flood risk reduction, and water conservation in the Sepulveda Basin.  It needs to be heard and approved by the Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment, Budget and Finance, and Public Works Committees. SB 539 promises funding support IF these priorities lead.

 

#3 –   The City must work hard to protect the natural areas that remain, as it reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, for both the health and well-being of all Angelenos.

 

The CF#15-0499 has created an LA City Biodiversity Index and the report back approved by the City Council to have biodiversity plans from all departments. What’s been missing from LA Sanitation is a report on protecting biodiversity and increasing access to nature for lower income and frontline communities.

 

We strongly support the creation of an Urban Ecologist position as mentioned in the report back, as a scientific expert for the City, ensuring City operations protect nature and wildlife.

 

The CF#22-1469 was weakened by City Council committee. We want to ban the sale of tropical milkweed to protect Monarch butterflies and other pollinators, like they did in Ventura County. We also want the motion to be strengthened back to ending the use of non-native landscaping in City landscaping projects and banning non-native plants citywide by 2025, to match up with the City Biodiversity plan.

 

#4 – Integrated Pest Management Systems for all departments (herbicides, pesticides & rodenticides) to protect Angelenos and City workers.

 

Under CF#18-0788 (and the Healthy Soils motion #12-1225), Recreation and Parks Department is moving towards an integrated pest management system, with organics-first as a mantra and pesticides and herbicides as a last choice. Need to follow up with Rec and Parks and spread it to all other departments, including proprietaries. There is an opportunity for legislation about a comprehensive citywide integrated pest management system approach to landscape management. Also need to include rodenticides, as they took down P-22.

 

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING A POSITIVE FUTURE FOR ALL OF LOS ANGELES!

ALL OF OUR COMMUNITIES ARE DEPENDING ON YOU!

 

Youth Climate Strike Los Angeles                       Extinction Rebellion Los Angeles

(YCSLA)  Contact: Sim Bilal                              (XRLA)  Contact: Steven Starr

simmarcelb@gmail.com                                       StevenXRLA@gmail.com

 

 

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