When you compare big business’ rationale for opposing an exclusive commercial waste franchise system with the proposal they’re pushing for now, the two are hard to distinguish.
Don’t Waste LA is calling for an exclusive franchise system to serve our businesses and apartment complexes, consistent with the path taken by 55 other Los Angeles and Orange County cities, along with San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Seattle and countless cities up and down the state. The coalition joins the City’s Bureau of Sanitation, the environmental community, waste experts and high-road haulers in arguing that exclusive systems are the only legitimate path for the city to reach its Zero Waste, clean air, job and health and safety goals.
On the other side, Angelenos for a Clean Environment (ACE), as pure an embodiment of “astro-turf” advocacy as has ever been seen in L.A., is a coalition organized by business lobbyist Cerrell Associates,
NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Fund] and Move LA released a report today touting the expansive benefits of sustainability planning in three of California’s largest cities—representing nearly two-thirds of the state’s population. The report explores how Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego are already building the cities of the future thanks to the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, or SB 375, authored by Senator Darrell Steinberg in 2008.
Four years ago, SB 375 was nothing less than a revolution in the way California plans for growth. It linked regional transportation planning to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging a wide range of travel options and giving Californians the kinds of communities they want.
Our analysis found that enacting SB 375 into law was an achievement that distinguished California as a national leader in creating communities that meet both our economic and environmental challenges.
Los Angeles, long fighting its reputation as one of the least green cities in the country, is making real changes to improve its standing.
City leaders and members of RePower LA gathered Monday, September 17, to recognize the City’s major strides in energy efficiency. The event took place at a South L.A. home while workers demonstrated an energy efficiency upgrade on the residence. It was part of a Department of Water and Power (LADWP) program championed by the RePower LA coalition. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council President Herb Wesson, Councilmember Richard Alarcon, DWP General Manager Ron Nichols, business leaders and residents each spoke about the importance of energy efficiency and job creation, particularly in the current economy.
“We’re proud to announce a renewed commitment to energy efficiency from the Department of Water and Power,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “DWP has proposed to more than double its energy efficiency budget.
How different would California look with Proposition 32’s passage? To imagine, it’s not necessary to focus on a Golden State without the legacy of its unions, but rather to think of a California in which only the rich and powerful have a say in Sacramento and in the polling booth.
“It will have a devastating effect,” says John Logan, director of Labor Studies at San Francisco State University, of Prop. 32’s impact. “California would be transformed as a state.”
On environmental issues alone, Prop. 32 stands to roll back decades of progress in making California a global leader in green policy-making.
“You don’t have to go very far back to find likely examples of how it would change California,” Logan says, adding that Prop. 32 would remove labor’s voice from nearly all political conversations.
That voice is not always confined to lobbying efforts in the state legislature.
On Monday, September 17, RePower LA will be joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council members, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power general manager Ron Nichols, and others at the site of a South L.A. home undergoing an energy efficiency upgrade.
City leaders are now touting the programs, initially proposed by the RePower LA coalition, which are upgrading small business facilities and the homes of those struggling in the current economy. The customers reduce their energy use and save money, L.A. reduces its reliance on dirty coal-fired power plants, and members of our hardest-hit communities are able to access good career path jobs through the Utility Pre-Craft Trainee program of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18.
With such win-win-win potential, it is good to see LADWP and city leaders embracing energy efficiency as a central pillar of L.A.’s future.