Councilmember Herb J. Wesson Jr. holds press conference to introduce the “Invest in a Green LA” Initiative.
WESSON INTRODUCES “INVEST IN A GREEN LA” INITIATIVE
Package Gains Early Support
Following up on the enactment of his Green Retrofit and Workforce Program earlier this year, Councilmember Herb J. Wesson, Jr. today announced the introduction of three City Council motions that (1) preserves our environment; (2) restores our natural landscape; (3) promotes green construction job training; and (4) establishes a plan to remove blight from utility wires in the City of Los Angeles.
“This is a precedent-setting package of legislative proposals that would make Los Angeles a national pioneer and a model in making the green economy work for the city and its residents,” said Wesson. “The Invest in a Green LA legislative package is environmental legislation, economic and job creation legislation, savings and efficiency legislation, and blight removal legislation -all rolled into one.”
The Invest in a Green LA package includes three legislative proposals that would reinforce the city’s commitment to a better environment. The first proposal creates a path for funding three major environmental initiatives recently enacted by the City of Los Angeles: the Green Retrofit and Workforce Program, the Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan and the Los Angeles CleanTech Corridor Initiative. Wesson’s proposal would direct city agencies to evaluate the amount of funding necessary to implement the three aforementioned environmental initiatives. The goal is to put the city in a strong position to obtain grant funding from outside sources or place a bond measure on the ballot when conditions merit.
The second proposal in Wesson’s Invest in a Green LA package calls for the creation of a plan to remove the blight of utility lines in the city by committing to the goal of undergrounding 25 percent of the utility lines in the City of Los Angeles by 2030. Undergrounding utility lines would not only improve aesthetics but also reduce tree trimming and air conditioning costs by allowing for larger tree canopies to cool buildings and neighborhoods. The Department of Water and Power (DWP) currently has a program whereby the city would pay for 50 percent of the cost of the undergrounding of utility lines if another entity pays for the other 50 percent. That program, however, is voluntary. Under Wesson’s proposal, undergrounding utility lines would become a city policy with specified targets.
The third proposal in Councilmember Wesson’s Invest in a Green LA package is a motion directing the Los Angeles Housing Department to develop a policy requiring all residential rehabilitation projects that receive $25,000 or more from the City of Los Angeles to meet LEED for Homes silver or higher standards. Organizations supporting the Invest in a Green LA initiative who attended the press conference included the Sierra Club, the Los Angeles Apollo Alliance, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building Trades Council, IBEW, Local 11, Friends of the LA River, and the Green LA Institute.
“Creating and sustaining good green jobs is a larger part of President Obama’s vision for recovery and moving our economy forward,” said Wesson. “The Invest in a Green LA legislative package puts the City of Los Angeles in an excellent position to maximize our commitment to long-term investment in our economy and our environment.”