Wages paid by businesses in CD12 are $14,000 a year below the city-wide average. (LA area Chamber of Commerce)
California’s solar power industry employs nearly twice as many people as its oil and gas industry (US DOE).
Out of the nearly 4,000 businesses in CD12, the average establishment employs 25 people (LA area Chamber of Commerce).
From my experience as a scientist and sustainability educator, I know how high the stakes are. As fires spread across California, and droughts drain our farms and valleys, it has become clear that the times require bold leadership, for the sake of my children and yours.
The City of Los Angeles has begun its transition to 100% renewable energy, but the current deadline is much too late to avoid the consequences of climate catastrophe. As a member of City Council, I will make it a priority to recognize that we are in a climate emergency, and speed up Los Angeles’s deadline for 100% carbon-neutral electricity to 2025, 20 years earlier than our obligation under California’s current target.
To achieve this ambitious and necessary goal, we must begin a WWII-scale mobilization that shifts our economy away from fossil fuels and onto cheap, clean renewable energy.
My Green New Deal for Los Angeles platform calls for working rapidly toward Hal Harvey’s four zeroes: zero net energy buildings, zero waste manufacturing, zero carbon electric grid, and zero emissions transportation. We also need to radically transform the way we view water stewardship and our agricultural systems so that we grow our food in a sustainable way.
Marginalized communities are usually the first to bear the burden of climate catastrophe. Here in LA, thousands of operational oil and gas wells are concentrated in working class communities of color, impacting the health of residents. The costs of climate change disasters are borne disproportionately by those with the least means to recover from them, and with the least role in creating them.
Because of these injustices, the transition away from fossil fuels needs to be complete, and it must begin immediately. But such a large change in our economy must be done with care, to make sure that workers and their families are not left behind. That’s why we have to focus on creating more jobs at the solar farms than we cut in the gas plants.
The Green New Deal for Los Angeles must ensure that every Angeleno who currently relies on the fossil fuel industry has access to a well-paid, unionized job in green energy. That’s what I mean when I talk about a just transition: the future should be accessible to everyone.
There will be plenty of work to do. Of course there are windmills to build and solar panels to install, but it does not stop there. To replace coal and gas-fired power plants, we will also need to build massive energy reservoirs, like utility-scale batteries and pumped-water storage, which harnesses the potential of lakes and dams. Drawing on the innovations from the LA Cleantech Incubator at CSUN, and our skilled workforce throughout CD12, we have the capacity to be a leader in green energy technology development.
As a member of City Council, the Green New Deal for LA will be my top priority. The world must change. Los Angeles must lead the way.