A Big Week for L.A. Environment!

by Anonymous (not verified) on April 10, 2015

By Michele Prichard

CUGU pic (2) Members of Clean Up Green Up coalition before hearing at L.A. City Hall June 2013.

If you care about creating a cleaner, greener L.A. and preparing for the impacts of climate change, you’ll want to take a look at two new initiatives that environmentalists have promoted to have a big impact on the future of our city.

This week, Mayor Eric Garcetti released his groundbreaking “Sustainability pLAn,” a downloadable 105-page document that describes strategies for “protecting the environment as part of a comprehensive framework of sustainability — one that fully embraces a healthy economy and a commitment to social equity.”

Liberty Hill, a leader in L.A.’s environmental justice movement for 20 years, is pleased to note that elements of this plan originated with the Clean Up Green Up policy proposal developed by a coalition of grassroots organizations long supported by Liberty Hill.

Clean Up Green Up’s environmental justice vision has not only local relevance but also the potential to be a national model for toxic hotspot communities affected by concentrated urban pollution sources.

Clean Up Green Up grew from grassroots efforts by community-based organizations in three of L.A.’s “toxic hotspot” communities—Boyle Heights, Pacoima and Wilmington—with crucial support from Liberty Hill. Long-time Liberty Hill grantees—Communities for a Better Environment, Coalition for a Safe Environment, Pacoima Beautiful and Union de Vecinos—have been working since 2011 to protect environmental health while revitalizing disadvantaged communities.

In March, the Los Angeles City Council included the Clean Up Green Up measure as part of the Health and Wellness Element of the city’s General Plan.

The Clean Up Green Up proposal is simple—it uses land use and permitting measures to reduce concentrations of industrial pollution adjacent to homes, schools, parks, senior centers. It supports economic development with the Guide to Green, a publication created by Liberty Hill Foundation to help local businesses access financial and technical assistance to “Clean Up and Green Up” and the establishment of an Ombudsperson office to navigate the maze of regulations and mandates from various agencies.

With the inclusion of Clean Up Green Up in these two new city plans, Los Angeles has reached an environmental justice milestone. But there’s more to do. Clean Up Green Up LA is entering an exciting new phase this year—with a draft ordinance, community and City Council hearings expected in the coming months.

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