Clean Up Green Up Hailed as Leading Initiative to Improve Equity and Opportunity in LA

The Clean Up Green Up policy proposal was praised as one of three great existing initiatives to improve equity and opportunity in Los Angeles neighborhoods at the Equity=Opportunity Day at City Hall.

The Los Angeles Planning Commission brought together an expert panel of veteran policy experts at the August 14th event to address a central issue of urban planning in Los Angeles.

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As the city grows and changes, how do we build in equal opportunity for all residents when it comes to economic development, quality housing, park and outdoor space and environmental health?

Land use planning may sound like a dry topic, but it’s key to environmental justice, said presenter  Joseph K. Lyou, Ph.D, President of Coalition for Clean Air.

“Show me an environmental justice problem and I’ll show you a bad land use decision,” he told Equity=Opportunity Day participants.

Dr. Lyou noted the high rate of hospitalizations and emergency room visits for African-American and Latino residents in Los Angeles County.

His presentation identified the Los Angeles census tracts that show the highest overall pollution levels—all low-income urban areas, all with people of color as the majority.

“That is inequity,” he said.

The Clean Up Green Up policy was on his list of top three policy innovations.  “You don’t have to re-invent the world” to create equity,  he said before naming Clean Up Green Up as one of the on-going initiatives that can address environmental and economic disparities in Los Angeles.

He explained the Clean Up Green Up vision:  establish Green Zones in three pilot LA communities beset with high levels of pollution and combine industrial performance standards with technical and financial assistance support for local business.

“The goal is to attract new and upgrade existing businesses, improve environmental conditions and create a model for addressing the really tough issues of cumulative impacts, land use and environmental justice.

“It’s one of the most important equity-focused policies that will come before you and the City Council within the next several months,” he said.

Los Angeles City Planning Commission President Renee Dake Wilson, along with Commissioners Maria Cabildo and Marta Segura convened the Equity=Opportunity event.

City Launches Public Workshops

May marks an exciting month for the Clean Up Green Up effort to reduce and prevent pollution and support economic revitalization in three pilot LA communities—Boyle Heights, Pacoima and Wilmington. The Los Angeles Department of City Planning hosts a series of workshops on the Clean Up Green Up Pilot Policy, one in each of the three areas, to update residents and businesses and solicit input during the first phases of policy development.

Click on the flyer below for more information and join us at a workshop!

DCP Wrkshop Flyer

2013 Year in Review

Organizer Polo Corona chats with business owners at the Guide to Green business benefits workshop organized by Pacoima Beautiful. The workshop connected local businesses with resources to help businesses "green up" and operate more efficiently.

Organizer Polo Corona chats with business owners at the Guide to Green business benefits workshop organized by Pacoima Beautiful. The workshop connected local businesses with resources to help businesses “green up” and operate more efficiently.

As 2013 comes to a close, the Clean Up Green Up initiative reflects on the progress we have made towards establishing pilot Green Zones in Boyle Heights, Pacoima and Wilmington to reduce and prevent pollution and support economic revitalization in these heavily polluted areas.

Victories at City Hall

Clean Up Green Up LA celebrated a victory at City Hall over the summer when City Council voted to fund the nuts-and-bolts development of a policy concept.

In September the Clean Up Green Up LA campaign passed another two milestones. The first: the City authorized the Planning Department to accept a grant of $100,000 from the Liberty Hill Foundation for a new Clean Up Green Up Trust Fund to support salaries and other costs associated with creating a policy.

The other break-through: a special city committee made up of representatives from the Mayor’s office, the City planning department and several City Council offices officially approved a staff position devoted to work on Clean Up Green Up.

As we turn the corner into 2014 we expect City Hall planners to soon begin work on a draft of a Clean Up Green Up policy for consideration by the Los Angeles City Council. Researchers and the community groups that make up the LA Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice have provided a thoughtful road map of a policy that would clean up and support three communities beset by high pollution levels.

There will be many opportunities for public review before Clean Up Green Up goes to City Council—each a moment to share and discuss the best ways to improve local environmental and economic health.

Clean Up Green Up–Building Local Business As Part of Building Healthy Communities

The Clean Up Green Up LA organizing team has been working in local neighborhoods to engage residents and businesses to support this innovative measure to strengthen and support healthy LA neighborhoods.

Businesses turned out in the northeast San Fernando Valley on October 24th at the headquarters of Pacoima Beautiful, one of the four community organizations promoting a Clean Up Green Up LA policy. Pacoima Beautiful, in collaboration with the Liberty Hill Foundation, organized the informational Guide to Green workshop to walk environmentally-minded business owners through the resources available to support efforts to “green up.” Representatives of the Southern California Air Quality Management District, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department along with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Valley Economic Development Center, and the Los Angeles Green Business Certification program were there to make presentations and outreach to local Pacoima and Sun Valley businesses that want to “green up” and make operations more cost-effective.

Councilmember Felipe Fuentes made introductory remarks.

The workshop illustrated an important facet of the Clean up Green Up proposal: the policy would create Green Zones in the three pilot areas where Clean Up Green Up would initially go into effect, then concentrate support for local businesses in those Green Zones. That means an ombudsman office where businesses can go for help to figure out how to find financial resources to help them “green up” and operate more efficiently as well as find help to navigate environmental regulations.

Organizers from community groups that work in Wilmington–Coalition For a Safe Environment and Communities for a Better Environment, as well as Union de Vecinos in Boyle Heights, are planning similar workshops for in February 2014 to push Clean Up Green Up across the finish line.

The community belongs in Los Angeles City Hall! And here we are on July 31st

 The three Clean Up Green Up communities were in City Hall to celebrate a recent City Council victory for the cutting-edge Clean Up Green Up environmental health measure. A June 12-0 vote approved the LA City Planning Department to develop the innovative Clean Up Green Up policy that will reduce and prevent pollution and support economic revitalization in three Los Angeles toxic hotspot neighborhoods—Boyle Heights, Pacoima and Wilmington.

Activists from Union de Vecinos stand alongside Councilmember Jose Huizar, who represents Boyle Heights and who has championed the Clean Up Green Up initiative from its beginning.

Activists from Union de Vecinos stand alongside Councilmember Jose Huizar, who represents Boyle Heights and who has championed the Clean Up Green Up initiative from its beginning.

Homegirl Café provided delicious food—two kinds of mole!—red and green.

Homegirl Café provided delicious food—two kinds of mole!—red and green.

Nury Martinez, Councilmember-elect for Council District 6, has guided Clean Up Green Up as Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful.

Nury Martinez, Councilmember-elect for Council District 6, has guided Clean Up Green Up as Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful.

Councilmember Joe Buscaino, whose District 15 includes the Clean Up Green Up community of Wilmington, couldn’t make it to the celebration--but Legislative Deputy Ryan Ferguson was there to accept a Clean Up Green Up T-shirt from Communities for a Better Environment activist Patricia Estrada.

Councilmember Joe Buscaino, whose District 15 includes the Clean Up Green Up community of Wilmington, couldn’t make it to the celebration–but Legislative Deputy Ryan Ferguson was there to accept a Clean Up Green Up T-shirt from Communities for a Better Environment activist Patricia Estrada.

Barbara Sandifor of Coalition for a Safe Environment thanks City Councilmembers for their support of Clean Up Green Up.

Barbara Sandifor of Coalition for a Safe Environment thanks City Councilmembers for their support of Clean Up Green Up.

Clean Up Green Up Victory at City Hall!

Los Angeles City HallA Key Council Vote Advances Policy to Transform Toxic Hotspot Neighborhoods into Healthy Communities

Clean Up Green Up supporters were in the house on Wednesday June 19th as the Council took a pivotal vote to more fully develop the Clean Up Green Up policy to reduce and prevent pollution in three of L.A.’s toxic hotspot communities.

The City Council’s landmark 12-0 vote directs the City Planning Department to research, analyze and draft Clean Up Green Up policy recommendations for the three pilot areas that have been pushing for the policy for the past several years: Boyle Heights, Pacoima and Wilmington.

Residents from the three Clean Up Green Up communities stood up and applauded the vote, then poured into the famous City Hall rotunda to celebrate with key Clean Up Green Up author Councilmember Jose Huizar, who represents Boyle Heights, along with Councilmember Joe Buscaino, whose 15th Council District includes Wilmington and who has steadily supported the measure.

“The Clean Up Green Up campaign represents a new generation of Environmental Justice where we work hand-in-hand with local businesses to improve the health of our communities,” Councilmember José Huizar said in a statement. “Our vision involves public-private partnerships, familiar planning tools and focused economic investment to green up existing businesses and attract new ones.”

Next steps: the community organizations that make up the L.A. Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice will reach out to residents and supporters to make sure everyone knows about this turning-point victory. Clean Up Green Up activists are also gearing up to work with the city planning department as staff formulates a plan that includes a robust community participation process.

It’s taken some time but your steady support has made all the difference! We’ll keep you posted as this cutting-edge environmental policy advances.  L.A. innovating on environmental measures once again—thanks for being part of it.

Clean Up Green Up in the News!

Leonardo Picture KPCC Article Water Transit and Toxic Hotspots... 5.20.13

Boyle Heights resident Leonardo Vilchis, of Union de Vecinos, says the next mayor can have a lot of influence on toxic pollution in his neighborhood. – Molly Peterson / KPCC

KPCC’s environmental reporter Molly Peterson recently interviewed Leonardo Vilchis of Union De Vecinos, one of the the organizations leading the Clean Up Green Up effort.

He hopes that L.A.’s new mayor will make environmental health a priority. “The new mayor could immediately put this stuff in the budget and start addressing these issues and then negotiate with the council,” he says. “And if you have this kind of leadership, things will move faster, and the community will hopefully start feeling the impacts of these kind of changes in policy.” READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

What is Clean Up Green Up?

                              

Clean Up Green Up is a public health and economic development pilot proposal to make LA communities healthier by establishing Green Zones in Boyle Heights, Pacoima and Wilmington. Clean Up Green Up aims to prevent and reduce pollution in order to protect the health of residents there, especially the ones most sensitive to pollution—children, the elderly, the chronically ill. Clean Up Green Up is healthy for local businesses, too. The proposed policy creates an ombudsman office to connect businesses with city, state and federal resources—business planning support, low interest loans—as well as help them comply with existing regulations and streamline city permitting processes (saving time and hassles). JOIN US and check out our FAQ for more info.

Victory for Clean Up Green Up!

Key City Council Committee Unanimously Approves Clean Up Green Up Work Plan!
It was unanimous on Tuesday, April 16th, when the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee approved the Clean Up Green Up work plan and set the stage for it to move off to full City Council.

More than 75 residents and allies were present when the PLUM Committee endorsed the Clean Up Green Up policy for Boyle Heights, Wilmington and Pacoima.  The action by the PLUM Committee serves as a strong recommendation to the full Council to launch Clean Up Green Up. This innovative pilot approach to the problem of some neighborhoods’ overexposure to local pollution uses traditional planning and land use tools along with economic incentives to revitalize the three overburdened Los Angeles communities. READ MORE

Check Out Our New Community Stories

The Clean Up Green Up concept emerged from communities suffering from the effects of too many pollution sources too close to places where families live, work and play. The leaders you’ll meet here from three different Los Angeles communities came to understand the potential links between family health problems and concentrations of local pollution. They decided to take steps to improve their local environments. Take a look at their stories in Boyle Heights, Pacoima and Wilmington.

Read Outgoing Administrator Lisa Jackson’s Final Message on Environmental Justice

Lisa Jackson PicIf you haven’t seen it yet, read former Administrator Lisa Jackson’s final blog. She discusses why she made environmental justice an agency-wide priority and the progress EPA has made during her administration. Administrator Jackson also talks about issuing the “Plan EJ 2014 Progress Report” and how the Agency is ensuring that environmental justice is integrated into all of EPA’s day-to-day responsibilities through this strategy – everything from permitting, compliance and enforcement, to community-based programs and the work EPA does with other federal agencies.