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.

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