The seats were full in the Los Angeles City Hall chamber as Clean Up Green Up community supporters came out for a key meeting of the City Planning Commission. The critical vote there on August 13th moved Clean Up Green Up closer to approval as official city policy.
Residents and local business owners from the three the Clean Up Green Up communities—Boyle Heights, Pacoima/Sun Valley and Wilmington– lined up to speak. They made a strong and eloquent case for the Clean Up Green Up position: environmental justice communities need innovative land use standards to reduce and prevent pollution and protect public health. And vulnerable communities need support for local business to help with permitting processes, provide clarification of the rules and connect them with technical assistance and financial support.
Clean Up Green Up won!
The final vote–6 to 2 in favor. Now the Clean Up Green Up policy moves on to the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee in the fall—and the momentum pushes toward full City Council consideration by the end of the year.
Thanks to all the allies that turned out, both to speak and create a presence to show support.
Adrian Martinez an attorney with EarthJustice detailed the need for Clean Up Green Up–why it does not duplicate existing regulations and gives the city tools to address local impacts of concentrations of pollution.
Planning Commission chair David Ambroz noted he was impressed by testimony from Adam Lane of the Los Angeles Business Council, a long time Clean Up Green Up supporter—LABC remarks emphasized the way the policy coincides with LABC values and thoughtfully balances the economy, the environment, and equity.
It was a City Hall hearing but it made it clear–Clean Up Green Up has grown from the grassroots up.
Supporters from all three communities stood up to be counted as Veronica Padilla, Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful, called on neighbors and members from the four Clean Up Green Up groups to be recognized. Dozens from Union de Vecinos in Boyle Heights; Pacoima Beautiful in the East Valley and the Coalition for a Safe Environment and Communities for a Better Environment representing Wilmington—all rose.
Next Clean Up Green Up trip to City Hall—autumn 2015.