Green LA Action Plan to Fight Global Warming
This afternoon I joined the mayor and many of my colleagues from the city council at Debs Park to announce the Green LA climate change action plan. The mayor presented the comprehensive Green LA plan, which builds on the many climate change initiatives that the city council has been championing, and he set an ambitious goal: to reduce Los Angeles' citywide greenhouse gas emissions 35% below 1990 levels before the year 2030.
My staff and I have been working diligently to reduce our climate impact. We have instructed LAX to pursue energy efficient green designs as it modernizes its terminals. We have introduced legislation to make all new City buildings qualify for the LEED Silver sustainability rating. We are also championing the LAX Green Line extension, a mass transit project that could replace thousands of vehicle trips per day by LAX employees and travelers.
There is no more time to simply talk about global warming. We are a minute away from midnight on this issue, and we have a responsibility to the world and to future generations to make Los Angeles a greener city. I look forward to working with the mayor and the city council to implement new policies that will help us reduce our emissions and meet our ambitious target.
To read the Green LA Action Plan, click here
ESGR Pro Patria Award
Last Friday members of the Department of Defense's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve presented the Pro Patria Award to the City of Los Angeles. This annual award recognizes organizations that go above and beyond to enable their personnel to fulfill National Guard and Reserve obligations.
The City of Los Angeles supports guardsmen and reservists who are called up for training or deployment by continuing their compensation while they are on duty. The City continues full pay for 30 days, and will continue differential pay as long as an employee is on active duty. The City also continues to provide benefits for personnel and their families when an employee is called into military service.
As a veteran and a public official, I feel it is our duty to provide all means of support to members of our City family who are called into military service. I am very proud of the City of Los Angeles' record on this issue, and I was honored to accept the ESGR Pro Patria Award on behalf of the City.
Introducing New LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey
Today, we introduce the newest general manager of what is perhaps the most storied and most recognized airport on Earth, at a time when LAX is at a crossroads.
Ms. Lindsey takes the reins at Los Angeles World Airports at its most critical moment in recent history. She will shepherd our city through the environmental process and construction of a multi-billion dollar modernization of LAX that will include a refurbished Tom Bradley International Terminal, a new Consolidated Rental Car facility, a state-of-the-art Automated People Mover, and a long-overdue connection to the Green Line.
This sounds simple enough, but her first, and perhaps, greatest challenge will be to strike a compromise with airport neighbors on a new Master Plan. That plan must meet the needs of business and the airport without negatively impacting the environment, traffic, and the surrounding communities. Any LAX modernization must first and foremost demonstrate that it does not worsen the congestion that chokes the streets and highways that lead to LAX.
And, we cannot ask to take more businesses and homes in the Westchester community to expand this airport. It is time we give back some of that space by planning for community use of the LAX Northside and Manchester Square.
I have said this before and I will say it again, there should be absolutely no reconfiguration of the northern runways unless good, hard, technical analysis shows us there is a safety problem and shows us how to solve it.
Ms. Lindsey will oversee the implementation of LAWA's strategic plan to regionalize air traffic in Southern California, starting with our own regional airports at LA/Palmdale and LA/Ontario. As we move forward, I want to see more options for passengers at Ontario and Palmdale. And, as the increasing demand for goods movement continues to strain the infrastructure surrounding LAX, I want to see us plan for moving more cargo operations to those airports.
Lastly, I want to thank Samson Mengistu for stepping up to serve as Acting Executive Director during our transition phase at LAWA. His service to the city was, as always, outstanding.
On behalf of my constituents in Westchester and Playa del Rey, I welcome Ms. Gina Marie Lindsey. I look forward to working closely with her.
LA/Palmdale Airport Begins Commercial Service
Yesterday, Southern California took a giant step in the direction of regionalizing air travel as LA/Palmdale Airport showcased its newly remodeled airport and celebrated the landing of its first commercial jet. I flew up to Palmdale for this event, where I joined Palmdale Mayor James Ledford, Lancaster Mayor Henry Hearns (both pictured), as well as Los Angeles Airport officials to welcome the arrival of the United Express jet from San Francisco. Beginning on June 7, 2007, United will fly two roundtrips a day between PMD and SFO, where travelers can connect to dozens of domestic and international flights.
This new service marks the highest point yet in collaboration between Los Angeles and Palmdale to further regionalization efforts. The opening of LA/Palmdale Airport is a fundamental part of our regionalization strategy -- it eases the traffic gridlock that chokes our highways and streets, expands air service for our traveling public, and gives air passengers another convenient air travel alternative to LAX. As the Chair of the Southern California Regional Airport Authority (http://www.scraa.org/
), I look forward to working with officials across the region to further develop commercial service at LA/Palmdale Airport.
City Council Video is On Demand at www.LACity.org
Yesterday, the City's Information Technology Agency unveiled a new system for connecting the people of Los Angeles to their government. Now anyone in the world can logon to the City's website and view City Council proceedings On Demand. On Demand means that you don't have to watch a certain channel at a certain time or drive down to City Hall to watch a meeting. Now you can check up on your elected officials at your convenience.
The new video system takes the video feed from LA CityView Channel 35, converts it to a digital video format, and distributes it via streaming video. It also has handy features that let you jump directly to a particular agenda item, search the transcripts of a meeting to find keywords, and view official documents relating to each item. You can even search back through 12 months of archived City Council footage. For those of you on the go, take the City Council with you as an MP3 podcast. For more info about the system, click here
As a former public affairs broadcaster, I believe that public access to information is crucial to sustaining a healthy democracy. This new On Demand system is a fantastic way for us to expand access to our city government, and I hope you will check it out.
To access this system, go to http://www.lacity.org/
, and click "Council Meetings (Live & On-Demand)."
New Red Light Camera at Pico and Bundy
Last week I got together with LAPD officers and DOT staff to unveil a new red light camera system at the corner of Pico Blvd and Bundy Dr. This intersection had the highest number of accidents of any intersection in the 11th District, so it is the first to have the camera system installed. This intersection also recently had a left turn signal installed as part of my Westside Anti-Gridlock Plan. These are crucial investments in public safety that will make our streets safer for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, and keep people moving on the Westside.
Across the City, traffic collisions have decreased by 15% at intersections equipped with red light cameras. The systems feature multiple cameras that capture a violation from every angle. When the system captures a violation, it is reviewed by LAPD officers before a citation is mailed to the driver. With a fine of $381 for running a red light, we had all better think twice before we try to rush through a yellow light.
The camera system is fully operational, but citations will not be issued for the first 30 days in order for drivers to become familiar with the system. For more info, see the Red Light Camera FAQ
on the Hot Topics section of my website.
Fire Ecology Hike at Malibu Bluffs
From the SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS CONSERVANCY
and MOUNTAINS RECREATION & CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
On a late afternoon in January, 2007, a small fire began near Malibu Bluffs Park. A combination of high winds and low humidity allowed the fire to quickly spread across the park and to nearby homes. But nature is resilient and by April, visitors to the park were seeing signs of new growth. Fire ecologists tell us that, paradoxically, the conditions seen after a wildfire are the very circumstances that promote rapid regeneration and renewal.
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority are offering a fire ecology hike to help explain some of the principles of fire ecology, using conditions and examples found at the park. This easy walk is suitable for families with children.
Saturday, May 12
4:00 - 5:30 PM
Malibu Bluffs Park
24250 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road
Join us as we explore the park and observe the growth and renewal that occurs after a wildfire.
For more information about hikes and events visit: http://www.lamountains.com/parks_calendars.html
Big Sunday at LAPD Pacific Division
This past weekend the City of Los Angeles celebrated the 8th Annual Big Sunday event. Thousands of people across the city turned out to perform acts of community service ranging from mural painting to tree planting. This year's Big Sunday actually took place on Saturday and Sunday. Council District 11 residents turned out in great numbers to contribute to their local communities. Some projects included a clean-up of Mar Vista Library and mural painting and planting at Charnock Road Elementary School. Councilman Rosendahl joined the Del Rey Neighborhood Council and the Pacific Explorers in removing weeds and trash around LAPD's Pacific Division. What a great way to directly give back to local communities, and a big thanks to all the volunteers who participated.
Mar Vista, Del Rey Field Deputy
Thank You Officer White
Last Thursday I met with residents from Venice and Mar Vista at Penmar Recreation Center to give thanks to Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer Craig White. On Friday, April 27, 2007 Officer White retired from the LAPD after more than 36 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Los Angeles. He graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy on January 25, 1971 and served with deep commitment and professionalism in North Hollywood, Venice Division, Venice Traffic Division, West Traffic Division, and Pacific Division: Beach Detail, Explorer Advisor, Patrol, Senior Lead Officer, and Bike Patrol Instructor. He has consistently distinguished himself as a clear example of leadership and honesty. His dedication to professionalism and his record of outstanding achievement exemplify the highest tradition of the LAPD.
Senior Lead Officer Craig White's most rewarding career highlight is his inspiring and challenging six year participation in the Police Unity Tour. This 3000 mile bicycle ride to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. with the primary purpose of raising awareness of the police officers who have died in the line of duty. You can find more information about the California Policy Unity Tour at http://www.calput.com/sponsorRider.asp
I congratulate Senior Lead Officer Craig White on the completion of his outstanding career in law enforcement, and I extend best wishes to him and his wife, Julie, for a long and happy retirement.