Archives for the month of: September, 2011

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is in danger of having its funding cut!

“Uhh, whats that?”, you may ask.  Well, I’ll tell you:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and US Dept. of Transportation (DOT) got together in 2009 to help form programs that protect the environment, provide more access to affordable housing, and increase affordable and accessible transportation options.  Sounds great, right?  Well, unfortunately there are people out there who are very against it- people who care more about their personal pocketbooks, right to own acres of suburban property they’re doing nothing with other than watering, and keep people who they don’t deem worthy of occupying the same areas as them out, than the future of our urban and ecological environments.  Sure, they’re entitled to their parochial opinions- but we can speak out too.  And for people who don’t want more taxes (cough cough), this collaboration MAKES SENSE because by connecting these groups into a unified coalition, they’re more able to communicate and create progarms that benefit all of them at once, meaning a more efficient use of tax dollars.  (Wow, that wasn’t politically charged at all…)

“In the past week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to strip funding for the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The Senate will consider funding for the Partnership in the coming days, and now is the time to tell your Senators to maintain funding for this important program.” – Smart Growth America

In order to contact your local senator and have your voice heard, go to this website on Smart Growth America’s webpage.  I’ve sent in my email, you should too!

Here is the government’s website, and the website for the partnership itself.

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Last week, I attended the 2nd annual Women in Green Forum (aka WIGF), which was an awesome conference of about 150 women and few men.  It was very casual yet professional, and even though I was too sick to make it to the 2nd day, the sessions I made it to on the 1st day were exceptional and thought provoking.

Heres some highlights:

• Wahleah Johns, Executive Director, Black Mesa Water Coalition, spoke about the destruction of her homeland in Arizona due to our thirst for electric power in places like LA, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.  It was really heart-wrenching to hear direct from the source about the places from which we get our power, and really out into perspective what is necessary and what is NOT in our lives.

Mary Leslie, President, Los Angeles Business Council, Ann Davlin, Director of Development, Carbon War Room, and Nancy Flyod, Founder & Managing Director, Nth Power spoke about the realities of financing green technologies and energy in a variety of venues.  Really inspiring and made the change to greening our city seem more realistic.

• Sarah Potts, City Director, Los Angeles, Clinton Climate Initiative/C40, Angela Fox, President/ Chief Executive Officer, Crystal City BID, Amanda Eichel, C40/Cities Program, Clinton Climate Initiative, Gillian Wright Director, Customer Programs and Assistance, Southern California Gas Company shared a variety of thoughts on programs at various levels of government.  Angela Fox’s presentation on Crystal City’s BID was especially intriguing- if you can make it Crystal City, it sounds like you really should

The other speakers were all excellent, too!  I also test drove a Chevy Volt and an electric Honda Accord- both very cool and very far out of my price range.  Being a green traveler at this point for me means borrowing a car when necessary, but mostly biking or walking around LA (which means I don’t go much of anywhere.  Its pretty scary biking in the Valley).

We were also treated to the world premiere of The Right to Breathe, a relatively depressing look at air quality in LA.  You can see a trailer of the documentary here.

Hope to attend next year as well!