Archives for posts with tag: political action

Trash: the big topic for many Angelenos over the past couple of weeks.  For most of us, waste is something we don’t think about much, and can’t wait to get rid of; while we try to recycle as much as possible, and use reusable containers and the like, we still generate a tremendous amount of trash.  When we’re done with a wrapper or a soda cup, we generally can’t wait for it to be out of our sight.  However, if you’re working in the waste industry, you don’t have that luxury.  In Los Angeles, trash is currently handled in two major ways: residential waste it picked up by the city, and private waste haulers take care of commercial and large apartment buildings.  For the latter group, trash pick up is a regular cost to incur, but because they can chose the private handlers themselves, there is an argument that the environmental and safety standards these handlers are held to are lacking.  In fact, two young waste workers were recently killed due to the hazardous materials and lack of proper equipment at their place of work.  While many people, especially owners of apartment buildings, are happy with the current system and the level of flexibility it allows them, there are others who believe the environmental and safety impacts are too great to ignore.

A plan was put before the LA Board of Public Works, changing the current free-market system of private waste hauling to a franchise system, either exclusive or non-exclusive.  This means that the system would be highly regulated and companies would have to be approved by the city.  The Bureau of Sanitation put forth a set of recommendations based on their data, which was approved unanimously by the Board- the next step was a hearing on what to accept for the city.

The hearing took place on Monday, February 13th, and I was lucky enough to be informed about it ahead of time, and was in attendance.   Read the rest of this entry »

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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.