Environmental Policy & Our Urban Canopy

Environmental Policy & Our Urban Canopy

The health of our environment impacts everything around us, from our food supply systems, to our waterways, to the very air we breathe. As we face the global crisis of climate change, we must take immediate action to preserve the health of our environment - that’s why I support LA’s Green New Deal, fought for better care for our city’s trees, and continue to push for smart environmental policies. I’m committed to protecting our environment for future generations, and to fighting for the many communities who are disproportionately impacted by pollution and environmental toxins.

Support for California’s 100 Percent Renewable Energy Bill

In 2017, I joined with my colleague Councilmember Koretz in support of California SB 100, which was signed into law on September 10th, 2018. This state bill, sponsored by state Sen. Kevin de León, set a target of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045, and established California as a world leader in its commitment to combating climate change and implementing alternative energy policies. 

Building Multi-Modal Transportation

In 2017, I introduced legislation to begin dockless bike-sharing and peer-to-peer car-sharing programs in the City of Los Angeles, and continue to push these much-needed programs through the legislative process. These programs would allow more people to bike instead of drive, would increase transportation options, reduce greenhouse gases and create a healthier Los Angeles. 

We’re also building more protected bike lanes on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake to both improve pedestrian safety and promote bike access. Following a community open house and online survey, I proposed a series of improvements to Rowena Avenue, including an extension of the eastbound bike lane, new safety striping at the intersection of Rowena Avenue and Glendale Boulevard, and a conversion of the bike lanes on Rowena to protected bike lanes.

I’ve also advocated for more funding and resources for the Los Angeles River, including the implementation of a continuous bike path to improve river access and promote multi-modal transit use. Through partnerships with local leaders, we were able to secure funding for a 2.2-mile path along the North Atwater East Bank Riverway between Los Feliz Boulevard and the 134 Freeway. This path will ultimately be part of a 6-mile continuous loop along the riverway.

Expanding Alternative Transportation Options

I’m proud to support efforts to expand our city’s mobility options - including the expansion of our electric bus system, bike-share and bike lanes, and other micro-mobility options.

I worked with Mayor Garcetti and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to launch the Griffith Parkline, the first parkwide shuttle system ever in Griffith Park. With 12 stops and five buses, the Griffith Parkline is the first transit system specific to Griffith Park - it’s free, accessible and efficient - and just one way we are reducing traffic and increasing access in Griffith Park.

I also fought to bring the all-electric DASH bus to Griffith Park, and worked to expand its service to bring visitors to the park seven days per week while cutting down on traffic. The Griffith Park DASH is a carbon free way to get from the Vermont/Sunset Red Line station to the Greek Theatre and Griffith Observatory, and serves over half a million people each year.

In June of 2020, I introduced legislation to make a temporary street closure program, put in place during the coronavirus Safer at Home order, permanent. A permanent network of Slow Streets, for interested neighborhoods, would allow Angelenos to have more recreational outdoor space in their own neighborhoods.

Incentivizing Telecommuting Options

In order to effectively combat climate change, we need to reimagine the ways we live and move. During the coronavirus pandemic, we learned that we can live without dangerous air pollution and standstill traffic. Air pollution has been responsible for far too much illness and death in our city - especially among communities of color. I introduced legislation instructing city departments to investigate ways the public and private sector can implement remote work strategies, including telecommuting and staggered work-day programs, as well as incentives for businesses and government officials to work from home.

Preserving and Increasing our Urban Canopy

Trees not only add beauty to our neighborhoods and quality to our daily lives, they provide a home for our local wildlife and are nature's greatest tool for cooling our City, cleaning our air and combating climate change. As we face a warming climate and increasing pollution, we need more trees, not less - and we need a comprehensive set of tree policies and long-range strategies to get us there. Los Angeles currently has one of the largest and most diverse urban canopies in the world - but it needs protecting. If we want our trees to be here tomorrow, we need to start prioritizing them today.

Got Questions about Trees in LA? Visit my FAQ

We have broken sidewalks. We have mature street trees. For too many years, the two have been in conflict. Our City needs to rebuild its broken sidewalks, but that shouldn't come at the cost of our diverse urban canopy. That's why I worked with the City's Bureau of Street Services to successfully identify new and innovative ways to repair sidewalks that don't require tree removal. It's also why I fought for more funding in the 2019-'20 City Budget for proactive tree care, which received $25 million for tree planting, maintenance and care, including a Chief Forest Officer to develop long-term and proactive care strategies for the City’s urban forest. 

But our tree policies need fixing down to the very root. I co-introduced a slate of motions that would address a number of issues facing our urban canopy. On August 12th, 2020, City Council approved my legislation calling for a series of steps towards strengthening our urban canopy.

They include:

Read the motions here.

Two of these motions were approved by the Public Works & Gang Reduction Committee of City Council in February 2019, and are continuing through the legislative process. For updates on these efforts, as well as other work throughout the district, click here

For more on tree removal and replacement procedures in the City of Los Angeles, click here.

Learn more about the issues facing trees in Los Angeles, via KCET SoCal Connected -->