Sustainability Committee Year In Review 2009

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Information about Sustainability Committee Year In Review 2009
Real Estate

Published on October 10, 2009




October 2009 marks the first anniversary for the Sustainability Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. This document outlines some of our work in our first year.

1. Sustainability Committee Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Year One in ReviewOctober 2009 American Planning Association - Los Angeles Planning Excellence Award for Grassroots Initiative American Planning Association - California Award of Merit for Grassroots Initiative Sustainability Committee

2. OUR MISSION The Sustainability Committee is dedicated to empowering the downtown community to create a culture of sustainability. We will work with the community to increase accessibility to existing programs and services through outreach and public education. We will identify and create opportunities for new programming and partnerships to meet our goals for a more livable, affordable, and efficient urban center. DLANC Administration FY08-09 Budget: $200.00 Sustainability Committee The Sustainability Committee met FY08-09 Budget: $200.00 for the first time in October 2008 at Ardas Cafe (owned and operated by DLANC Board Member Jon Toktas) near Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles. The Sustainability Committee had a $1,500 budget from the Neighborhood Council to spend before the end of the fiscal year June 30, 2009. Spent $387.20 Reorganized the recycled office furniture to maximize daylight; purchased green power offsets, plants, environmentally-friendly household cleaner, a Brita (instead of Sustainability Committee plastic bottles), and corn-based, biodegradable disposable cups; installed signage with tips on “best practices” around the office After brainstorming ideas for our for energy and resource efficiency (e.g. double-sided printing and turning lights off). projects and goals, the Sustainability Committee members wrote a mission statement to help people understand our plans, establish a commitment to the community we represent, and create goals to make the most efficient use of our time. The next steps: the Sustainability Committee applied for a grant to bring in additional expertise to help address the community goals and did a small project - Greening the Neighborhood Council Office.

3. LIVABILITY Urban Beautification & Living Solutions We will work to facilitate a vibrant downtown Los Angeles with clean streets, natural shade, accessible public amenities, and green space. We will work with the community to create opportunities for rooftop gardens and citywide composting to enhance the benefits of living in a dense urban environment. Project 1: Rooftop Edible & Composting Containers Project 2: Tree Planting AFFORDABILITY Equity Now and For the Future We will identify affordable solutions for the workplace, home and shared public space so all members of the community may benefit from more environmentally-friendly options. We will highlight existing cost-saving rebate and assistance programs, increase awareness and encourage participation through outreach. We will identify programs that could incorporate assistance provisions so we can advocate for greater inclusion of our community. Project 3: Increase Participation in Cost-Saving Efficiency Programs: Energy & Water Focus Project 4: Increase Participation in City & Private Recycling and Food Waste Programs EFFICIENCY Resource Efficiency and the Efficient Use of Resources We will work with the community as we transition toward the more efficient use of natural resources (water, waste, energy, land, materials, and transportation) by advocating for increased participation and utilization of existing programs and community resources. Project 5: Online Toolkit of Existing Resources Project 6: Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Grant & Community Greening Strategy EMPOWERMENT Representing our Community as a Knowledgeable and Inclusive Voice We will engage Downtown stakeholders, including those not traditionally included, to get the community’s feedback and best understand how we can help meet our long term goals for a sustainable urban neighborhood. We will advocate on behalf of our community to call attention to current needs with potential solutions. We will work with community partners and local government on their future sustainability efforts. Project 7: Event and Education Programming & Calendar Project 8: Green Living Program

4. Education MAR 2009: DLANC Committee Chair Meeting on SDAT JUN 2009: Tree Planting Community Meeting (1) JUN 2009: Valley Regional Congress Outreach Panel to engage our community on best practices and give them the tools we need at work and home. Learning what to do. JUNE 2009 The Sustainability Committee has hosted special public meetings to help the community learn more about what they can do to participate. Knowing the correct information. As our neighborhood changes, we need different resources to help us with our sustainability goals. A resource “toolkit” is under development to help all stakeholders locate the city services they need for their Park[ing] Day LA 2009 home or business. Outreach MAR 2009: Placemaking in Los Angeles workshop JUN 2009: Tree Planting Outreach Meeting (2) SEP 2009: Bilingual Postcard for Project 3 & 4 to increase participation in programs and services to help meet our community sustainability goals. Partner for community events. From the Ground Up FEB 2009 We supported the Rotary Club of Community Tree Planting Project Los Angeles Morning (District 5280) with Project Kick-Off Meeting outreach for an e-waste recycling event In partnership with: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 6:30pm-8:00pm and volunteers during the event itself. Neighborhood Council Office 453 S. Spring St., Suite 1020 Announcements are made regularly about the Sustainability Committee at events like Green Drinks. Outreach materials to be shared. For more information, As part of our communications strategy, we contact Gunnar Hand, AICP at wrote project reports to give the community SustainabilityNeighborhood Council Downtown Los Angeles Committee the latest information on Sustainability Committee projects. Advocacy APR 2009: Supported multi-family reycling chutes ordinance JUN 2009: Proposed Styrofoam ban research (restaurants) JUL 2009: Energy Block Grant for LA Convention Center to advance our community’s success by asking for the help our neighborhood needs. An educated community voice. Through research, we have begun to address issues of interest to our community ranging from energy efficiency at the LA Convention Center to the DWP MOU for ratepayers. We are moving towards being a more knowledgeable resource for our community and the City of Los Angeles. Your issues are important to us. JUNE 2009 - Committee Member Stanley Michaels presented research on Styrofoam. The Bureau of Sanitation has now asked for this research in reference to their policies.

5. 2009 Projects The Sustainability Committee has developed several projects to explore our community’s goals and needs on issues of sustainability. Community Leadership. Dedicated volunteers have taken the lead to help the Sustainability Committee develop We’ve developed several these projects approved by the Sustainability Committee Project Management Tools: in February 2009. Our Project Leads volunteer their time to host project meetings, manage the development of the project, and report their progress to the Committee at large. Letter Templates Thank you to our project leads for helping us get Project Contact Tracking Sheets our first year started with such enthusiasm and commitment! Monthly Reports & Budget Forms No matter the success of the individual project, we are Event summaries and website learning from each endeavor, tracking our progress and document our approach. We will continue to evaluate our success (and failure) so that we can efficiently learn from this experience to help us with the next. Rooftop Container Garden & Composting Project Project 1 Learning the rules to know what to change. Project Lead: Dawna Nolan This project got off to a great start but has faced many challenges. In January 2009, we had a presentation by Eric Knutzen, author of The Urban Homestead, which inspired Check out some great pictures of the Sustainability Committee to learn more about container green roofs in Downtown LA - gardens and growing food. With a small investment in supplies, you can create your own urban farm in a small (recycled) container - sounds perfect for Downtown /presentation/ apartment dwellers. Project Lead Dawna Nolan has found community partners who are interested in starting their own rooftop gardens of all scales or would like to get more involved in food composting. In June 2009, the Sustainability Committee hosted an introductory meeting to bring together many of the interested community members. Since then, however, the project has been challenged by the building and safety rules which limit the amount of “load” or weight you can put onto a roof. Even a “self- watering container” (basically a bucket with water in it) could be considered a hazard. In addition, there are several rules about composting which make it difficult to start composting projects in multi-family housing. Next steps: We are planning educational events for this We need volunteers! Please Fall 2009 to inspire Downtown green thumbs and give you contact Dawna Nolan for more the tools you need to start your own food-producing garden information or to get involved. on your window sill, balcony or rooftop. We will be doing some research to learn more about the rules limiting urban Email gardens and will start advocating for change.

6. Signature Project Area Skid Row Tree Planting Pilot Project Project 2 Planting trees across the neighborhood. By planting Project Lead: Gunnar Hand, AICP more trees in our neighborhood, we can reduce the heat island effect and lower the temperature on sidewalks; Community Partners: improve adjacent building efficiency; improve stormwater Council District 9 - Jan Perry runoff; enhance the look of the streets for a more livable Council District 14 - Jose Huizar environment. Department of Recreation & Parks Department of Water & Power A pilot to learn by example. The Sustainability Million Trees LA Committee is focused on creating pilot projects that the Rotary Club of Los Angeles Morning community can use and learn from as they too get involved LA Conservation Corps in a more sustainable future for our neighborhood. We are Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust working with community partners like the Rotary Club of Los Angeles Morning to get their tree planting initiative 29 started downtown. Commitment to tree maintenance. To help the Skid Row pilot, the Sustainability Committee is developing an 21 ongoing maintenance plan for the first few years until the Tree Planting 2009: trees are established. Potential New Trees by Street Signature Project with Million Trees LA. In partnership with the Mayor’s Million Trees program, the Skid Row Tree Planting Pilot has been designated a signature project along S. Alameda Street between East 4th & East 7th Streets 8 8 which means we will be able to plant 24 gallon trees instead of the usual 15 gallon street trees. By planting larger, more 4 4 mature trees, we will have a shorter maintenance period 2 1 2 1 1 1 with trees more likely to survive the harsh conditions downtown. TO BE PLANTED: 32 TREES TOTAL E. 4th Street E. 5th Street E. 6th Street E. 7th Street S. Alameda Central Avenue Gladys Industrial Avenue Street Kohler Street S. Los Angeles Towne Street Wilde Street Street Street Plant tree here The project objective is to plant one (1) drought-tolerant shade tree in every empty tree well PLANTING DAY approximately within the Skid Row community. Saturday, October 24, 2009

7. Projects 3 & 4 Increase Participation in Cost-Saving Programs: Energy & Water Efficiency - Waste Reduction Using free resources for cost savings. Research has Project Lead: Corey Prost started on City of Los Angeles programs that help businesses and residents save energy, use less water, and keep more garbage out of landfills. Corey Prost has been collecting Would you like to: information for the business community on initiatives by the Bureau of Sanitation, Department of Water and Power Tour a downtown recycling (DWP), and more. facility? English and Spanish - thanks David McCreary! Lower your business’ trash The Sustainability Committee would like to get involved fees? with the Spanish-speaking community of Downtown Los Angeles. We have the donated translation services thanks Dispose of electronics or to our community volunteer, David McCreary. batteries? Information for online resource toolkit. We are Cut your electricity bill at working on City of Los Angeles services to share this with no cost? Neighborhood Councils who would like to focus on their community’s sustainability. This is a transferable tool that Email can help all Angelenos where they live and work. SAVE AHORRE WATER AGUA CALL 877-728-2282 LLAME 877-728-2282 Commercial Water Conservation Rebate Reembolso por el Cuidado del Agua Comercial Save money when upgrading heating, cooling, Ahorre dinero cuando mejora la calefacción, el plumbing or landscape equipment. aire acondicionado, las tuberías, o el equipo de jardinería SAVE AHORRE ENERGY CALL 213-367-4215 ENERGÍA LLAME 213-367-4215 Commercial Lighting Efficiency Offer (CLEO) Oferta para la Eficiencia de la Iluminación Upgrade your lighting equipment, cut your Comercial electricity bills, and look good while doing it. Mejore su equipo de iluminación, reduzca su REDUCE factura de luz y verse bien mientras lo hace. REDUZCA WASTE CALL 213-485-2260 DESECHOS LLAME 213-485-2260 Free Business Waste Assessment Lower your trash fees by identifying what can Evaluación Gratuita de Desechos Comerciales be diverted and recycled. Reduzca su cuota de basura a través de la identificación de lo que se puede desviar y SAVE reciclar. AHORRE MONEY DINERO Printed Imprimir con responsibily responsibilidad Sustainability Committee Sustainability Committee 1,000 postcards were printed from funds allocated from the FY08-09 Sustainability Committee budget. This is the first bilingual (English-Spanish) outreach piece for us. Thank you to our community volunteer!

8. Project 5 Online Resource Toolkit A collaborative approach: helping your neighbor. Project Lead: Ryan Saucerman We are looking for people to help us develop content for the website - an online resource toolkit. This will be an interface Ryan also designed the website for the for the community to the City - a better approach to a more sustainable neighborhood. If you’re interested, please let Downtown Women’s Center us know. Website by Ryan Saucerman is expected to launch in January 2010. Join us for a project meeting, an upcoming Project 6 budget conversation, and a new website. Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Grant & Community Greening Strategy $15K National Grant - Sustainability Committee. Project Lead: Veronica Siranosian, AICP JANUARY 2009 It took eight months for the City of Los Angeles to agree to an MOU (contract) after the Sustainability Committee was awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sustainable Design Assessment Team Grant (SDAT). SDAT Visit is planned for However, this opportunity has been covered by local media Dec. 2-4, 2009. Get involved! including blogdowntown, Downtown News, Garment & Citizen, Curbed LA, A strategy on many different issues. MARCH 2009 Sustainability Committee hosted a meeting of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) committee chairs to discuss the SDAT process. The Neighborhood Council has committees on issues ranging from: Affordable Housing & Social Services; Arts; Economic Development; Education; Parks, Recreation & Open Space (PROS); Planning & Land Use (PLUC); Public Safety & Health; Transportation. Team of professionals to guide our process. DECEMBER 2009 As part of the grant, a team of professionals will come to Downtown Los Angeles for a three day meeting and project to help us with our sustainability goals. Last SEPTEMBER 2009, the Project Lead Walter Sedovic, AIA, LEED AP and AIA Center for Communities by Design staff Erin Simmons and Joels Mills came for a preliminary visit. The Sustainability Committee Chair hosted a tour around the neighborhood with stops in: The Standard, The Pantry, South Park, Bunker Hill, Los Angeles Theater, AECOM, LAPD Headquarters, Skid Row, Rainbow Apartments (Skid Row Housing Trust), The Exchange with the EDAW 101 Freeway Cap Park model, Dawna Nolan’s house, Chapman Rooftop, Haas Building, Broadway, Million Dollar Sustainable Community Projects Theater, DONE (Department of Neighborhood Internship (Fall 2009) Empowerment) - General Manager Bongwhan Kim, driving tour of Arts and Warehouse District including The Sustainability Committee has created its a stop in the LA RIver, final lunch at Pete’s Cafe. first internship to increase research capacity, develop more grant opportunities, improve We need your help! $3,500 of a $5,000 community match outreach, and provide a dedicated resource for We are looking for community partners to help us with this the community. Welcome Marc Ross! process - we have already committed $1,500.

9. Park[ing] Day LA 2009 Event and Education Programming & Calendar Project 7 Making it easier to get involved. With our online Project Lead: Volunteer Needed calendar, we’ve been tracking city departments focused on issues of sustainability from the DWP Solar Plan to the Bureau of Waste Zero Waste program. The calendar will be fully integrated into our forthcoming website and has a new spot on our blog - check it out and join our mailing list. sustainability This document is printed with EcoFont using 20% less ink than regular fonts. Download here: Project 8 Green Living Program Partnerships can help us meet our goals. Pamela Project Lead: Pamela Tuttle Tuttle has been reaching out to LACCD and Sustainable Works as two potential partners for a green living program in Downtown Los Angeles. By partnering with the student government, Los Angeles Community College environmental chair, district staff, and Sustainable Works, the District: Sustainability Committee would like to start a green living program open to the public on the LACCD campus. Green education empowers choice. The Sustainability To sign up for the mailing list for the Committee is focused on education as the primary means of Sustainability Committee, email us at reaching our goals for a culture of sustainability. For Downtown to be more livable, affordable, and efficient, we are committed to sharing knowledge and techniques for cost-saving tools for your home and/or business. With a large workforce and diverse residential population, we are committed to finding options that are inclusive and practical. Culture of sustainability. A regional center, Downtown Los Angeles is a creative and diverse urban neighborhood that has spurred innovation through its community. Get involved today!

10. Year 1 Stats Sustainability Committee Year-in-Review Thank you for your support! Community Partners Here is the list of community Constant Contact: Report on Email Activity partners we’ve worked with thus far: (since May 2009) AECOM Sent Bounces Opens Clicks Forwards American Institute of Architects American Planning Association Overall 3516 3.0% 30.3% 14.3% 0.3% (105) (1035) (148) (3) Bren School of Environmental Science & Management (University of California, Santa Barbara Bureau of Sanitation Last 3 months 1842 1.4% (25) 24.4% (443) 13.3% (59) 0.2% (1) City Council District 9 Office City Council District 14 Office Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles Prior May June July Aug Sep Oct Overall New Department of Recreation & Parks Contacts 51 93 61 1 1 12 4 223 Department of Water & Power Removed 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 Dawna Nolan Contacts Gilmore Associates Do Not Mail 0 0 1 3 1 1 0 6 Historic Downtown Business Improvement District List Indie Printing Growth 51 91 60 -2 0 11 4 215 Los Angeles Community College District Total Los Angeles Community College Student Government Contacts 51 142 202 200 200 211 215 Los Angeles Fashion District BID Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust Project criteria and checklist for community involvement; community Los Angeles Police Department Project 1 outreach and education; matching funds $900 to support community Los Angeles Theater & Michael Delijani initaitives/involvement in effort Mayor’s Office Millions Trees LA $500 grant received from Los Angeles Conservation Corps to be used for Project 2 $500 Rotary Club of Los Angeles Morning Planting Day tee-shirts and volunteer support. SCI-Arc Skid Row Housing Trust United States Green Building Council Projects 3-4 Outreach events during weekdays, evenings and weekends to increase $250 University of Southern California awareness of existing programs. Our 2009 projects. Here is the list of our 2009 community- Website infrastructure development and based initiatives for our first year: Project 5 maintenance; website capability $600 enhancement; potentially develop tools Project 1: Rooftop Edible & Composting Containers in partnership with Education Committee Project 2: Tree Planting Project 3: Increase Participation in Cost-Saving Project 6 Community match (share of $5,000 requirement) $1,500 Efficiency Programs: Energy & Water Focus Project 4: Increase Participation in City & Private Recycling and Food Waste Programs Parking Day 2009 ($200); ongoing needs Project 7 to support outreach and events $1,000 Project 5: Online Toolkit of Existing Resources ($50/event) Project 6: Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Grant & Community Greening Subsidize pilot program Strategy Project 8 (need-based) $500 Project 7: Event and Education Programming & Calendar Organizational Organizational memberships and Project 8: Green Living Program Memberships & cooperation; conferences and other $750 Grants resources; grant applications Board Chair Ashley Zarella Hand, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA Director, Area-Wide Workforce, Private Sector (2008-10) Budget Total Allocation $6,000 Public Vice Chair APRIL 2009 The Committee nominated Jennifer Regan (AEG) for the two-year term ending 1/2011. FY09-FY10 started on July 1, 2009.

11. Masters students from the UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management have taken on a research project focusing on the environmental advantages and economic impact of transforming our “interstitial” spaces into more livable open space. The team is using Harlem Place as a pilot and will begin working full-time in Fall 2009 to analyze the potential of this space. Check out their website for more information. A workshop for community feedback on open space. Check out the different spaces designed. Go online to Steve Davies of Project for Public Spaces presented the benefits of public space on sociability; access and linkages within the community; comfort and image of a neighborhood; potential shared uses and activities. Placemaking Learning about the importance of healthy community gathering spaces in cities. Sharing your ideas about our neighborhood, parks, and open space.

12. For more information, please contact: Ashley Zarella Hand, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA Sustainability Committee Chair Director, Area-Wide Workforce, Private Sector (AECOM) Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (2008-2010) or 917-974-1891 Sustainability Committee

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