Note from CSO Lauren Faber O’Connor

When Mayor Garcetti released the Sustainable City pLAn in April of 2015, he not only set time-bound commitments to be achieved in 2017, 2025, and 2035; he set into motion unprecedented collaboration and focus to bringing environmental health, economic opportunity, and equity to Angelenos.

What do I mean by collaboration? Here are a few examples:

EV Deployment: The pLAn calls for at least 50% of all future vehicle procurements be electric by 2017, the most ambitious procurement commitment of any city at the time. For nearly two years, our office has convened an EV Task Force with 13 city departments on a monthly basis to coordinate all of the City’s fleets – General Services, LAPD, LAFD, LAWA, POLA, and DWP. In that short amount of time, the task force helped the City procure over 475 electric vehicles, and developed an EV charger deployment strategy for municipal facilities and in the public right of way.

Environmental Justice: We set a goal to reduce the number of census tracts in the top 10% of CalEnviroScreen by 25% by 2025 and when a unique opportunity like the Transformative Climate Communities grant came about, we were ready. Through proactive engagement with local community groups and city departments, three exciting and worthy projects were put forward. The Watts Rising Collaborative was the successful candidate this year, with sixteen co-applicant organizations ranging from local non-profits, clean tech companies, and city departments led by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles. By working together, they turned a $35 million grant into an over $203 million project that will revitalize the neighborhood, fight climate change, and improve the health of residents.

Clean electric grid: Last June LADWP convened the first meeting of the 100% Renewable Energy Advisory Group – including universities, non-profits, neighborhood councils, businesses, and the U.S. Department of Energy – to launch this unprecedented analysis of LA’s electric system. Our goal for this study is not “if” but “how” and so we have intentionally sought a diversity of expertise, backgrounds, and perspectives represented to help guide the study.

International Leadership: 2017 was marked by a surge in collaboration among Mayors and cities. With Mayor Garcetti’s leadership in adopting the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement, he helped invigorate now 402 Mayors around the country to do the same. As we assess our progress since the pLAn was launched, we are looking ahead at opportunities to stretch our ambition and make the pLAn a world leading example of what it means to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. To deliver on its commitment, L.A. has teamed up with C40 to create one of the first Paris-compatible city sustainability plans which we will achieve through the Sustainable City pLAn refresh – a collaborative process to review pLAn goals, incorporate new goals, and include deep decarbonization pathways. The pLAn refresh is set to be completed by the first quarter of 2019 and stakeholder engagement is already underway.

Last year was indeed a marquee year for the pLAn. It was the year we set as our near-term target date for 61 ambitious outcomes. As we mark 2017, I am proud to share that our City departments, local businesses, nonprofits, and other partners came together to achieve, and in many cases exceed, 90% of our 2017 goals (see page 15 for our status on the remaining six outcomes).

I want to thank our partners inside the City family and beyond the City family. At a time when the Federal government has turned its back on environmental protection, and all the benefits to our health and prosperity that come with it, Mayor Garcetti is not just staying the course, he’s leading it. That leadership is made possible by our partners. We cannot make the goals of the pLAn a reality without you, so thank you for your passion, dedication, ambition, and action.

Onward!

Lauren Faber O’Connor, Chief Sustainability Officer