Glendale is at a crossroads.
As wildfires spread across California, climate change has become an issue of public safety and health in Glendale. Glendale is among the top 10 cities in California for number of structures facing severe fire risk. Besides increasing fire risk, rising temperatures are also exacerbating smog formation and threatening our precious water supplies. It is not surprising that young people are increasingly anxious about the future.
Time is running out to take action. The consequences for continuing with “business as usual” are dire. I lived in China for many years, and there I saw firsthand what environmental destruction looks like. We don’t want that in Glendale. Whether we are looking at lives lost, or its fiscal impact, climate inaction comes with a price tag we cannot afford.
But every crisis is an opportunity in disguise. This is an opportunity to build community around solutions, to rethink stale approach to problems, and to create new job and career possibilities. There are micro-grids to install and energy efficiency retrofits to complete. There are trees to plant and bike paths to build. It will take work to make Glendale both more sustainable and more resilient. But it will be a better Glendale, a future-proofed Glendale, a jobs rich Glendale, a more neighborly Glendale where everyone participates.
I plan to leverage my knowledge from a career in banking and finance, and as an economics professor at Glendale Community College, to build a greener, smarter and safer Glendale.
Of course, Glendale cannot fix the crisis alone. But we are not alone.
Hundreds of cities, states, and countries are stepping up on climate and making bold pledges. Neighboring Los Angeles just shut down three of its pollution-heavy, gas-fired power plants, to be replaced with renewables. Here in Glendale, we have a similar situation with Grayson Power Plant, an obsolete facility that the City wants to spend millions to rebuild. Rebuilding a gas plant would be an expensive mistake. We have the technology and the workforce ready to replace it with clean sources of energy. All we need is a vision and leadership bold enough to take that step.
Let’s build the green community of the future, starting right here at home. Let’s make Glendale a model of the possible.
As your City Councilmember, I will:
- Demand GWP exhaust all other options before considering investments in gas generators at Grayson or Scholl Canyon;
- Insist Glendale commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with State goals and that GWP develop a roadmap to get to 100% clean energy by 2030;
- Promote ordinances to ensure that new commercial and residential construction is as energy efficient and green as possible, including weaning us off of gas for building heating and cooling;
- Support efforts to get people out of their cars, including better mass transit options, more protected bike lanes and a focus on walkability;
- Push to expand our urban canopy to make the City cooler and more walkable and the air healthier and fresh;
- Work to convert our City vehicle fleet to electric power and to phase out gas landscape equipment on City properties;
- Ensure that the new Office of Sustainability be adequately staffed and empowered to hold City departments accountable.