Climate & Environmental Justice

Our city faces unprecedented environmental challenges, from rising temperatures and increasing wildfires to air pollution and water scarcity. Frontline, low-income communities of color pay the price first and worst. Just look at our very own Boyle Heights, a historically Latino community known as a “toxic hot spot” facing disproportionately high rates of child hospitalization for asthma, due to the unfettered freeway expansion in our district. Enough is enough – it’s time for bold action. That’s why Ysabel is ready to lead the way for a greener, more resilient Los Angeles that leaves no Angeleno behind.

Tree Canopy Maintenance and Expansion:

  • Ensuring Year-Round Tree Canopy Care: Implement a comprehensive strategy to protect existing tree canopy and ensure regenerative maintenance practices. This proactive approach will combat the urban heat island effect, making our neighborhoods cooler and improving overall air quality.
  • Community-Driven Reforestation: Launch community-based tree planting stewardship in partnership with local organizations and residents. By empowering communities to take ownership of their green spaces, we can significantly expand our urban tree canopy, enhancing the beauty and sustainability of our city.

Response to Climate Impacts:

  • Stormwater Capture Rebate Program: Californians livelihoods are threatened by the extreme drought that has persisted. In an effort to combat climate change and ensure Angelenos are prepared, Ysabel will advocate for a stormwater capture rebate program for Angelenos who use rain barrels or install a stormwater friendly driveway.
  • Climate-Resilient Disaster Preparedness: Develop a robust, city-wide response plan specifically tailored to climate-related disasters. Prioritize vulnerable populations and establish an early warning system to ensure swift, equitable evacuation and assistance during emergencies.
  • Maximizing Federal Resources: Secure federal funding and resources for preparedness and response efforts related to extreme heat, recognizing it as a federally recognized disaster. This will bolster our capacity to provide immediate relief and support to those in need.
  • Community Resilience Centers: Establish accessible Community Resilience Centers as multifunctional hubs serving as cooling centers during heatwaves, warming centers during cold snaps, and as spaces for community and youth development year-round. These centers will become pillars of resilience within our neighborhoods.

Preventing Climate-Induced Displacement:

  • Climate-Resilient Housing Policies: Implement a comprehensive set of policies aimed at safeguarding vulnerable communities from climate-induced displacement. These measures will include rent controls, tenant protections, and zoning regulations designed to secure housing stability in the face of climate-related challenges.
  • Build Smart: Build more affordable housing in areas that face less impact from climate change to ensure that more people are spared from extreme heat inland. Currently, denser multi-family housing is not allowed to be built in many of these areas, meaning only the most wealthy can afford to live in the expensive single-family houses there. We can create a large increase of accessible housing in these climate-resistant areas without the need for funding by upzoning areas currently zoned exclusively for single-family housing and streamline the review process for multi-family housing, particularly affordable/mixed-income development.

Climate Justice and Equity:

  • Equitable Resource Allocation: Champion the equitable distribution of resources and investments in historically underserved communities, ensuring that those most affected by climate change receive the support they need to thrive.
  • Revitalizing Existing Programs: Bolster funding towards existing underdeveloped programs dedicated to climate and environmental justice to maximize their impact and reach, making them more effective engines of positive change.
  • Climate Justice through Soil Remediation: Remediate contaminated soil from the Exide Battery Plant while partnering with academic institutions to implement phyto- and myco- remediation (plants and mushrooms, respectively) to help convert formerly contaminated sites into soil safe for food production.

Revitalize LA River and Community Stewardship:

  • "Unpave LA" Initiative: Embrace and actively support the "Unpave LA" initiative, a community-driven effort to reduce temperatures, increase groundwater stores, improve air and water quality, and restore ecosystems throughout the watershed. This initiative will empower residents to take an active role in revitalizing the LA River and surrounding ecosystems.
  • Community Engagement Model: Adopt a community engagement model inspired by cities like New York to foster meaningful collaboration between residents and local government, ensuring that the revitalization of the LA River and its tributaries reflects the needs and priorities of our local communities.

Expanding Living and Open Spaces:

  • Preserving Open Green Space: In park-poor urban neighborhoods, there are fights to conserve the beautiful hillsides which are home to diverse wildlife. Preservation of Ascott Hills, Elephant Hill, and Poppy Peak are a top priority for Ysabel.
  • Green Space Funding Boost: Allocate increased funding for the creation, maintenance, and adequate and equitable distribution of parks and green spaces, to support public health, expand biodiversity, and increase climate-resilience while enhancing overall community well-being.
  • Collaborative Green Space Planning: Collaborate closely with local residents, civil society organizations, activists, and stakeholders to identify optimal locations for new green spaces, ensuring that our communities benefit from accessible outdoor spaces that address multiple challenges.
  • Community Gardens: Implement and oversee community garden sites in zones of the district where soil has been contaminated by legacies of environmental racism, while funding continuous community education and training.

Flood Risk Mitigation:

  • Cutting-Edge Flood Risk Assessments: Partner with scientific experts and researchers to update our flood risk assessments based on the latest climate data, allowing for more accurate planning, mitigation, and adaptation efforts.
  • Flood Transparency: Collaborate with City and County agencies to publicly disclose flood risk, engage communities in conversations about developing supportive mitigation and adaptation strategies, and stop building housing in the 500-year floodplain.

Building Electrification and Tenant Protection:

  • Emission Reduction Through Building Electrification: Promote the electrification of buildings as a vital strategy to reduce emissions and create green job opportunities. Simultaneously, guarantee robust tenant protections to prevent rent hikes and unjust evictions in the transition to cleaner energy sources.
  • Community Solar Initiatives: Encourage the development of community-based solar projects ensuring that our homes are eco-friendly and affordable.

Housing Density and Land Use, and Community-Based Supportive Housing:

  • Sustainable Housing Innovation: Research shows that a 50% increase in population density could cut CO2 emission by 42%. Ysabel will explore innovative housing solutions that prioritize both density and sustainability, and champion equitable land use policies that ensure concurrent provision of living open space and create affordable and environmentally responsible housing options.
  • Proactive Climate Protection: Collaborate closely with community-based organizations to establish permanent supportive housing programs. These programs will serve as proactive protection against climate disasters and offer assistance to climate refugees, ensuring that vulnerable individuals have a safe and stable environment.

Street Safety and Accessibility:

  • Enhanced Walkability and Bike Safety: Commit to expanding walkability and protected bike lanes, prioritizing underserved neighborhoods to create safe, accessible transportation options for all residents.
  • Disaster-Ready Street Plans: Implement localized street shutdowns as part of disaster preparedness measures, ensuring that housing stability is maintained during emergencies by coordinating transportation and shelter options.

Electric Transit:

  • Electrifying Public Transportation: Invest in comprehensive electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support the transition to cleaner modes of transit, making electric options accessible and affordable to all residents
  • Electrifying the City fleet: Fully electrify the City fleet, including police cars, sanitation trucks, and fire trucks.

Inter-Institutional Collaboration:

  • Climate-Health Nexus: Facilitate collaboration between public health, utilities, transportation, planning, and land use agencies to address the intersection of climate change and public health, ensuring that our policies promote the well-being of all residents.

Green Jobs and a Just Transition:

  • Green Workforce Development: Prioritize workforce development initiatives, ensuring a just transition to green jobs that offer long-term employment opportunities to those most impacted by the climate crisis while building a sustainable future for Los Angeles.
  • Community Stewardship: Support the training of a regenerative gardening/landscaping workforce so that we can elevate the wages, benefits, and protection for the community stewards of our land.

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