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Villaraigosa's Greening of Los Angeles

by B Tuesday, Jul. 11, 2006 at 8:52 PM

My Vision for LA (Excerpted from Antonio 2005 website position statements) Los Angeles has always been a city of big dreams and bold possibilities. The men and women who helped build a dusty, desert town into our great city were never satisfied with the status quo. They understood that progress depends on people who see what can be rather than what merely is -- and who are willing to work to make it happen.

Villaraigosa's Green...
greeningoflosangeles.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

My Vision for LA

(Excerpted from Antonio 2005 website position statements)
Los Angeles has always been a city of big dreams and bold possibilities. The men and women who helped build a dusty, desert town into our great city were never satisfied with the status quo. They understood that progress depends on people who see what can be rather than what merely is -- and who are willing to work to make it happen.

Plan for a Greener LA

"A clean environment is the foundation of a livable community. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity. I will dedicate myself to transforming Los Angeles into the cleanest, greenest big city in America."
Los Angeles is one of the most polluted cities in America. We don't need more platitudes about a clean environment -- we need action.
We face three great challenges in the coming years:
# - We must reverse decades of neglect that have led to air and water pollution problems that regularly close our beaches and trigger asthma in our children.
# - We must find a way to transform our municipal utility from its dependence on burning coal into a leader in green power.
# - We must dramatically increase the numbers of trees, parks and open spaces in our city.

I will build more neighborhood parks -- parks near schools, parks for children, parks for dogs, parks for everyone. Los Angeles is the most "park-poor" big city in America. I am committed to changing this. That's why:
# - I worked with my colleagues and the Governor to secure funding to acquire and develop Taylor Yard and Cornfield, parks along the LA River.
# - While in the Assembly, I worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass Propositions 12 and 13.
# - And late last year, I lead a grassroots, community based campaign to convince the state to purchase $3 million of open space at Ascot Hills on the East side of Los Angeles.

Plan for a City of Parks & Greenways

Los Angeles has fewer acres of accessible parks per person than any major U.S. city, and poor neighborhoods suffer the most. Two-thirds of L.A.s children do not live within walking distance of a park. We can't afford four more years of inaction. The challenge is great, so let's get started.

Building Parks and Greenways
The statistics on parks in Los Angeles could not be more clear: We have the least accessible park system of any major city in America. Only 30 percent of Angelenos live within a quarter mile of a park, compared with between 80 percent and 90 percent in Boston and New York. Here in Los Angeles more than 700,000 children do not live within walking distance of a park.

For too long, we have neglected to build neighborhood parks where kids can safely play. We must dramatically increase the numbers of trees, parks and open spaces in our city. Our goal should be to ensure walking access to parks for every Angeleno.
# - We must build more parks, particularly in the most underserved neighborhoods.
# - We must create an emerald necklace of parks along the L.A. river.
# - We must develop a system of greenways (trails and bike paths) throughout the city that residents can use to bike, jog or walk.

The Villaraigosa Plan

Building Parks for Everyone: We all know that parks dramatically improve the quality of life of a neighborhood. Yards are important, but they don't provide adequate recreational and social space for communities. Our city needs many more large and small parks. Ideally we should have small parks and open space areas no more than a-mile walk away for anyone in the city. In addition to recreation, these new parks can be used as neighborhood hubs for town hall meetings, farmer's markets, and other community events.

The building of new parks can benefit many neighborhoods in another important way - it can be a way to rid them of blighted and abandoned properties. We must look to develop these new parks in partnerships with community-based organizations. In addition new development should include functional open space whenever possible, and public facilities should include additional open space for public use. I will:
# - Use Surplus City Property: Create more neighborhood parks and community gardens using small, vacant lots from the city's backlog of 2,400 surplus properties.
# - Pursue Open Space Funding: Aggressively pursue park and open space funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, State Propositions 40 and 50, and other sources.
# - Expand Shared Use: Identify and implement opportunities for shared use of school playgrounds and parks.
# - Work with Land Trusts: Acquire new open space by working with neighborhood land trusts and other non-profits.

Let the mayor know that Saving the South Central Farmers' Community Farm
is well within his vision for Los Angeles. Let him know that he must act to save this
precious jewel in the midst of South Central Los Angeles.
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
V's Greening Machine B Tuesday, Jul. 11, 2006 at 9:09 PM
Villaraigosa practices "Green" politics Democrats suck Wednesday, Jul. 12, 2006 at 5:33 PM
MAKE GUEY 4 THE VENDIDO-ZER V 4 VENDIDO Wednesday, Jul. 12, 2006 at 6:51 PM

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