The third of five Expos was held in LA County’s 1st Supervisorial District at the Net Zero Plus-Electrical Training Institute in Commerce, California.
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) – a nonprofit organization focused on environmental health and justice for communities disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of industrial pollution – acted as the Expo’s primary partner.
Throughout the course of the event, attendees circulated around 8 discussion tables. Each table focused on 6 Actions from the Discussion Draft, grouped around a central theme that reflected one or two goals.
Facilitators at this Expo prioritized group discussion, note-taking and recording feedback. While dot-voting took place at most tables, others engaged in different interactive exercises (e.g., puzzles) to encourage discussion.
The top vote-getting Actions were:
- Preserve and increase affordable housing
- Enact permanent rent stabilization in unincorporated areas
- Offer free transit for students, seniors, disabled & low-income people
- Create Green Zones
- Support urban agriculture & community gardens
- Promote local, healthy and sustainable food
- Train neighborhood leaders to become emergency responders
- Phase out oil and gas operations, emphasizing environmental justice neighborhoods
Sample Comments/Feedback Received
- Several spoke up about needing protections for students and teachers when they speak out about impacts and issues at and around their schools.
- Clarify that natural gas vehicles do not achieve zero emissions, and have significant climate impacts.
- Education about sheltering in place should be a focus, not just cooling centers.
- More public housing and rent control, and more resources for low-income people so they don’t become at risk of or fall into homelessness.
- Emergency training should also include medical emergencies, as sometimes medical services do not show up quickly enough
- Existing parks and public space infrastructure needs to be better maintained, and encourage more parcels to be owned by land trusts so they aren’t subject to gentrification.
- A few fill-in-the-blank responses expressed the need for County boards and commissions to better represent frontline communities living next to oil and gas infrastructure rather than industry representatives who exploit neighborhoods for their own interests.
- Be more specific about what is meant by “green jobs”, (including salaries and training), to build more trust with people around job security.
- There is skepticism over Vision Zero in areas with large roadways and high vehicle traffic demand. Some shared concerns over the cost of bicycle infrastructure and if it is worth the investment.
- Conduct better community engagement around brownfields
- Support local gardens and lot-to-spot approaches as restorative justice.
- Create County youth commissions on different issues to include more young people at the table.
55 attendees signed in throughout the day, not including the roughly 50 NZP-ETI Trainees who joined for the Supervisor’s remarks. According to entrance polling, out of those polled, 22% of attendees were born outside of the U.S. while the rest were U.S.-born. 60% of attendees who were polled were between ages 18-35, a much larger showing of young adults compared to other Expo events. In contrast, less than 4% of attendees polled were 65+, a much smaller showing of seniors than other events. The vast majority of attendees identified as Latino/a, making up 70% of polled attendees. 13% identified as White, and only 8% identified as Black, Asian or Native. 7% of those polled identified as Other.
OurCounty, the Los Angeles Countywide Sustainability Plan, is an effort to outline a bold, inclusive and truly regional vision for the present and future generations of Los Angeles. To ensure that residents, local groups and youth from across the County had an opportunity to understand the Discussion Draft and provide input to the final plan, Liberty Hill Foundation and the LA County Chief Sustainability Office organized five “Our Voice, Our County Expos” with support from community-based organization anchors.