The second of five Expos was held in LA County’s 3rd Supervisorial District at the Zev Yaroslavsky Family Support Center in Van Nuys, California.
Pacoima Beautiful – a nonprofit organization that provides education, impacts public policy, and supports local arts and culture in order to promote health and sustainability across the San Fernando Valley – acted as the Expo’s primary partner. This event was held on the last weekend in April at the end of what many informally consider to be “Earth Week”.
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.
All of the Plan’s Actions received at least some votes, but some received far more votes than others, especially Actions that addressed major issues with high visibility. Top vote-getting Actions were:
- Ensuring the County’s purchases support environmental & social responsibility
- Offering free transit for students, seniors, disabled & low-income people
- Phasing out oil drilling next to homes and schools
- Ending illegal dumping through better enforcement
- Creating Green Zones with healthy land use standards
- Planting of trees and native plants through community efforts
- Increasing opportunities for community groups and Native tribes to work with County
Sample Comments/Feedback Received
- Attendees expressed many concerns about pollution and the way it affects their communities. They want more regulations on emissions from vehicles and factories, and want more trash clean-up.
- Increasing housing affordability through rent control and a diversity of housing affordability options is very important to attendees. Some comments touched on the need for accessible and affordable vehicle parking coupled with housing.
- Participants want to see homelessness addressed in the Plan.
- Several people called for the County to include jails as a sensitive use that should not be placed near polluted sites.
- There was support for more community gardening and urban agriculture education.
- There were several comments regarding better access to healthy food through more farmer’s markets, more incentives for low-income customers to buy healthy food, and more healthy food at County facilities like hospitals.
- Through the “Fill in the Blank” activity, participants shared visions around more accessible and sustainable mobility – through free transit, more electric buses, and more bike share programs- and highlighted the need for greater accessibility of parks and public spaces for people in wheelchairs.
74 attendees signed in and provided demographic information throughout the day. According to entrance polling, out of those polled, about half of all attendees were born outside of the U.S.; the other half were U.S.-born. Nearly 20% of all attendees were 18 years old or younger, providing a strong showing of young people participating in the process. 22% of attendees were 65 years or older, while 44% were ages 35-64 and only 15% were ages 18-35. The vast majority of attendees identified as Latino/a, making up over 70% of polled attendees. 13% identified as White, with a small handful of people identifying as Black, Asian, Native, or 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 Draft Plan 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.