The Glendale Environmental Coalition issued a set of questions to candidates for Assembly Districts 44 and 52, State Senate District 25, and L.A. County Board of Supervisors District 5. In solidarity with other grassroots groups in the region, we want our local elected representatives to champion the causes we believe are essential for a healthy and sustainable environment. We are posting the answers we received (not all candidates responded) in order to inform our members and the community of the candidates’ stances.
Assembly District 52 Candidate
- What energy policies would you sponsor/support that are consumer-friendly to transition to sustainable/renewable energy for energy, building/home, transportation use, etc.? What specific policies or programs would you sponsor or support to engage residents in multi-family housing or the commercial sector?
I would support advocating for increasing net metering credits to encourage more consumers to install solar panels and to make it more affordable for low-income households to transition to solar. I would also support state grants to implement charging infrastructure in public housing developments.
- What specific “upstream” policies would you sponsor/support to address the plastics problem, NOT involving recycling, which has been a failure?
One policy that I would support to reduce the use of plastics would be to support the upgrade of antiquated water fountains in public schools to water refill stations to encourage the use of reusable bottles. I would also support a ban of single use plastics at our State Parks and Beaches.
- More than half of California’s population lives in jurisdictions that have banned or restricted expanded polystyrene, sometimes referred to as EPS or Styrofoam. Glendale City Council took nearly a year to adopt a ban because of concerns about possible cost and supply impacts to small restaurants. What solutions will you propose or back to help small businesses and restaurants transition away from EPS?
I would support a phased out ban of EPS foam food ware for retailers that sell or prepare food. This ban would start off with businesses with the highest profit margins and would slowly move towards small businesses. I would also explore a grant program for small businesses to establish a deposit/refund program at their establishment to encourage consumers to use reusable food service ware.
- Artificial turf is plastic, contains carcinogens, gets dangerously hot, harms biodiversity, contributes to the urban heat island effect, can cause and exacerbate sports injuries, and has many other negative impacts. Governor Newsom just signed SB-676 (Local ordinances and regulations: drought-tolerant landscaping), which allows cities to define drought-tolerant landscaping as NOT including artificial turf. Other bills limiting or banning artificial turf have encountered serious industry pushback. Would you support instituting a policy prohibiting artificial plastic turf installations in CA? Why or why not? If not, would you support a bill incentivizing real grass (for active uses such as sports fields and picnicking) and discouraging the use of plastic grass?
Yes, I would support a move away from artificial turf and towards drought tolerant landscaping such as Bermuda grass for athletic fields, which is easier to maintain and uses less water than other natural grass alternatives.
- Do you think the existing state funding allocations for active transportation and transit are sufficient? If not, what % increase do you support, and how would you propose that the additional funding be used?
Absolutely not, on average around 8 out of 10 ATP applications go unfunded. The needs for active transportation projects across California are far greater than the funding available. Given the current budget deficit, I would support a moderate increase of 10 percent for now, but with the goal to increase funding by 25 percent during better financial conditions. I would propose that this additional funding be used for projects near schools zones to support walkable routes to schools.
- Would you support state-subsidized free mass transit throughout the state to increase transit use and decrease vehicle miles traveled?
Yes, I would most definitely support a state-subsidized free transit program. However, we also need to invest in a more interconnected public transportation system, with faster trains and more bus routes to incentivize Californians to leave their cars for good. Currently, driving in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area is considered to be more desirable because taking public transit isn’t the fastest or most accessible option at the moment.
- SB 1383, which mandated diverting organic waste, has not been effectively implemented in most localities. Glendale is shipping organic waste long distances to waste-burning and other undesirable hubs on diesel-burning trucks. How do you plan to address this? What types of programs, local composting initiatives and/or facilities, and funding streams will you support to increase beneficial composting in localities including Glendale?
Food waste would be the most beneficial if it supported local composting efforts. I would support a local composting initiative that would incentivize local non profits or farmers to collect the city’s food waste for composting. Additionally, I would be in support further anti-food waste measures to address food insecurity in our communities.
- South Glendale is park deficient and in need of greater access to public green space. Compared to 2.2 acres of park space per 1,000 residents north of the 134, south Glendale only has 0.3 acres per 1,000 residents. What specific strategies and funding streams will you pursue to ensure that neighborhoods in South Glendale gain parks, and that they see a proportional investment in parks as the population grows?
As part of California’s Greening Program, I would ensure that we can prioritize projects in park poor communities. Additionally, I would also introduce a bill that would incentivize school districts to make their green spaces available to the community.
Divestment, Subsidies, and Clean Energy Incentives
- We must end the fossil fuel era and transition to clean, zero-carbon energy as fast as possible. What divestment, subsidy-ending, and incentive proposals will you support to end fossil fuel extraction and use and to incentivize green technologies, industries and products? Please indicate whether or not you have taken the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge (https://nofossilfuelmoney.org/).
I will support a ban on new oil drilling permits in California. I will also support a 3,2000 ft setback, as a floor not the ceiling, from urban oil operations to protect the health of our communities living near oil wells. Additionally, I will also support a ban on fracking and cyclic steam injection.
Yes, I have signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, you can find my signed pledge on my Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/genesisforad52/p/CxJ45EpLI2m/?img_index=1.
- Tell us about your knowledge of the Glendale community and its environmental concerns. How do you plan to work with Glendale to accomplish its climate and environmental goals?
The Glendale community has historically organized and advocated against various environmental concerns. One of the most concerning is the Grayson Repowering Project proposed by Glendale Water and Power, which would include five new natural gas-powered generators. While natural gas is not a clean or renewable energy, we need to find alternatives to support the City with achieving its goal of reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2035. As Assemblymember, I hope to garner state grants/funding and other green energy incentives to support Glendale’s transition to clean energy.