Glendale City Council Recap

July 20, 2021, 6PM

Interactive Agenda/Video: https://glendaleca.primegov.com/Portal/Meeting?compiledMeetingDocumentFileId=44430

Excerpts (Eco-Related Items):      

CITY COUNCIL COMMENTS:

    • Councilmember Ardy Kassakhian (in the Race to Zero item comments) requested a report on plans for increased electric vehicle charging in Glendale, citing feedback he’s received from locals that Glendale is short on available places to charge. He suggested the City should supply plug-in charging at Glendale parks and event venues. City Manager Golanian responded that GWP has this as the #5 priority on their city-specified list – and has plans to install 70-75 chargers in the next two years. This item will come back as a status update to council.
    • Councilmember Kassakhian also noted the historic drought we are enduring, and rising temperatures (he mentioned the large number of days that our cooling centers have had to open in the past year) and asked staff to revisit some of the water conservation programs/incentives/measures we had in place in the recent past, to see how Glendale residents can conserve water and mitigate drought impacts. He mentioned LA Times articles (for example: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-07-21/drone-photos-reveal-the-shocking-truth-of-californias-parched-landscape) recently published to understand the dramatic situation we are in. His request was seconded by Brotman. Mayor Devine mentioned the good water saving tips listed on the city’s website: https://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/glendale-water-and-power/about-your-water/water-saving-tips
    • Councilmember Dan Brotman – requested City Council write a letter of support to be sent to Senator Portantino for Assembly Bill 1346 (Berman) – a  bill that would phase out the sale of gas-powered landscaping equipment in the State of CA. The bill includes $75 million for the Air Districts to provide rebates/incentives for small commercial gardeners to affordably make the transition. The bill comes forward to Appropriations on August 16, 2021.  This request was seconded by Mayor Devine. LEARN MORE about Glendale’s transition from GAS to ELECTRIC Landscaping Equipment and the health and climate impacts of gas powered landscaping equipment: gec.eco/going-electric-at-eight-glendale-parks
    • Councilmember Dan Brotman also asked that staff prepare a memo regarding the possibility of creating a Dark Sky ordinance for Glendale – an ordinance restricting outdoor lighting to prevent extreme light pollution.  (Learn more about the Dark Sky suggestions here: https://www.darksky.org/our-work/lighting/public-policy/lighting-ordinances/) This request was primarily inspired by complaints coming in regarding a homeowner that built their house with extreme amounts of outdoor lighting (40 light cans), and the lack of any ordinances that would prevent this. Devine also described seeing more brightly lit hillside homes and lighted property perimeters in recent years and seconded the request.
Glendale signs on to the RACE TO ZERO campaign, recognizing the climate emergency, and pledging to take action to reduce green house gas emissions:

Council voted unanimously in favor of joining the Race to Zero campaign (moved by Devine, seconded by Brotman). This item was originally brought forward by Mayor Devine after the item was introduced at a SCAGG meeting by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. It was recommended for support by Glendale’s Sustainability Commission. Video presentation on the Race to Zero pledge begins at 47:40

What does this mean? The City of Glendale has agreed to the following:

(1)  “We recognize the global climate emergency. We are committed to keeping global heating below the 1.5C goal of the Paris agreement. We are committed to putting inclusive climate action at the center of all urban decision making to create thriving and equitable communities for everyone. We invite our partners to join us in recognizing the climate emergency and help us deliver on science based action to overcome it.”

(2) By joining, Glendale agrees to reach net zero in the mid 2040s or by mid-century at the latest and limit warming to 1.5C

(3) The city will set an interim target to achieve in the next decade, which reflects a fair share of the 50% global reduction in CO2 by 2030.

(4) The city will plan at least one equitable climate action (it was noted that there are already many projects underway that fit this requirement, including planned expansion of bike lane network, a food recovery program and an expansion of our EV charging infrastructure, among many other programs.) NOTE: Glendale is currently also developing a comprehensive CLIMATE ACTION PLAN.

(5) The city will report progress annually (beginning no later than 2022)

Please watch the full video to hear council comments, including questions from Councilmember Najarian and his request to set goals to promote public transit and reduce the amount of vehicles in Glendale  (Najarian suggested this as a topic for the Sustainability Commission.) Council member Kassakhian noted the need for more EV charging in Glendale, including at parks and event venues. He asked how we might have an internal system to show if we fall short of goals in one area, we could over-compensate in another  (he used the analogy of carbon credits that allow bad actors to produce more carbon while others exceed standards.). Councilmember Brotman offered powerful comments regarding the climate crisis and the need to continue greening our electric grid, electrifying buildings, electrifying the city fleet, electrifying landscaping equipment, getting people out of cars. etc. He ended with the vision of a city that will be cleaner, greener and more community centered. He expressed the view that though there is a lot of risk, there is also a lot to look forward to. He thinks we can, and will, be a real leader in Southern California – and will be talked about as one of the cities that really gets it and really will show how it can be done.

Brotman suggested that the Glendale Unified School District and Glendale Community College should also be part of the race to zero conversation. He requested Sustainability Director David Jones (or staff) reach out to them to ask that they be part of this.

Mayor Devine emphasized that climate action takes action by ONE CITY AT A TIME, and this is how things will get done. “The higher we reach, the more we get done, and the more we can help save our climate.”

 

 

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