live Finalist / 2019
Vision 2020: A Plan to End Climate Change and Clean Southern California's Air
Move LA will build a broad coalition of diverse supporters towards a grand bargain to dump diesel, accelerate deployment of zero-emission cars and zero and near-zero emission trucks, and fund clean, regional transit infrastructure. As we did on transportation with Measure M, we can work together regionally to achieve the LA2050 goal to reduce exposure to air toxins and address greenhouse gas emissions in a serious and sustainable way so that climate change and air pollution are in the past.
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
- Climate Resolve
Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.
The idea for Move LA came when Denny Zane, the former Mayor of Santa Monica who initiated the 3rd Street Promenade project and led numerous rent control campaigns, sat idling in soul-crushing traffic on Olympic Boulevard between Stewart Street and Interstate 405. A demoralizing report on the radio caught his attention–funding for future transit projects was non-existent for the next 30 years.
He had seen projections for Los Angeles County that anticipated several million new residents over the next few decades. For Denny, it was a crushing realization that we’d be stuck in that gridlock with more people coming and no money. As he recalled thinking at the time: “That’s a prescription for a world of hurt.”
Denny knew bold solutions were necessary to get through the political and very real gridlock ahead. So he called people he had worked with over the years in business, labor, and environmental communities and invited them to a meeting on transportation. Thirty-four out of the thirty-five invited showed up and the inspiration for Move LA was born. That initial meeting led to many more, followed by a conference attended by hundreds of people seeking a way out of gridlock.
Political leadership came together to introduce legislation and Denny Zane began work to build a grand coalition to support funding for transformational change in LA County’s transportation system. This coalition, convened by Move LA, worked to convince LA Metro and LA Mayor Villaraigosa to give voters an opportunity to invest in a dramatic enhancement of the county’s transit systems. Measure R won approval with 67.4% voter support in November 2008. LA Metro under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership returned to the ballot in November 2016 with Measure M, also extending Measure R. Voters said Yes by 71.1% and LA Metro will have $120 B over the next 40 years to fund what is by far the largest local public transportation investment program in the country. Wow!
And while it may look like LA is on a roll, we know there is still work to do on clean air, traffic congestion, jobs, and greenhouse gas emissions if we are to fulfill our mission to make LA a place where people of all ages and incomes can live, work and thrive.
Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?
- Exposure to air toxins
- Housing affordability
- Walk/bike/transit score
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
How will your project make LA the best place to live?
Move LA is leading an advocacy effort which could yield the most significant reduction of diesel and greenhouse gas emissions in the region’s history. Move LA is convening multiple stakeholders to identifying public funding for accelerated deployment of zero-emission light and medium-duty vehicles, and zero and near-zero emission long-haul trucks; funding modernization, electrification and enhanced service on Metrolink, our regional commuter transit system; and funding local clean air transit and active transportation projects that allow alternatives to driving. This will result in the 18 million residents of Southern California being able to breath easier and live more sustainably.
Transportation accounts for 90% of our NOx emissions, 80% from heavy-duty vehicles, most powered by diesel engines, resulting in the dirtiest air in the country. The heaviest exposure to diesel exhaust is experienced by low-income communities of color who live along the goods movement corridors of Southern California. It is a public health and an environmental justice imperative that we seek to replace diesel with clean technologies.
In addition, transportation sources in Southern California account for 50% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions known to cause climate change. Rising seas and worsening droughts threaten our community and our world, today and for future generations.
We now have a chance to save the world from climate change and clean our air because of decades of California leadership, leadership which has resulted in a growing array of zero-emission and advanced hybrid light-duty vehicles and the imminent deployment of zero and near-zero emission trucks. We are poised to play a powerful role in the worldwide efforts to abate climate change while helping free our region from exposure to air toxins; all we must do is find the strategies to accelerate the deployment of these clean vehicles significantly.
Move LA’s “Vision 2020” Proposal is that strategy and we are utilizing our innovative and successful civic engagement model for a massive public outreach and coalition building effort that will:
Enable the South Coast Air Quality Management District to deploy zero-emission vehicles on scale, helping to create the economies of scale needed for ZEVs to become ubiquitous;
Providing massive incentives for zero and near-zero emissions trucks to permanently dump diesel engines from our roads;
Create regional resources to electrify, expand, and provide enhanced and more affordable Metrolink service, making the system compatible with high-speed rail, while providing resources for each county to also develop transit feeder systems.
We will achieve this over the next year through targeted meetings, collaborative events (already scheduled for June and October 2019), and by building a coalition to gain support for a November 2020 ballot initiative on clean air and climate change.
In what stage of innovation is this project?
Lateral application (testing feasibility of a proven action/solution to a new issue or sector)
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
We will define and measure outcomes by:
Success in the creation of a broad-based coalition that brings together business, labor, environmental and social justice advocates, faith, health, student, senior, persons with disabilities and underrepresented groups from disadvantaged communities to the policymaking table on air pollution and climate change strategies.
Recognition by appointed and elected leaders that we can clean our air and abate climate change while enhancing our economy by supporting the right public investments in clean technology and modernized infrastructure.
Identification of a preferred strategy to raise the $20 to $30 Billion needed over 20-30 years to address the transportation-related emissions challenges at the core of this effort. This could entail legislation in Sacramento and/or going to the ballot in 2020.
The number of people, either through their vote, in-person advocacy, or other means of engagement (such as online) who expressed their support for Vision 2020, the regional coalition or legislative/ballot initiative.
Finally, we have an informal gauge for our success–our Executive Director’s 22-year-old son inspired this project because he believes we are too late to turn back the tide on air pollution and climate change. If we can convince him that local change can have a global impact, then maybe he and we will all be able to breath easier.