CityWatch, Feb 20, 2009
Vol 7 Issue 15
Good, bad or indifferent … at least we’re talking.
The ongoing debate over Measure B has, among other things, stirred the most significant solar energy dialogue in recent history. Regardless of where you stand on Measure B, any conversation inevitably leads to the question "How do we make Solar energy a reality for Los Angeles."
The Department of Water and Power's management has gone before the City council, the Energy & Environment Committee, the DWP Commission and BreatheLA declaring that the department has been committed to the public process, sending speakers to neighborhood councils, and community groups throughout the city. "When this election is over, we'll have spoken before 50 Neighborhood Councils and at six Town Halls." he reported this past week.
Representatives of the "VoteNoMeasureB" know the feeling. "We know. We attend the same meetings, we engage in the dialogue, the discussion and the debate. The difference is, we walk out of those meetings with resolutions opposing Measure B." The VoteNoMeasureB website lists groups from the United Chambers of Commerce to VICA to Valley Vote to more than 30 Neighborhood Councils on its endorsements page.
The DWP has attempted to maintain a neutral position in the debate, presenting the SolarLA plan and approaching the Measure in terms of how it fits into the future of LA's renewable energy portfolio.
The debate actually takes place between the "Working Californians" who send their reps to debate the volunteers from the "VoteNoMeasureB" campaign.
On the off chance that there are still some out there who have missed the discourse, there are still 15 events scheduled between now and March 3 where SolarLA will be presented and Measure B will be debated.
Regardless of the outcome on election day, Measure B has brought Angelenos out into the marketplace of discourse and provides the very real opportunity for LA activists to work together post-election to make the future sustainable energy a reality. That is, if we're still talking. (Stephen Box is an issues activist and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at Stephen@ThirdEyeCreative.net)