MAYOR’S RACE: Los Angeles candidates debate environmental issues to mark Earth Day

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Less than three weeks before early voting begins, some of Los Angeles’ mayoral candidates debated environmental issues Thursday night, the eve of Earth Day.

The Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, which hosted the debate, will support one of the candidates who participated. The event was hosted by ABC7’s Josh Haskell.

Water conservation

Here’s what the candidates had to say about how they would approach a less secure water future.

“We need to clean up our aquifers,” Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “Even as city attorney, I’ve been active in this area. Especially in the San Fernando Valley. Fundamental for us to do that.”

“Secondly, it is important for us to recycle our water. Other jurisdictions have done so. Orange County did. “,

Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Leon offered his perspective:

“If we want to be the city of the future, we can no longer rely on snow accumulations in the sierras as well as in Shasta,” de Leon said. “Making this water travel 400 miles to Los Angeles is not conceivable with the extreme weather conditions and the drought.”

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, suggested there is a need for more drought-tolerant landscaping.

“But we have to do a lot better than a few years ago,” Bass said. “What was done a few years ago caused problems for some homeowners because there were predators who convinced people to get rid of their lawns and put in drought-tolerant landscaping which has failed.”

Businessman Mel Wilson said: “Why not have permeable hard surfaces, sidewalks, roads, where the water seeps into the groundwater and we can reuse that water. Why not reclaim the water? water at a much higher rate. Why not help those Angelenos who don’t have the funds, who live in poorer communities, to recycle.”

Transportation

Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Here’s what the candidates said about what they would do to improve public transit while encouraging more environmentally friendly modes of travel.

“We have to get people out of their cars,” Bass said. “We need to improve people’s ability to cycle. We need to have protected cycle lanes because as a cyclist, frankly, I ride on the beach because it’s too dangerous to ride in traffic.”

Feuer said: “There are a number of transit-dependent people in our community for whom the buses don’t work well. They don’t come as often as they should along our busiest routes. As MTA manager, I will expand the number of buses on the busiest routes.”

“A public transport system only for the poor is not sustainable over time,” de Leon said. “You have to change behaviors and get middle-class people with high education and upper-middle-class people out of their cars and into using transportation.”

“Gasoline prices are $5 a gallon or more, but people aren’t rushing to public transit. Why? Because it’s not safe,” Wilson said.

Access to the park

Communities of color have much less access to parks. Here’s what candidates would do to fix this problem.

“I have already secured $27 million in my district alone for the creation of new parks so that our children – regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of their legal status or what god they pray to or who they love — may have green grass growing under their feet,” de Leon said.

“We need to make sure there are open green spaces in all communities, not just affluent communities,” Wilson said.

“I will be working closely with LAUSD to expand the availability and quality of green space on school campuses, as we will not be creating more open space in the most densely populated areas of our city,” said Fire.

“This beautiful South Park that I grew up with for a while has become quite dangerous, so we have to consider combining public safety issues with parks,” Bass said.

Environmental Justice

On the topic of environmental justice, here’s what the candidates said about how a person’s place of residence shouldn’t determine their lifespan.

“LA looks the dirtiest in the country and it’s killing our people and destroying our planet. It takes leadership and someone with experience bringing people together,” Wilson said.

“Decarbonize our grid. In other words, we need to modernize it, electrify it. Canopy. Plant trees,” de Leon said.

“Our oil extraction facilities are in underserved communities. I will accelerate the pace of their removal. Where are our abandoned oil wells located? In underserved communities. I want to accelerate the pace of their capping,” Feuer said.

“Who lives near these freeways? What is impacted by these freeways. I know the number one cause of death for a while among young black babies was (being) near freeways. environmental justice means being proactively careful,” Bass said.

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