See below for a short video on this story.
A coalition of civil society groups, including the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), Pacoima Beautiful, and the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, meet in the Pacoima Community Center on November 5, 2011 in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles, CA.
They have assembled to share with local residents and other stakeholders the thinking behind the RePower LA project, which seeks to achieve financial and environmental savings by improving energy-efficiency in the homes of area residents, and creating hundreds of new “green” jobs in the process.
Attendees are addressed by a number of local officials, including Ron Nichols, the general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, which is the largest publicly-owned utility in the United States. Also in attendance are Eric Garcetti, the president of the LA City Council, Becca Dutton the chief of staff for Councilman Richard Alarcon, and Teresa Sanchez from the office of LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. All the officials and their proxies voice emphatic support for the policy goals outlined by LAANE and the other coalition partners.
Along with a panel discussion featuring civil society representatives, attendees hear from two young men currently working as “Utility Pre-Craft Trainees” for the Department of Water & Power in a program designed by DWP and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Jameel Sutton and Ricardo De Los Santos give testimonials about their experiences weatherizing the homes of low-income residents to increase efficiency and reduce the residents’ electricity bills. They also share what the opportunity to have solid middle-class jobs with health benefits has meant for them.
DWP general manager Ron Nichols catches the tenor of the room when he says, “I consider energy efficiency our number-one power supply.” He adds, “DWP has been slow to invest in programs like [the Utility Pre-Craft Trainee], but this is now our top priority.”