Laura Friedman is uncompromising in her commitment to halting climate change through mandating increased utilization and development of clean energy, and sustainable methods of transportation of people and goods. We must preserve open space as well as add to our urban forest, as plants clean and cool the air. We must invest in water conservation, capture and storage, groundwater basin protection and recharge, and a robust recycled water infrastructure. Pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, as well as public transportation, must be a priority. Enacting stronger vehicle emissions standards is one of the keys to reducing greenhouse gasses.
Laura has spent six years serving on the board of the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors in order to learn more about water resources and to be a voice for the environment at MWD. Laura believes that our water challenges would be best served by reducing the reliance on imported water through major investments in Southern California groundwater recharge and clean-up, expanding local storage for rain and storm water collection, conservation and water system efficiency and advanced water recycling.
Laura will fight for regulations requiring that new chemicals and products be proven completely safe before being allowed to come to market, as too often regulators are playing “catch-up” after a substance begins to look problematic. The financial impact of delays caused by a stricter safety testing standard pales in comparison to the cost born by the public when dangerous products and chemicals are introduced into the environment.
Parks, recreation facilities, and open space are crucial to creating healthy communities. Some areas of Los Angeles county are so dense and park-poor that residents congregate in strip-malls and children to play in streets. Urban children are disconnected with nature, overweight partially because they don’t live near open space in which they can run and play, and forced to breath dirty air because of a lack of living plant material in their neighborhoods.
California should institute a policy of no-net loss of state parks so that new parkland is created if any land is lost. The State government already helps communities create parks through grants, and I would support increasing this funding. A barrier to park creation in older, denser cities is the lack of available land and reluctance to evict vulnerable residents when land is assembled. To address this, I suggest that the State help cities replace this loss of housing through low income housing funds being prioritized to low income cities forced to remove housing to create urban parks.
As a City Councilmember and former Mayor of Glendale, Laura has:
• Green building standards which surpassed those of the State of California
• An ordinance requiring large new homes to incorporate sustainability features equivalent to LEED certification
• A ban on plastic bags, which took effect over a year before that of the City of LA
• A ban on anticoagulant rodent poison in City Parks
• A new streamlined rooftop solar ordinance, along with increased funding for incentives encouraging rooftop solar installations
• A resolution in support of the most comprehensive plan to revitalize the Los Angeles River. She successfully advocated for the plan before the Army Corp of Engineers
• Introduced resolutions to support the expansion and protection of the Rim of the Valley Trail and the creation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
• Recently introduced an ordinance to require all developments in Glendale to surpass state storm water retention requirements (yet to return to Council for a vote)
• Has been a strong proponent of Glendale’s “zero waste” and aggressive renewable energy program
• Is the primary driver of the Glendale Bicycle Master Plan and the Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, along with a multitude of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements
• To encourage physical fitness, alternative transportation, and traffic safety, in 2011 Laura held Glendale’s first “Mayor’s Bike Ride,” with over 75 participants
• Has spearheaded Glendale’s “complete streets” policy
• In 2015, under Laura’s leadership, Glendale was awarded the Excellence in Green Region Initiative by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) for its Greener Glendale Plan
• Laura was honored in 2014 with the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters’ Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Award