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 five years serving on the board of the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors in order to advocate for ratepayers, learn more about water resources and to be a voice for the environment at MWD. She believes 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 has demonstrated that the arts can serve as a powerful economic development tool. She was instrumental in transforming the San Fernando Corridor into a business and job creation engine for Glendale through her “Creative Corridor” program, which offers specialized incentives to attract creative businesses and flexible zoning guidelines to allow a variety of uses. The program is so successful that the Glendale News Press called the Creative Corridor “The City’s Economic Bright Spot.” Recently she supported the hiring of a consultant to create a City sponsored technology incubator program to attract new businesses to Glendale.
Councilwoman Laura Friedman had a successful 20-year career as a motion picture and television executive and producer. Since 2000 she has been the owner and operator of a small business specializing in vintage jewelry and decorative arts. Her husband owns and runs Picture This Land, a landscape design/build firm. Economic development has been a priority of Laura’s since joining the Glendale City Council in 2009.
Although California is leading the nation out of the recession, we continue to have one of the largest populations in the nation per capita of residents living or falling below the poverty line. Laura believes that Sacramento must focus on poverty in a holistic manner and develop comprehensive strategies to address it incorporating all of the factors affecting poverty including education, healthcare, childcare, economic development, housing, and how we deliver social services.
Education is one of Laura’s very top priorities. In an environment filled with economic unfairness, and in which the rich continue to get richer and the middle class is struggling, education is the great equalizer, with the ability to set the groundwork for a better life for individuals and families. Education is one of the most important antidotes to poverty. It is far more effective to spend money educating individuals than to provide social services to workers who lack the education and skills needed for well-paying jobs.
As a longtime executive in the entertainment industry, Laura will be a strong champion for entertainment industry jobs upon which the region is dependent.