Environment & Sustainability

As a California State Assemblymember, as a Glendale City Councilmember and Mayor, and as a citizen, Laura Friedman has proven to be a stalwart environmental champion. She is uncompromising in her commitment to halting climate change through mandating increased utilization and development of clean energy, and sustainable methods of transportation for people and goods. Laura believes we must both preserve open space, and add to our urban forest, as plants clean and cool the air.

 

AS A STATE ASSEMBLYMEMBER…

 

KEY LEGISLATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

• The California Desert Protection Act – A bill that would protect our state’s most important and fragile ecosystem, the desert, by mandating additional environmental review of groundwater basin extraction projects. 

• AB 975 – With looming uncertainty at the federal level, Laura proposed legislation that would have updated the state’s current designation of “Wild and Scenic” for rivers and their surrounding habitats to match the far more stringent federal standards. 

• Co-Authored SB 5 the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Bond and secured $20 million in funding to be included in the bill for the completion of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk pedestrian and bike bridge connecting Glendale to Griffith Park and miles of existing bike path. 

• Introduced landmark water management legislation (AB 1667, 1668, and 1669) that would completely re-work the way we manage our water in order to eliminate the current severe waste and inefficiencies. 

• Co-Authored SB 606 (Skinner) which would greatly improve the way we handle our State’s most precious natural resource. 

• Co-Authored AB 1323 (Weber) which would create a stakeholder working group which would help reduce inefficient water use and make our system more sustainable.

OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

• Received the Sierra Club’s 2017 Political Leadership Award.

• Given a 100/100 environmental score from the Sierra Club.

• Recognized by the Friends of the River as the 2017 River Champion.

 

AS A CITY COUNCILMEMBER AND FORMER MAYOR OF GLENDALE…

 

SUCCESSFULLY INTRODUCED:

• 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).

 

OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

• Served as a Metropolitan Water Board Member.

• 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.