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Making the case to release Cap & Trade Funds

Willowbrook resident Rose Pinkney celebrates her new solar panels. (photo: Urban Girl Media/May 22, 2015)

Willowbrook resident Rose Pinkney celebrates her new solar panels. (photo: Urban Girl Media/May 22, 2015)

As urban communities continue to be plagued with a flawed transportation system, that allows for the movement of goods, via smog causing trucks, the cap & trade program sought and receives, funds from gross polluters, which is to be reinvested back into the communities they are polluting. 

Many programs have been created and tested and are viable and in need of the funding being released, to utilize as they were intended to do.  A state assemblyman says it’s time for some action and legislation, to get the money out of the bank and into the community.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) is calling for the release of nearly $1.4 billion, in polluter fees, which are sitting idle.

The Los Angeles Times spoke with Asm. Gomez.

The money, Gomez said, “is just sitting there. We need to do something to get a proposal on the table and get the money out the door as soon as possible.”

Programs I am aware of, off the top of my head, that are ready to go are:

Solar Paneling

I had the privilege of attending a solar panel installation in Willowbrook, CA.  Rose Pinkney welcomed the media to her home to proudly show off the new solar panels she received to reduce her energy bill by some 80%.  Funds from the cap & trade fund would go towards expanding the program to serve more homes.

Related article:  AB 32 Helps Low-Income Communities Go Solar 

Car Sharing

With the expansion of the Crenshaw/LAX rail line, and the upgrade scheduled for the Rosa Parks station, where the Blue and Green rail lines intersect, it is becoming more attractive to live rail (Metro) adjacent.

Watts is scheduled to be included, due to proximity of the Metro Blue Line.  The opening of the Metro Apartments, at the Compton Blue Line station, is another indicator of what’s to come.

The City of Los Angeles made news with the plan to implement an electric car share program, for low-income communities, if they received the $1.6 million being offered.  Enhancing the public transportation network, by providing a clean, vehicle alternative, is a win-win situation for cash strapped residents.  Cost of the program, to potential members, has yet to be made public, but funds to get the program up and running is again being earmarked from cap & trade funds.

Related article: L.A. offered $1.6 Million for Pioneering Low-Income Electric Carsharing Program

All of these great ideas will be for naught and momentum will be lost, should we have to wait another year for the programs to be implemented.  The health of communities of color, are being left in limbo, over politics.  It gives off the impression this money will be allocated to either the bullet train or some other obnoxious idea, that will ultimately ignore those who make the funding possible in the first place.

Now’s the time for leaders, in urban communities, to stand with Asm. Jimmy Gomez and get these funds released, sooner than later.

Yours truly,

2 Urban Girls, concerned environmentalists in the 2nd District of Los Angeles County.


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2 Urban Girls has been cited in City Watch LA, Compton Herald, Daily News, Inglewood Today, Intersections South LA, KCRW, KPCC, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, LA Watts Times, Mercury News and The Atlantic.

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