Councilmember Raman Introduces Motion To Reduce Cost Of Participating In Organics Recycling Program
For Immediate Release: April 12, 2023
COUNCILMEMBER RAMAN INTRODUCES MOTION TO REDUCE COST OF PARTICIPATING IN ORGANICS RECYCLING PROGRAM IN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES -- Yesterday, Councilmember Nithya Raman introduced a motion to mitigate the financial impacts on commercial accounts participating in the City of Los Angeles’s organics recycling program. Beginning January 1, 2024, per City ordinance, all commercial accounts without green bin service can be fined until they add the service. Councilmember Raman’s legislation seeks to lessen the financial burden commercial customers will face when enforcement of organics recycling participation begins.
In 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1383 to address climate change via greenhouse gas emissions produced by trapped food waste in landfills. The bill aims to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% in 2025 and is a crucial step in combating climate change. However, commercial accounts that are serviced by contracted recycLA Service Providers (RSPs), including a majority of the City’s larger multifamily buildings and businesses, mostly do not currently have green bins. While green bin service has been mandated for commercial accounts since 2018, there has been no enforcement mechanism, and costs have often been prohibitive.
“If we are to reach our goal of effectively and sustainably reducing organic waste disposal by 75% in California by 2025, it is critical that the State’s largest city participates fully in the organics recycling program,” said Councilmember Raman. “With this motion, we are hoping to put a system in place to reduce the financial burden on hundreds of thousands of commercial account holders and reward compliance.”
Councilmember Raman’s motion instructs LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN) to report back within 60 days with options for commercial accounts to mitigate cost increases associated with adding commercial green bin service and to create and implement a window stickering program to reward businesses who add green bin service and recognize them for their efforts in being compliant with SB 1383. Additionally, the motion instructs LASAN to report to the Council on a quarterly basis on City-wide compliance with SB 1383 so that Council may know the success of the program and if any additional help or incentives are needed to ensure its success.
Councilmember Raman Introduces Motion To Create A Zero-Emissions Griffith Park
For Immediate Release: February 9, 2022
COUNCILMEMBER RAMAN INTRODUCES MOTION TO CREATE A ZERO-EMISSIONS GRIFFITH PARK
LOS ANGELES -- Yesterday, Councilmember Nithya Raman introduced a motion to fully decarbonize City maintenance and transportation operations in Griffith Park, establishing the largest zero-emissions operated park in the City of Los Angeles. A regional hub for outdoor recreation, wildlife, and families from all over the City, creating a zero-emissions Griffith Park will simultaneously improve Angelenos’ collective enjoyment of this shared space and restore its natural habitat.
The City Council has recently undertaken efforts to reduce pollution and greenhouse gasses (GHGs) in Griffith Park, including through the deployment of zero-emission battery-powered DASH buses within the park. In August of last year, Councilmember Raman also announced the permanent closure of a ⅔ mile stretch of Griffith Park Drive to personal vehicle use, further reducing emissions and increasing access to active recreation. However, much of the maintenance work and groundskeeping of the park is currently performed with heavily-polluting, gasoline-powered equipment. This equipment exposes users and park visitors to harmful emissions and disruptive noise pollution.
“Last summer, I was so excited to announce the permanent closure of a stretch of Griffith Park to personal vehicle use, and now I am thrilled to build upon that work by creating a fully zero-emissions Griffith Park,” said Councilmember Raman. “Not only will this improve air quality in one of the nation’s largest urban parks, it will serve as a symbol of our City’s values and a model for decarbonizing the rest of the City’s parks and outdoor spaces.”
Councilmember Raman’s motion instructs the Department of Recreation and Parks, with the assistance of the City Administrative Officer, the General Services Department, and any other relevant City departments, to report back within 60 days with a plan to transition City maintenance and transportation operations in Griffith Park to zero-emissions. The report will include options for electrifying, phasing out, or otherwise decarbonizing the following: City-owned equipment powered by gasoline engines, non-emergency City-owned vehicles that operate within Griffith Park, diesel- or gasoline-powered generators used for auxiliary power, and any other equipment powered by a diesel or gasoline engine.
LA City Council Adopts Building Code Ordinance To Require All New Buildings Constructed In Los Angeles Be Zero-Carbon
For Immediate Release: December 7, 2022
LOS ANGELES -- Today, the Los Angeles City Council took the final vote to update the City’s Building Code to require all new residential and commercial buildings in Los Angeles to be built so that they will achieve zero-carbon emissions. The motion – introduced by Councilmember Nithya Raman and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell, Paul Koretz, and Marqueece Harris-Dawson – was approved by the full Council in May, 2022.
“Today is a new day for Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Nithya Raman. “With this legislation, we are drastically transforming the physical infrastructure of our City with the urgency our climate crisis demands. We have created a regulatory framework for all new residential and commercial buildings in Los Angeles to be built so that they will achieve zero-carbon emissions as our electric grid becomes carbon-free – and we have moved swiftly to make this the law of the land starting next year.”
Buildings in Los Angeles account for 43% of greenhouse gas emissions—more than any other sector in the city, including transportation. As the City’s electric grid becomes carbon-free by 2035, all-electric buildings will become zero-carbon. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, all-electric buildings also have better indoor air quality, lower construction costs, fewer safety risks—especially during earthquakes—and lower climate emissions than equivalent mixed-fuel buildings.
“Building decarbonization is the City Council’s long overdue response to SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon obscene, climate-killing gas storage blowout in 2015. Today’s action will start the process of unhooking our buildings from the dangerous, leaky methane gas pipeline infrastructure that SoCalGas has proven to be so wildly incapable of managing safely,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz, one of the primary co-authors of the legislation. “This will help us eventually shut down the gas storage facility still threatening Porter Ranch at Aliso Canyon, help us shut down the gas storage facility threatening LAX at Playa del Rey, halt the negative health impacts Angelenos suffer from gas stoves and gas furnaces in their homes and businesses, and better protect our fragile, overheating planet.”
Under the ordinance adopted by the City Council today, all newly constructed buildings for which a building permit is submitted after April 1, 2023, will be required to be all-electric, with a delayed implementation for affordable housing projects, which will be required to be all-electric starting with projects that apply for building permits after June 1, 2023. Attached accessory dwelling units, commercial cooking equipment, gas-powered industrial process equipment, and gas-powered life safety systems, including emergency backup, will be exempt from this requirement. Where commercial cooking equipment and gas-powered industrial process equipment are installed, however, the building will be required to be made “electric-ready,” with electric infrastructure installed to accommodate the future installation of electric equipment.
Councilmember Raman emphasized, “I am so proud of the work our partners have done to make this happen, and I am proud to say that the city we are building today is laying the groundwork for the cleaner, healthier, and more equitable and sustainable Los Angeles of tomorrow.”
LA City Council Adopts Resolution In Support Of Federal Bills Promoting Conservation Efforts By 2030
For Immediate Release: 9/14/22
LOS ANGELES -- Today, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution from Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Paul Koretz supporting a set of conservation bills pending in Congress as a means of achieving the 30x30 initiatives set forth by President Joe Biden and Governor Gavin Newsom. The bills — the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act and the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act — would bolster the 30x30 goals of protecting 30% of natural areas by 2030 through preservation of natural resources and wildlife habitats throughout the Los Angeles region, while ensuring access to nature and life-enhancing benefits for all Angelenos.
“California has the most imperiled biodiversity of any other state in the country. If we are serious about preventing a potential mass extinction and drastic loss of natural resources, we must take bold measures to preserve the space and habitats we do have — this legislation will take us in the right direction at the right pace.” said Councilmember Raman. “Additionally, it will help to ensure more equity in life-enhancing access to nature, and life-essential provision of clean air and water for residents across the City.”
The 30x30 goals follow scientific recommendations of a timeline necessary to prevent further loss of natural space and biodiversity endangerment or extinction. The first bill supported in the Resolution, the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act (H.R.1075 and S.1769), would serve this preservation goal through expansion of the boundary of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by roughly 191,000 acres. This would increase public land access for 47% of Californians who live within two hours of this area, many in disadvantaged communities.
"Los Angeles is not just a network of freeways but, in fact, it is a biological hotspot with flora and fauna that exist nowhere else on earth including our world famous mountain lions like P-22," said Councilmember Koretz, co-author of the resolution. "But rapid urban density increases exacerbated by the onslaught of climate change is creating a perfect storm of mass extinction both globally and locally that are inextricably linked to human health and survival. Active conservation can no longer be a philosophical exercise but an emergency triage of policies to protect biodiversity and wildlife habitats as they stand on a precipice of disappearing forever. This package of conservation bills is the very least we can do to work at a local, state and federal level to save what is left. And we will keep doing more."
The second bill supported by the resolution, the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act (H.R.693), establishes the San Gabriel National Recreation Area along the foothills and San Gabriel River corridor, designating over 30,000 acres of protected wilderness and 45.5 miles of protected rivers. In concert with the PUBLIC Lands Act (S.1459), which the City Council previously adopted a Resolution supporting, it sets forth provisions concerning the restoration, economic development, conservation of, and recreational access to, certain public lands throughout California, including in the Los Angeles area,.
“We are pleased that the City Council is treating the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves by supporting this legislation, which will help protect our public lands for future generations to enjoy,” said Roberto Morales, Senior Organizing Representative, Sierra Club, and Board Chair, Nature for All Coalition. “Not only would protecting more lands and waters enable more people to enjoy access to nature; it would also help California achieve its climate goals, getting us closer to the essential mark of protecting 30% of lands and waters by 2030.”
Council Adopts Motion To Develop Regionwide Wildlife Connectivity Master Plan
For Immediate Release: June 28, 2022
COUNCIL ADOPTS MOTION TO DEVELOP REGIONWIDE WILDLIFE CONNECTIVITY MASTER PLAN
LOS ANGELES -- Today, Council unanimously adopted a motion introduced by Councilmember Nithya Raman and co-presented by Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, Monica Rodriguez, Mike Bonin, and John Lee, to develop a comprehensive regional wildlife habitat connectivity master plan in partnership with neighboring jurisdictions and organizations, pooling resources, staff, funding, and expertise to ensure that regional efforts aimed at protecting native wildlife are not enacted in silos. The motion also directs the Department of City Planning to present a detailed plan to ensure that the planned Wildlife ordinance, currently under discussion and formulation, addresses the needs of wildlife protection throughout the City. The City has already made a commitment to funding the staff necessary to complete the project in its final 2022-2023 City budget.
In May 2021, Los Angeles became the largest City to be certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a biodiversity haven. However, evidence shows that in addition to climate change, a primary driver of wildlife extinction is habitat loss and fragmentation caused by uncoordinated and poorly-sited development and the lack of safe wildlife crossings across freeways and roads. With this legislation, the City will be required to work with neighboring jurisdictions to develop a Regionwide Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Master Plan encompassing LA County and Ventura County, connecting the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy's Eastern Santa Monica Mountains Natural Resource Protection Plan to the Rim of the Valley to the LA River and Arroyo Seco and the Verdugo and San Gabriel Mountains, and beyond.
“I have the distinct honor of representing Hollywood’s most beloved mountain lion, P-22, who ten years ago completed an Odyssey-like journey, crossing the 405 and the 101, trekking over 20 miles to reach his new home of Griffith Park,” said Councilmember Raman. “The reality is that wildlife simply doesn’t adhere to jurisdictional boundaries. We need to let the needs of the environment guide both our conservation work and our development, and that is why we need an interconnected regional effort.”
“The building of the Liberty Canyon wildlife crossing is essential for the long-term survival of our Southern California Mountain lions and other wildlife,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz, author of the original City of Los Angeles wildlife corridors legislation, “but we must not stop there if we are to be truly successful. We must combine all the forward-thinking, but heretofore unconnected, conservation efforts in the area for a truly regional approach that will set a global standard for conservation in an urban environment.”
“Six years ago, when we established a Wildlife Corridor in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains, I amended the Committee’s report to include a study of adding the Rim of the Valley Corridor as a wildlife habitat linkage zone,” said Councilmember Krekorian. “With the addition of Rim of the Valley, we move one step closer to creating a regional wildlife habitat corridor, from Ventura County to the San Gabriel mountains and beyond, so our irreplaceable native California species can thrive in their natural home.”
“Co-existing with wildlife such as deer, cougars, bobcats and coyotes makes Los Angeles unique for a large city,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “A regional wildlife habitat connectivity plan is essential to create a cohesive, equitable plan that will connect corridors in my district such as Rim of the Valley to habitats throughout Southern California.”
“Los Angeles is blessed with a diverse ecology. As caretakers of these resources, we must be good neighbors to the animals that roam the region – and, above all, fight to protect their homes by ensuring greater habitat restoration and connectivity,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Unifying the regional wildlife connectivity plan and revamping the City’s development standards will do just that, and I’m proud to co-present this important motion.”
Councilmember Lee stated, "I am delighted to join with my colleagues to develop a Regionwide Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Plan. This legislation will go a long way towards promoting the well-being of wildlife and stave off the extinction of our most at-risk animals."
California Senator Henry Stern remarked, “Los Angeles is not only a metropolis, it is a biodiversity hotspot, where our wildland urban interface is often disconnected with freeways and other development, denying millions access to open spaces, and threatening species like the Southern California mountain lion. The State just took a major step forward to rewild LA and secure the right to nature for all with the groundbreaking on the 101 overcrossing at Liberty Canyon, but there are hundreds of additional projects needed if our wild neighbors are going to survive this era.” He added, “Thanks to our city leaders Councilmember Raman and Koretz for bringing the City of LA to the table in our broader push for regional wildlife habitat connectivity with this motion. We cannot rewild LA, achieve our 30x30 goals, or prevent the pending extinction crisis without them.”
"The Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains (RCD) has seen first hand the benefits of coordinated linkage planning throughout its territory in southeastern ventura and southern Los Angeles counties," said Clark Stevens, Architect and Executive Officer of RCD, who will lead the cross-jurisdictional regional effort. "We support the City of LA's habitat connectivity effort as a critical addition to connectivity and biodiversity conservation and enhancement efforts in both the city and region. The specificity of the City's project recognizes that the patterns of existing and potential connectivity are unique to the city, but nevertheless vital to maintaining a full complement of companion species and the many benefits they provide to our communities."
CLAW was founded to present wildlife awareness along with a vision for a connected network of habitat throughout LA City, County and beyond," said Tony Tucci, Co-Founder of Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife. “For thousands of years wildlife has been traversing the Santa Monica Mountains for food, water, shelter and mating opportunities. However, as urban sprawl continues in this region, wildlife routes and pathways are becoming dangerous or even completely blocked. This ambitious motion seeks to protect and restore those connections throughout a wildlife region that doesn’t adhere to jurisdictional boundaries.”
“To begin addressing the extinction crisis, we must do more to preserve wildlife corridors across Southern California,” said Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat, a campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity. “If policy makers work together to protect wildlife connectivity, especially in urban areas, we’ll have a shot at saving mountain lions, coastal California gnatcatchers and other imperiled animals that have been watching their habitats disappear over the years.”
"The Regional Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Plan can provide a framework to coordinate biodiversity decisions for every parcel in the region, from large wildlife corridors to backyard habitats and green infrastructure," said Isaac Brown, Senior Ecologist for Stillwater Sciences, who will help guide the science behind the effort. "Cheers to the City of LA for continuing its pioneering leadership on this critical conservation topic and helping to bring nature to every neighborhood."
The motion instructs the Department of City Planning, in consultation with LASAN, the Department of Building and Safety, and the City Attorney, to report back on or before October 22, 2022, with a plan for the expansion of the Wildlife Ordinance to cover the additional Protection Areas for Wildlife (PAWs), including the Rim of the Valley areas within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles.
Councilmember Nithya Raman Signs Onto Letter Opposing Senate Bill 1393
For Immediate Release: May 10, 2022
COUNCILMEMBER NITHYA RAMAN SIGNS ONTO LETTER OPPOSING SENATE BILL 1393
LOS ANGELES -- On Monday, Los Angeles City Councilmember Nithya Raman signed onto a letter from local elected officials in opposition to California Senator Bob Archuleta’s proposed SB1393, which would inhibit the State’s progress on building decarbonization by putting undue and burdensome standards on cities seeking to adopt requirements that dangerous and polluting, fossil-fueled appliances be replaced with zero-emission, electric appliances upon building alterations.
“In Los Angeles, buildings account for 43% of all greenhouse gas emissions – even more than cars. If we are going to get a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable city, then we are going to need to tackle the issue of greening our buildings head on,” said Councilmember Raman. “Now is certainly not the time to erect more barriers to achieving this vision.”
In February, Councilmember Raman introduced a motion requiring all new residential and commercial buildings in Los Angeles to be built so that they will achieve zero-carbon emissions. Raman’s motion, co-presented by Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell, Paul Koretz, and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, represents the City’s boldest action to tackle the City’s reliance on fossil fuels.
“As the gravity and urgency of the climate emergency become more apparent with each passing year, it is our duty to everything in our power to reduce carbon emissions and move toward a sustainable, zero-carbon economy,” stated Councilmember Raman.
Councilmember Nithya Raman Appointed To South Coast Air Quality Management District Board
For Immediate Release: February 1, 2022
COUNCILMEMBER NITHYA RAMAN APPOINTED TO SOUTH COAST AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT BOARD
LOS ANGELES -- Today, Councilmember Nithya Raman was appointed by Mayor Garcetti to represent the City of Los Angeles on the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) Governing Board. The organization’s mission is to clean the air and protect the health of all residents in the South Coast Air District through practical and innovative strategies. Councilmember Raman will replace Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who has served on the Board since 2013.
“Nithya is a true environmentalist who brings every ounce of her vision, passion, and experience to bear as a community leader and public servant,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Her work has helped show the power that our communities and city government can wield to combat the climate crisis, protect public health, and pursue environmental justice, and I know that she will help guide the AQMD board toward a new era of sustainability and prosperity.”
The South Coast AQMD develops plans and regulations designed to achieve public health standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency, under the Federal Clean Air Act, as well as the California Clean Air Act. South Coast AQMD’s Governing Board adopts plans and regulations for the region to reduce emissions from business and industry and then submits them to the California Air Resources Board and the Federal EPA.
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve on the AQMD Board – one of the most critical tools we have in Los Angeles for mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Councilmember Raman. “I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues on the Board to work to ensure that everyone in the South Coast region has healthy, clean air to breathe and that our ports become models for twenty-first century shipping that center environmental sustainability and environmental justice in their operations.”
Press Releases & Statements
Council Adopts Motion From Councilmember Raman To Create Affordable Housing Database
Posted by Stella Stahl · May 16, 2023 1:18 PM
Council Adopts Motion From Councilmember Raman To Create Holistic Investment Strategy For Interim And Permanent Housing to Reduce Unsheltered Homelessness
Posted by Stella Stahl · May 16, 2023 11:35 AM
Council Adopts Motion From Councilmember Raman To Bring Mental And Health Care Services To City-Funded Interim Housing Sites
Posted by Stella Stahl · May 10, 2023 2:56 PM