13 Jan FoLar Distributes River Questionnaire to Candidates for City Council Offices
In the spirit of encouraging robust participation in our local democracy, Friends of the LA River have drafted and distributed a five subject questionnaire to all certified candidates for public office in Council Districts 2, 4, 12 and 14. We hope for full participation in our non-endorsing survey, so that FoLAR can publish candidate responses and share with our supporters as vital members of the River Movement. Read our disclaimer and our questionnaire below!
NOTE: If you are seeking public office as a write-in candidate or for another district than the aforementioned four council districts, please feel free to draft your own responses; you are free to publish on your applicable campaign website with attribution to Friends of the LA River.
Dear Candidate for LA City Council Office:
Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) invite your participation in our informational questionnaire for the benefit of the public in anticipation of the March Election. FoLAR aims to ensure public access and coexistence with wildlife habitats remain central to River restoration. For over three decades we have been an important source of informational resources for Angelenos interested in building the brightest future for the LA River. The 30,000 members of our mailing list and organization look to FoLAR as a crucial place to learn what their elected representatives are doing or can do to support River restoration. We invite you to fill out this attached questionnaire. Completed questionnaires will be posted on our website and available for the public to judge each candidate’s beliefs, plans, and philosophy on environmental issues in our region.
Kindly answer each question truthfully and accurately. Upon submission of your response, answers will be compiled and shared in an online blog post giving equal time for each candidate. In communications encouraging FoLAR supporters to vote now through March 2020, we will also direct them to our River questionnaire so that they can hold and an informed opinion as to which candidate will best represent them in the realm of River policy. Please also share any head shot or candidate portrait for postage on social media with quotes from survey responses.
The DEADLINE for submitting your response is 3:00 p.m., Friday January 31st, 2020. Please submit your response electronically.
- In 30 years, dramatic changes have occurred on the Los Angeles River that have created new spaces for public to gather, and for plant and wildlife habitat. Public interest in seeing a vibrant restoration of the LA River is ever-growing and stretches of the River’s in [your respective district] will be crucial to restoration efforts throughout the watershed. Please share your vision for the River’s future and what you see as the ideal balance between nature and infrastructure.
- The City is underway designing the usage of 42 acres of open space at Taylor Yards G2. Last year, they put forward three preliminary design concepts, FoLAR published an op-ed calling for the abandonment of one of the options and supporting the two options that offer concrete removal at the site. To date, over 3,000 supporters have signed FoLAR’s petition calling for concrete removal at the G2 site. What is your preferred design option and why?
- River advocates have successfully pushed state and city agencies to see their adjacent park lands in the mid-River a part of 100 continuous acres of open space. A private luxury development, known as Casitas Lofts, threatens access at the north end of the 100 continuous acres, and has inspired a coalition of advocates to oppose this development, as is. Please explain how you would balance the need for housing development, with environmental health and restoration, climate resilience, and equitable public access to our natural resources with respect to River-adjacent developments.
- Los Angeles City and the US Army Corps of Engineers agreed in 2016 to an ambitious ecological restoration plan along the LA River (also known as ARBOR). Currently LA County is conducting an update to its own River Master Plan with the intention of ““synthesizing more recent ideas for portions of the River and bringing a comprehensive vision to the transformation of the LA River.” Questions remain unanswered however as to how ARBOR will be realized within the County’s new updated plan. Please explain how, in your capacity as an elected city leader, you view these plans interacting, and your priority for planning City-sections of the River.
- This April marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, and FoLAR’s 31st annual Great LA River CleanUp. Every year, 6,000 volunteers come together to make a positive impact on our River’s health by removing plastic waste from our urban ecosystem. Individual volunteers are doing their part, but greater government action is needed. Please share your plans for reducing plastics and shifting the culture of waste in the City of Los Angeles.