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Environmental Coalition Seeks to Link Neighborhood Council Greens

Environmental activist Andy Shrader wants to build a coalition of green committees in neighborhoods across the city.

Brentwood Community Council (BCC) president Nancy Freedman attended the first ever meeting of the Neighborhood Coalition of Green Committees last week at TreePeople on Mulholland Drive. Freedman was filling in for the BCC environmental alternate Teri Redman, who was unable to attend.

With the coalition, activists can have a more effective networking system for green committees citywide in Los Angeles. They can share their work on environmental issues, legislation and education. With a shared momentum, Andy Shrader believes more can be done.

A long-time environmental activist and environmental lobbyist, coalition organizer Andy Shrader discussed his work on legislation for environmentalism. He envisions quarterly meetings “to discuss relevant upcoming local and statewide legislation affecting us all and to mentor neighborhood councils in starting up their own green committees.”

Shrader serves on the Mar Vista Community Council Green Committee. After gaining the support of Mar Vista for an last year, Shrader visited neighborhood councils across the city, obtaining over 30 endorsements for the ban. For his efforts, Heal the Bay recognized Shrader with the 2011 Bob Hertz Award for volunteerism.

In May 2011, Shrader visited the Brentwood Community Council to present his plastic bag ban initiative. His proposal won the endorsement of the BCC.

In February, Shrader was invited to join the staff of Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz as his environmental officer.

Paula Waxman of the South Robertson Neighborhood Council Green Committee chaired the meeting.

“My hope,” she said, “is to bring these folks together so that we can learn from each other and share.”

Waxman has been a long-time activist who shares Shrader’s interest in forming a coalition of neighborhood council environmentalists.

“My personal goal is to meet more of my counterparts in the Neighborhood Council system. I am eager to have us connect,” said Co-Chair Sherri Akers, also on Mar Vista's Green Committee.

The meeting provided a valuable opportunity for community council members to meet and share the work they are doing in diverse communities across Los Angeles, Akers said.

Participants introduced themselves and their affiliations, briefly stating their concerns about environmental issues in their neighborhoods.

Nine community councils were represented, including Boyle Heights, Mid City West, Northridge East, Villa Marina/Del Mar, South Robertson, Reseda, Studio City, Van Nuys and Greater Griffith Park.

The Sierra Club, LA Beyond Coal, Valley Green Team, the TreePeople and the County of Los Angeles Energy Coalition were also represented.

Sherri Akers February 29, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Last year alone, NC's in Los Angeles supported motions to develop and urban beekeeping pilot project in LA, ban styrofoam and plastic bags, convert the lawn at City Hall and the future Expo stations to sustainable landscaping using California Natives, get LA off coal and so much more. By sharing information and contacts, we can be a vital force. When our civic leaders hear the same message from multiple communities in their district, it empowers them to fight for us!

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