Opinion: It’s Time to ‘Think Green’ in West Hollywood

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. St. Patty’s is the day we all wear green and think green. In West Hollywood we aim to think green throughout the year. I’m proud to have initiated the new Green City Awards upon becoming chairman of the Public Facilities Commission. Over the past few months we have developed a new Green City program that will culminate in the first ever Green City Awards at the City Council Chambers on May 13 at the annual Public Facilties Commission televised broadcast.

Over these past months your Public Facilities Commission and city staff have worked tirelessly in weekly evening meetings to develop the guidelines, eligibility, vision, logos, and more to create the first ever West Hollywood Green City Awards Program.

In our deliberations we aimed to reward local initiatives, big and small, and environmental actions taken by an individual, a business or organization or school.   The commission was fervent in its belief that “Mary” should get the award. Mary is code word for the neighbor who started a community garden or helped initiate an idea to make West Hollywood greener and more sustainable.  

Our goal was to reward a developer who exceeds the buildings standards with energy, water, or other efficiencies. Our promise was to keep it local for ideas or projects that are born or built in West Hollywood. Our ideal was to build community and collectively work to make West Hollywood a model Green City.

Please go to www.weho.org and submit a nomination for your favorite “green person” or “green program.”  Many of our conversations evolve around protecting our trees, our parks, or hoping for new community gardens.   Many of you have taken action in the area of bike lanes and tree preservation. And many new projects have met a new golden standard for sustainability.   I’m excited to promote these green actions and move our city forward to greener pastures.

I’d like to take this moment to say a special thanks to my colleagues on the Public Facilities Commission.   Vice Chair Tai Sunnanon along with Commissioner Noemi Torres, Commissioner Susan Isaacs, Commissioner Elaine Polachek,  Commissioner Richard Karliss, and Commissioner Ed Stapleton have all contributed and worked passionately to make this program successful as our city completes its Vision 2020 plan.   The process was not always easy. We challenged the status quo and broadened the Public Facilities Commission purview and could not have been successful without the knowledge and support of Helen Collins and Erin Hamant.

A very special thanks to Mayor John D’Amico, who I called upon being elected chair with the idea of the Green City Awards, and it was on the very next City Council agenda. And none of this would be complete if I did not acknowledge former Commissioner Brandon Millan.   His inspiration made this my first order of business upon being elected Chairman. And now.. its up to you. The first West Hollywodo Green City Awards. Nomination deadline is March 31, and wishing you all the luck of the Irish!.


4 Comments
  1. I saw a Documentary on PBS about the recycling of Plastics.

    Unless it is numbered 1-3, IT DOESN’T GET Recycled.

    Of all blue bins, study showed only 4% is actually recyclable.

    A lot of reasons.
    We used to ship our higher numbered plastics to China. No more.

    Even Starbucks cups can’t be recycled because the cardboard and plastic lining are fused together, so they have never been recyclable all this time. 🙁

  2. Nice idea and hopefully the eventual recipient(s) will be those demonstrating a consciousness to the natural environment in place and any historic structures in the context. There are unfortunately some skilled developers/architects that have cleverly taken advantage of the latest green technology but executed it in somewhat of a disingenuous manner.

    Also to be considered might be a “Lump of Coal Award” for neglected areas such as Plummer Park and Laurel Place. Unfortunately Laurel continues to degrade one blade of grass, plant or bush at a time after having been peed upon to death. It has become a de facto “off leash dog park” with the proverbial ornamentation and no consideration for the surroundings.

  3. Green in West Hollywood refers to money. Greed and money. Look at the filthy dirty money from developers to John Duran. Look at the back door money going to support the incumbents. Is there an award for that?

  4. Saturday, March 7th, I was at Kings Road park for the first time in quite a few years. My three year old granddaughter, Maeve, was celebrating (!) her birthday with family and a bunch of other three and four year old pals. In time, I waddled out to a bench outdoors. The scene was such that one was required to sit and enjoy the respite from the surrounding cityscape. Quiet, some bird song and the calming sound of a waterfall all damn near lulled me to sleep – before my nap! The small park was lovely and I will happily applaud the city staff for its revival. Looking forward to the Green Awards. Thanks, Larry…

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