The DLANC Sustainability Committee meets on the First Tuesday of every month at the Central Public Library.
Our committee chairs host office hours and neighborhood stakeholders gather for project workshops
to help advance several community-driven initiatives - for Downtown Los Angeles.

What is your vision for a more livable, affordable and efficient neighborhood?

Community Events Calendar

Send an event posting to

2008-10-31 (T.Guembes) Re: Sustainability Committee -- Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council

Hi Ashley,

We definitely would love to support what you are doing. We need more
leaders like you in our city. Let me know exactly what you need from
me and I will do my best to provide you with that information.

If there is something you'd like to get published also send that my way.

Keep up the great work.

Tony Guembes
Publisher / Editor
A publication for the Eco-Conscious Community
8350 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90211
323.556.0629 Tel
323.556.0601 Fax

On 10/30/08, Ashley Zarella, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA
> Dear Tony,
> As you know, I am a new member of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood
> Council and recently launched a Sustainability Committee to develop a
> community greening strategy for our neighborhood. We have an enthusiastic
> and diverse group of community members participating and we look forward
> to developing a program that compliments the great work being done at the
> city level. The intent is to enhance existing programs and services at the
> neighborhood and community level through outreach and education as we hope
> to foster a healthy urban environment for this and future generations.
> Although we are a new committee, we have already gotten to work on a grant
> opportunity that would provide this community with valuable resources and
> expert advice through the AIA (American Institute of Architects). The
> Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program is a community
> assistance program that focuses on the principles of sustainability. SDATs
> bring teams of volunteer professionals (such as architects, urban
> designers, planners, hydrologists, economists, attorneys, and others) to
> work with community decision-makers and stakeholders to help them develop
> a vision and framework for a sustainable future. We believe that this
> opportunity will empower our neighborhood with valuable information and
> resources and facilitate the work being pursued by the Downtown Los
> Angeles Neighborhood Council Sustainability Committee.
> You can read more about the SDAT grant here:
> I am writing because one requirement of the grant application is to
> provide letters of support from community leaders. I would like to ask you
> to partner with us as we pursue this exciting opportunity to focus on the
> environment at the community level. Your publication provides a focused
> look at work being done in Los Angeles and your partnership would help us
> fulfill some of the grant requirements for media outreach. Our deadline is
> fast approaching and we will need any letters of support by Wednesday,
> November 12. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please let
> me know as I would be happy to meet with you to provide you with more
> information.
> Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
> Sincerely,
> Ashley Zarella
> --
> Ashley Zarella, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA
> Director, Area-Wide Work-Force, Private Sector
> Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, 2008-2010

2008-10-31 (B.Westwater) SDAT Grant Application - Exec. Committee Mtg

Dear Brady,

Thank you for your time this evening and I really appreciate your offer to give me your thoughts about the recent history of downtown, upcoming projects and timeline, and other considerations as we prepare the Sustainability Committee application for the 2009 Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Program.I would be happy to meet you on Sunday so we both might have more time to consider this application. I hope this information will help and I look forward to your feedback.

Per our conversation, you mentioned the following projects as good examples for the SDAT application:

* Pershing Square - the initial park plan versus the community gardens
* Quimby fees and downtown parks
* The study on green views and learning

For more information on the grant:

I hope this helps. I look forward to your feedback on Sunday. Please let me know when you are available.

Thanks and Happy Halloween!


Ashley Zarella, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA

Director, Area-Wide Work-Force, Private Sector
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, 2008-2010
Sustainability Committee Blog:

2008-10-31 (JR.Brown) SDAT Grant Application - Exec. Committee Mtg

Dear Russ,

Thank you for your time this evening at the Neighborhood Council Executive Committee meeting. I was pleased to present the Sustainability Committee's proposal to apply for the AIA Center for Communities by Design 2009 Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Program. We will be meeting on Monday, November 3 to review the grant application and look forward to our presentation for approval at the Board of Directors Meeting on November 11 ( The RFP response is due in Washington, DC by Friday, November 14.

This will be a great opportunity to work with community partners as we develop the means for a more sustainable future. The Sustainability Committee agrees that we will benefit no matter the outcome of the application because we will develop materials to use for future applications. We hope to fairly represent our neighborhood so please send me any recommendations you have about recent developments and history of downtown. If you have any suggestions over the next few days as we prepare the application, I would appreciate your feedback. We are looking for letters of support from community partners that "demonstrate community support and participation" for a "broad base of community members."

Thank you for your support. I look forward to the final presentation of the grant application on Tuesday, November 11 for the Board's approval. I will forward the agenda items to you this week per the outcome of the Sustainability Committee meeting.

Happy Halloween!


Here's more on the grant:

cc: Sustainability Committee blog

Ashley Zarella, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA

Director, Area-Wide Work-Force, Private Sector
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, 2008-2010
Sustainability Committee Blog:

Gap Assessment & Other Programs of Interest

We will be surveying other sustainability programs in Los Angeles and identify resources that might be applicable. Please feel free to make suggestions here.

Some programs of interest mentioned at our first meeting:
  • Sustainable Works (nonprofit) in Santa Monica
  • Chrysalis and Conservation Corps
  • Community Partners

Mission Statement Brainstorming

Draft statement that was discussed at our first meeting:
  • The Sustainability Committee is committed to providing tools to all Downtown stakeholders to make more sustainable choices where they live, work and play.

    We will work with the community to develop a building-by-building strategy for Downtown Los Angeles through parternship and planning to empower stakeholders to foster a healthy, sustainable environment.
Brainstorming: define tools; mission statement should help us determine objectives; what is our scope? community versus buildings; cultural shift and education; fill the gap not yet approached by existing green building programs; mission statement should be short; building-by-building is one strategy; definition of sustainabilty to be added.

Please feel free to propose a revised mission statement. This feedback will be incorporated for review/approval of the Mission Statement at the next regularly scheduled meeting on November 17, 2008 at 6:30pm at the Ardas Cafe.

More information from the Bureau of Sanitation (Cathleen)

This information was provided by our presenter from the Bureau of Sanitation this morning:

1. Mind Your Business Publication: A Recycling Guide to Offices

2. Business Recycling Brochure

3. Business Waste Assessments
The Bureau (our division) provide waste audits. We help you identify how much and the type of materials being thrown away. Then we try to put you in touch with the right folks at nonprofits or commercial haulers that can accept the material from businesses. These groups are all found in the Mind Your Business document, but it is a bit dated so it is best to request an assessment. Then our folks can give personal guidance. Members interested in a waste assessment can contact Rene Spencer at

4. Let's Reuse LA a Reuse Guide for Businesses

5. Restaurant Food Recycling Brochure

Here is the info you requested about the big belly .. Sorry. I couldn't find any articles about our big belly's in LA. This is about New York City's initiative.

I had a quick correction. The restaurant composting and the residential kitchen scrap composting are a part of the Bureau. Only the Restaurant Composting programis a part of our division. Thanks for inviting us .. I am so glad to hear that recycling is important. If you would like individual program manager to come talk to your group about the other above mentioned programs, just let me know. We can try to arrange to have them come out and answer specific questions about the program.

Meeting Minutes 10/20/08 – Approved

  1. City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation presentation on recycling programs by Ms. Cathleen Chavez and Ms. Benet Sanchez highlighted some areas where there is potential outreach and opportunity for the Neighborhood Council to bring resources and services to our community.
    1. Multi-family residential recycling is available to all mixed-use and single use buildings downtown. Any stakeholder, in addition to the building manager/owner, can call and request the blue bin pick-up service. The Department of Sanitation will coordinate service strategies with the building owner for pick-up at a central, interior location. Trash fees could be reduced.
    2. For all buildings with five (5) or more units, a private hauler is required. Only the private haulers Athens, American, and Crown sort trash in what is referred to as “downstream” recycling.
    3. Recommendations included introducing more “Big Bellies” to downtown – solar-powered trash compactors meant for our streets – and public recycling bins (with education to minimize contamination).
    4. Commercial recycling must maintain their own contract – however, there are nonprofits that will do a trash assessment to help business figure out how to reduce waste and effectively minimize trash fees. A list of nonprofit names will be requested from the speakers and posted on
    5. If you have any to report for illegal dumping, please call 311 or submit a complaint through the website for Los Angeles Housing Code Enforcement Division through the Building Department or Street Services and register your complaint.
    6. Direct contact information for information about these or other programs, such as restaurant composting (which isn’t actually a Bureau of Sanitation program), can be found by calling 213-473-4142.
  2. The Sustainability Committee Mission Statement will be amended to reflect the qualities we understood as a committee this evening: it is about communities and not just buildings; we must minimize the cost of individual participation through partnership and participation; we must encourage inclusive and relevant opportunities for all stakeholders in our neighborhood and communities; and we need to survey our landscape to understand where we can enhance existing opportunities through outreach and develop programming to meet those needs not being met in Downtown Los Angeles. We should identify our objectives and establish criteria that will enable us to prioritize them. Finally, we should develop programs to support our objectives with periodic review based on the established criteria.
    1. It was recommended that the United Nations definition of sustainability be incorporated into the mission statement.
    2. The United Nations Report of the Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future:

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

A more comprehensive list of other objectives outlined will be posted on the blog at The committee and community are encouraged to leave their ideas as comments which will be incorporated for the committee record. This discussion will resume at the next regularly scheduled meeting (November 17, 2008 at 6:30pm at Ardas Café, 418 West 6th Street across from Pershing Square).

Future agenda items:

American Institute of Architects Center for Communities by Design request for proposal will be pursued for the 2009 Sustainable Design Assessment Team Program (SDAT) grant. The proposal deadline is November 14, 2008 and an interim meeting has been agreed upon so that the team of volunteer grant writers will be able to send the proposal to the Committee for approval in time for the November 7, 2008 Board of Directors meeting and the deadline. The proposal will be reviewed by the committee on Monday, November 3, 2008 from 6:30pm-8:00pm at a location to be announced by this Friday, October 24.

    1. Items for the regularly scheduled November 17, 2008 meeting:Presentation by Kristine Kline for the Mayor’s Office on city-wide greening initiatives; Resource compilation for gap analysis and needs assessment; List development will begin on the blog and go to the committee for review and evaluation; Objectives list will be reviewed; and Committee member introductions.

Adjournment. Thank you for all of your great ideas, participation and time this evening!

First Meeting Agenda - Monday, October 20, 6:30pm at Ardas Cafe

MEETING AGENDA - Our first meeting!
Ardas Cafe is located at 418 W6th Street across the street from Pershing Square.
  • Welcome and Initial Comments.
  • Public Comment on Non-agenda items
  • Presentation by the City of Los Angeles Department of Sanitation on recycling resources including the 3-bin program, multi-family residential recycling, LAUSD recycling, Safe Centers, and Composting. Guest speakers: Benet Sanchez and Cathleen Chavez
  • Discussion of the Committee Mission Statement. Action item: approve statement or next steps.

Draft statement: The Sustainability Committee is committed to providing tools to all Downtown stakeholders to make more sustainable choices where they live, work and play. We will work with the community to develop a building-by-building greening strategy for Downtown Los Angeles through partnership and planning to empower stakeholders foster a healthy, sustainable environment.

  • Outline of objectives for the Sustainability Committee regarding the building-to-building strategy for Downtown Los Angeles, including projects such as the Huntington Hotel Proposal (Natalia Aguilar). Action item: Designate committee roles and responsibilities.
  • Future agenda items.
  • Adjournment.
The public is requested to fill out a "Speaker Card" to address the DLANC SUSTAINABILITY Committee on any item of the agenda prior to the Committee taking action on an item. Comments from the public on agenda items will be heard only when the respective item is being considered. Comments from the public on other matters not appearing on the agenda that is within the Committee's subject matter jurisdiction will be heard during the public comment period. Public comment is limited to 2 minutes per speaker, unless waived by the presiding officer of the Committee. As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, or other auxiliary aids and/or services may be provided upon request. To ensure availability of services, please make your request at least 3 business days (72 hours) prior to the meeting you wish to attend by contacting Committee Board Chair Ashley Zarella at


October 20 Meeting - Location confirmed

We have confirmed a location for our meetings:

October 20, 2008 at 6:30pm
Arda's Cafe (
418 W 6th StreetLos Angeles CA, 90014

The cafe closes at 5:00pm but we'll be there to let you in. It is easily accessible from the Pershing Squre Red Line stop and other public transit. Click here for a map.

An agenda will be available by October 13. See you then!

First Meeting Announced - Location To Be Determined

Our first meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 20 at 6:30pm. We plan on meeting the Third Monday of the month thereafter. We hope you will be able to attend.

We are still looking for a location for this meeting so please let me know if you have any ideas. In order to comply with the Brown Act, we must be in a place that does not require identification to enter and is accessible to the general public. However, if you are not sure if your suggestion meets these requirements, I encourage you to still let me know and I will help make that determination.

Our first meeting will cover the mission statement of the committee and outline a general scope of work for the next few months. I am also hoping to invite someone from the Department of Public Works to discuss recycling programs downtown. A formal agenda will be issued by October 13.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you on Monday, October 20!

Looking for Sustainable Downtown Images

The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council is working on a new website and we're looking for images to represent the Sustainability Committee. Please contact me if you have any you'd like to donate to the cause!