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.

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SDAT Project Team Planning Meeting - Summary

SDAT Project Team Meeting
October 26, 2009 at the DLANC Office
(open to the public)

Sustainability Committee members met on the evening of October 26, 2009 to debrief on the SDAT preliminary visit and begin planning the full team visit in early December.

Committee members who participated in the SDAT preliminary visit gave a brief summary of the visit. The preliminary SDAT visit was a huge success. The AIA staff were given a whirlwind tour of Downtown Los Angeles, met with community members, and got tours of key Downtown buildings and locations. Overall they found the trip highly engaging, comprehensive, and well-planned and were happy to get an on-the-ground perspective of Downtown, even if they were a bit surprised by the amount of walking involved.

Next, committee members discussed the upcoming full SDAT visit scheduled for December 2-4. Based on the positive feedback received during the preliminary visit, committee members felt that keeping the interactive, touring component of the visit would be important. However, the walking component would need to be less intense to accommodate more meetings and time for the team to work on their report and recommendations. There would also be an opportunity to divide the group into smaller teams to view specific aspects of Downtown tailored on their interests and specialties. To fully utilize the input of the Steering Committee, the group also decided to have at least two meetings with the SDAT and Steering Committee and whenever possible to include Steering Committee members in the SDAT’s activities and tours. With these goals in mind, committee members created a list of components to be included in the SDAT visit agenda. These were:

• Neighborhood tours organized by topic or geography and led by Steering Committee members;
• At least two meetings with the entire Steering Committee;
• 101 Freeway Cap Park meeting;
• Rest breaks;
• Visit to the rooftop of the Ritz Carlton Hotel;
• Reception, networking event, or mixer(s) held in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, and/or Downtown News.
• Time for SDAT to work on report and recommendations (charrette time, possible public);
• Stakeholder group meetings and roundtable discussions (public); and
• Closing presentation.

With these components in mind, committee members next sketched out a draft agenda for the SDAT visit:
Wednesday, December 2
Roundtable discussions/tours
101 Cap Park meeting (depending on available time)
Meeting with Steering Committee

Thursday, December 3

Workgroup meetings- by sector, topic, or geography
Public charrette

Friday, December 4

Meeting with Steering Committee
Time for SDAT to work on proposal and report
Public presentation of preliminary findings
Mixer/Closing reception

For next steps, the committee members agreed to: share the draft agenda and list of components with the SDAT staff and finalize the agenda based on their feedback; write an article or press release announcing the visit for the Downtown News and Blog Downtown; discuss how we track results and how long we have the SDAT on Friday with SDAT staff; prepare a list of resources on Downtown to brief the SDAT before their visit.

THANK YOU DOWNTOWN! Tree Planting Day was a success with more than 30 trees & 65 volunteers

The Sustainability Committee in partnership with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and Million Trees LA planted 31 trees on Saturday, October 24 along South Alameda. This is Phase I of our Skid Row Tree Planting Project and thank you to the many community volunteers and partners who made this great event happen! Check out some of our pictures from the event.

Thank you to Daryl Rolen, Evelyn Martinez, David Estrada, Rocio Diaz, Jonathan Diaz, James W. Stewart, Chavez Gregory, Rocky Brooks, Lynn J. Bell, Sparkle Woodson, Humphrey Jones, Brian Beasley, Nathan Russell, Michael Jackson, Travis Seaward, Melody Man, Robert Phillips, Felicia Marie Perry, Josh Rohmer, Marcela Jacome, Erika Logie, Samuel Steven Randle V, Tyronza Smith, Jemal Power, Kristy Angel, Paul Zawacki, India Brookover, Karl "Doc" Maryland, Ernest Melendrez, Daveed Kapoor, General Jeff, Tanner Blackman, May Iev, Janet McGregor, Jocelyn Movido, Nancy K. Martin, Rey Martin, Brian Mitchell, Ryan McGregor, Kenny Daigre, Patty Hernandez, Arlonda Grant, Anthony Ortega, Emily Hernandez, Kaleigh Bancroft, Eldetra Grant, Stephanie Hernandez, Charles Huang, Brooke Daniels, Armando Hernandez, Ken Lesley, Vincent P. Meyer III, Charlie Lofthouse, Christopher Silva Cruz, Julio Dunn, Eddie Danie, Robert Anderson, Jeremy Parks, Chas A. San Nicolas, Femila Ervin, Nathalynn Ervin, Jasmine Brown, George Selman, Wendell Blessingame and Sustainability Committee Project Lead Gunnar Hand, AICP for all of their hard work and community spirit!

Thank you to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, especially Meghan Shearer, for their great work and support throughout this entire process - we're thrilled to have new trees for Downtown! Thank you to India Brookover, community volunteer and photographer, who also gave her time on Saturday morning to help us document the day!

LA Bioneers Beaming Conference - check out the Sustainability Committee presentation

The first-ever LA Bioneers Beaming Conference was a success - and we have found several interested stakeholders who would like to get involved with the Sustainability Committee. Although the event cost money to participate, volunteers got in for free for the day and we benefited from this first-ever partnership with Project Butterfly.

Check out the presentation made by Sustainability Committee Chair Ashley Zarella Hand, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA on Saturday, October 17 during the Sustainable Communities Panel. Check out the event website for the full line-up.

Sustainability Committee celebrates one year! Click here to see the full report.

Check out our Year in Review Report for 2009. We have had an amazing first year as a committee with great projects, interesting discussions, and even more incredible community volunteers dedicated to making Downtown Los Angeles a more livable, affordable and efficient urban center. Thank you to everyone who has made this first year a success.

If you are not already involved, please come join us at our next meeting, event, or volunteer opportunity. We need your help to meet our goals!

Sustainability Committee partners with Project Butterfly for exciting new Downtown conference

The Sustainability Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council has partnered with Project Butterfly, Electric Lodge, Evolution Jewels and Downtown Independent to present: THE FIRST BIONEERS CONFERENCE SIMULCAST IN LA!

This event will take place October 16-18 at the Downtown Independent Theater: 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles Ca 90012

Tickets are $15-$100 [Early bird discounts through Oct 13]

Come check out the Sustainability Committee throughout the event and hear Chair Ashley Zarella Hand present on Saturday! If you want to volunteer, you can get a free day pass to the event. Email us at to get involved with this exciting educational conference!

Headlining this year's event are nationally prominent luminaries, some of whom include:

Andrew Weil M.D.: international bestselling author and considered the nation's foremost authority on holistic medicine.

Michael Pollan: award-winning author and one of the most influential thinkers on food and agriculture.

Joanna Macy: author, celebrated Buddhist teacher, eco-philosopher and activist in the peace, justice, and ecology movements.

Jerome Ringo: president of the Apollo Alliance, and the first African-American to head a major conservation organization, the National Wildlife Federation


Woodrow Clark, MA3, Ph.D.: Founder of Clark Strategic Partners. Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Senior Advisor on Renewable Energy to California Governor Gray Davis from 2000-2003.

Denny Zane: Executive Director of of Move LA, former Mayor and for 12 years a city councilmember in Santa Monica, former Executive Director of Coalition for Clean Air.

Larry Santoyo: Director of EarthFlow Designs. Land use planner and green business consultant. Larry is among the most experienced Permacutlure Designers and Educators in the US.

Charles Eisenstein: Healer, traveler, teacher, writer, integrated holistic visionary and evolutionary proactivist.

Russel Vare: Renewable Energy Analyst for Los Angeles Community College District. Vare has worked in both policy development and implementation of sustainable technologies, including solar PV and hydrogen fuel cells.

Hillary Norton: Executive Director for FastLA, a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to designing and supporting the implementation of fast-term strategies to reduce LA County’s traffic congestion.


For more information and to purchase tickets visit:

Small business sustainability recognition and project kick-off meeting

Projects 3 & 4 Kick-Off Meeting
Monday, October 12 from 7:00-8:30pm
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Office (453 S. Spring Street)

If you plan on attending, please RSVP to

Join us to discuss how we will work towards increasing participation in cost-saving City of Los Angeles programs to improve energy and water efficiency and cut our waste.

We are planning to develop a small business-focused Green Primer program to recognize best practices. Come get involved in this exciting program!

Online Survey of Services: Have you used a City program for energy, water or waste? We want to know more about it! Please complete the survey online.

Sustainable Community Projects Internship - Updates

January 1, 2010: Marc Ross is currently working on two projects. In his own words, he summarizes the goals:

The first project is a brochure describing how to start an urban
garden. There will be a series of seven questions one may ask during
the process, and instructions and ideas of how to answer them. It will
also offer contact information of city and private resources
available, as well as local groups associated with DLANC.

The second project is the garden. We are currently working with Paul
Zawacki at Skid Row Housing Trust to try and build a garden in the
space behind the Las Americas building on 6th and Alameda St., or
another spot. The idea is that the produce yielded from the garden
will be sold to chefs of local restaurants for use in their cuisine
and will grow specialty crops specifically for their needs. The
proceeds will be used to pay the low-income residents of the SROs
working the garden, as well as go towards supplies for maintaining it.
The micro-enterprising idea is designed to give economic stimulus to
ensure success of the garden. We are still trying to ascertain whether
the spot behind Las Americas is available for such a project.

October 19, 2009: Marc Ross, Sustainable Community Projects Intern will be focusing on a rooftop ordinance study for the remainder of the internship. He has already been very helpful in compiling information for two different tree planting grants and we hope to submit these to our partner LACC soon. Working exclusively on the ordinance study will focus Marc's efforts in support of Project 1: Rooftop Edible & Composting Containers (Project Lead: Dawna Nolan) to the benefit of the Sustainability Committee's understanding of the issue. We continue to post updates for the remaining weeks of the internship. Start Date: October 6, 2009 / Tentative End Date: December 31, 2009 (12 week min.)

October 6, 2009: We would like to welcome Marc J. Ross, 2009 Sustainable Community Project Intern for the Sustainability Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. This is the first time we have had an (unpaid) internship for the neighborhood council and Marc will be dedicated to supporting the advancement of our organization's goals.

In Marc's own words, here is why he wants to get involved:

"Currently, I am employed by the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles as their Nutritional Specialist. My position gives me the opportunity to feed women of low means the healthiest foods that they might not necessarily find anywhere else downtown. Aside from cooking healthy fare, the participants and I engage in discussions on how to improve their health and well being through their diets. We provide them with fresh fruits and vegetables daily, many of them donated from relationships I have developed with farmers from the Pershing Square farmers market and Heath and Lejeune. However, because of budgetary restraints, I am unable to provide my participants with solely sustainable, organic produce and protein.

Food security and food sustainability are my passion and two topics I spend great amounts of time researching. I strongly believe that if we as a society do not take the necessary steps to become a sustainable nation, our lives and the lives of future generations are in grave risk of losing the planet to elements no longer within our control. The steps needed to change our current systems are daunting, but it is a challenge to which I want to devote my career. Locally, I want to help empower and educate Los Angeles to make more informed choices, incrementally helping us move towards a more sustainable and independent future. This internship opportunity will assist me in working toward and achieving that goal and introduce me to future possibilities."

We were very pleased with the excellent candidates we had for this opportunity and thank you for your enthusiasm and support of the Sustainability Committee. For more information on the original internship posting, including a job description, click here.

Welcome Marc!

LADOT needs public feedback in light of budget shortfalls

LADOT has begun a comprehensive analysis of its transit services to respond to a projected $23M shortfall in fiscal years 2010-11. It is critical that riders provide input so that LADOT can determine how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its services while minimizing impacts on transit riders. Fare increases, service reductions, and elimination of LADOT transit services are real possibilities unless additional funding is identified.

Please notify riders and interested non-riders and encourage them to submit their comments using one of the following methods:
1. On the Internet at
2. By telephone at (213) 978-9779
3. US mail to LADOT at 201 No. Los Angeles Street, #18B, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council wins First Annual Neighborhood Council Peer Award for Environment

The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council will be honored with a First Annual Neighborhood Council Peer Award for Environment to be presented during lunch at the Empower LA 2009 A Congress of Neighborhoods October 10, 2009 at City Hall. The ceremony is scheduled during lunch from 11:40 am-11:55 am.

This award was created to recognize the efforts and dedication of neighborhood councils and the projects and services they provide to their individual stakeholders and communities. The categories and criteria were developed by a sub-committee of the planning committee and the award winners were determined by members of the planning committee from the seven neighborhood council regions. The categories and winners are:

Arts: Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council and Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council

Environment: Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and Mar Vista Neighborhood Council

Outreach: Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council and Chatsworth Neighborhood Council

Youth Empowerment: West Adams Neighborhood Council and Greater Cypress Park Neighborhood Council

Congratulations again from the planning committee of Empower LA 2009 A Congress of Neighborhoods and we will see you Saturday.

Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

October Regular Sustainability Meeting - One Year in Review

When: Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 6:30-7:50pm
Where: Central Public Library, Meeting Room A (630 W. 5th Street)
Celebrating One Year


1. Welcome.
2. Cookies baked by Sustainability Committee member Gunnar Hand. Thank you.

3. Public Comment on Non-agenda items including community announcements. DLANC Transportation Committee Chair suggested a collaboration to solicit feedback on the LA Bicycle Plan. However, because the City of Los Angeles has already scheduled several feedback opportunities which are included on the Sustainability Committee calendar, it was decided that there may be more productive ways of providing feedback. Ginny Brideau recommended letter writing as a strong strategy. Sustainability Committee members encouraged to review bike plan and email any comments to Mark at

4. Review of meeting minutes from the September meeting deferred until November meeting.

5. Sustainable Community Projects Internship update. Marc Ross has been chosen among three very qualified candidates for this new position. Marc introduced himself to the committee and highlighted his interests.

6. 2009 Projects – Year in review
a. Project 1: Rooftop Edible & Composting Containers (Dawna Nolan) Plans to host rooftop container classes with master gardener to be announced shortly. Met with CD14 office who is interested in helping identify potential rooftops for gardens. Ordinance study is necessary for greater long-term impact.

b. Project 2: Tree Planting – Skid Row Pilot (Gunnar Hand) Partnership with Los Angeles Conservation Corps has resulted in the identification of a pilot for the Skid Row Area along S. Alameda. Designated a Signature Tree Project by Million Trees LA, we will be planting 24-gallon trees along S. Alameda on October 24. Need help with applications for tree maintenance grants. Currently has six letters of support from community stakeholders. Sustainability Committee approved a letter of support for the Signature Project designation by Million Trees LA.

c. Projects 3: Increase Participation in Cost-Saving Efficiency Programs: Energy & Water Focus/ Project 4: Increase Participation in City & Private Recycling and Food Waste Programs (Corey Prost) – Looking to host a community meeting soon with information on the many programs. Small business “primer” program will be developed to encourage commercial program participation. Working group to meet soon to start designing the program.

d. Project 5: Online Toolkit of Existing Resources (Ryan Saucerman). Additional update on progress of Sustainability Committee website. Goal is to launch Sustainability Committee website in January 2010. Still need to finalize budget allocation for this project.

e. Project 6: Community Greening Strategy & The Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Grant (Veronica Siranosian). Preliminary visit was a great success and there will be a great deal of planning for the full SDAT visit December 2-4. There will be a project team meeting in the next two weeks to start planning.

f. Project 7: Event and Education Programming & Calendar. Los Angeles Bioneers Beaming Conference to be hosted at the Downtown Independent on October 14-16. Ashley Zarella will be presenting as a panel member and DLANC Sustainability Committee members are encouraged to vlunteer – two complimentary tickets are available. Check out the new location of the calendar on the website for more information about this and other events around Downtown.

i. Park[ing] Day LA 2009 Follow-Up: There is a group of organizers meeting on October 15 at Barnsdall Park to discuss how to continue Park[ing] Day LA throughout the year.

g. Project 8: Green Living Program (Pamela Tuttle). Pamela introduced Scott from the LACC who is interested in setting up something similar to Sustainable Works. Looking to have events hosted Downtown. Additional educational partner to be considered: UCLA Extension. Natalia would like to get more involved with education, particularly for children (coloring book initiative, for instance). Central Public Library would be a great venue for future educational events.

7. Adjournment

October Meeting - Sustainability Committee First Year Anniversary - Year in Review

Join us this Tuesday, October 6, 2009 from 6:30pm-7:45pm at the Central Public Library (Meeting Room A) for our next regular Sustainability Committee meeting. We will be celebrating our first year anniversary and review our progress thus far. For the complete agenda, please click here.

Phase I: Alameda Corridor Planting Tree Species

We will be planting Fern Pine Trees – Podocarpus macrophylla – evergreen trees that do not bloom or bare fruit.

We will provide structural pruning prior to planting the trees – removing any damaged or crossing limbs. Pruning before they go in the ground will ensure the long-term structure of the tree and avoid the need to prune again in the first five years. However, if limbs are damaged or broken after planting, then maintenance includes the removal.

Watering will occur approximately twice per month with additional visits in the summer and less during the rainy winter months.

Maintenance also includes the addition of mulch and creation of tree berms to keep water in the well and providing nutrients to the trees. As needed, additional fertilizer will be added.

Finally, the tree stakes and ties may require attention in re-staking and re-tying as well as complete removal after three to five years, depending on the tree size.

Let me know if you need any other questions answered.

Meghan Shearer, Los Angeles Conservation Corps

Sustainability Committee Chair presents on panel at Bioneers Beaming Conference: Sustainable Communities

Join us at the Downtown Independent for a panel discussion on sustainable communities - starting at 2:45pm.


CHARLES EISENSTEIN :: The Ascent of Humanity
Charles Eisenstein is a healer, traveler, teacher, writer, integrated holistic visionary and evolutionary proactivist. His recent book 'The Ascent of Humanity' identifies the core of the perceived human challenge: separation. Eisenstein challenges us to collectively create a new evolutionary path, acting from the heart and mind on behalf of future generations, now.

LARRY SANTOYO, EarthFlow Design Works :: Permaculture for Humanity
Larry Santoyo is an artist, land use planner and green business consultant. He is among the most experienced Permaculture Designers and Educators in the US and has taught environmental design at colleges and universities nationwide, including UC Berkeley and California State Polytechnic University. Larry is Director of EarthFlow Design Works, a community planning and design firm that integrates economic development strategies with ecological systems management.

ASHLEY ZARELLA HAND, LEED AP, ASSOC AIA :: Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Sustainability Committee
The Sustainability Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council is dedicated to empowering the Downtown community to create a culture of sustainability. We will work with the community to increase accessibility to existing programs and services through outreach and public education. We will identify and create opportunities for new programming and partnerships to meet our goals for a more livable, affordable, and efficient urban center.

Dr. Clark, a long-time advocate for the environment, is an author, lecturer and advisor specializing in renewable energy and sustainable communities. In 2007, Dr. Clark received a Nobel Peace Prize, along with his colleagues of United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for his work as the first Research Director for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, establishing the economic and technical basis for renewable energy technologies to be commercialized in developing nations. In 2004, he founded Clark Strategic Partners, a consulting firm using his political-economic expertise in order to guide and advise clients on how to implement sustainable development. Prior to launching Clark Strategic Partners, Dr. Clark was Senior Advisor on Renewable Energy, Emerging Technologies, and Finance to California Governor Gray Davis from 2000 to 2003.

5:30pm - 7:30pm :: COCKTAIL RECEPTION Hosted by: Green Drinks

Delectable Sound Selections provided by DJ JUN
7:30pm - 11:30pm :: HIGHLIGHTS + FILM

"WHAT ABOUT ME?" :: Directed by Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman
Q&A with Duncan Bridgeman after the Film
Following the success of their first double Grammy nominated film & album "What About Me?" is the latest offering from 1Giant Leap. This visionary project took Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman to over 50 locations as they explore through music, the complexities of human nature on a global scale. The film aims to reveal how we are all connected through creativity and beliefs, but most of all through our collective insanity.