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Assembly Candidate Lindblad urges a No Vote on LA Charter Amendment B

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Los Angeles, California - February 27, 2009 - Being the 39th Assembly Green Candidate, it was not surprising to see that the current office holder, and other state legislators siding with Mayor Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles City Council - bought and sold by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18 (IBEW), one of Measure B's largest campaign contributors.

Measure B is an excessively costly and ill-conceived proposal that was placed on the ballot without engaging neighborhood councils, without any substantial input from official city agencies, municipal utilities, community groups, trade organizations, or citizens. A cost estimate of the program was not made and no engineering and operational input was sought from LADWP.

My endorsement for a No vote on Measure B joins with numerous Measure B opposition groups and officeholders to declare there is a better way to produce more solar power, at a lower cost and using better, more current technology. If allowed to pass, it would benefit few regional industries and all work will be done by LADWP without competitive bidding, and skilled union members other than those members of the IBEW, who are employed by LADWP will be locked out. Instead of asking voters to approve a plan whose details are unknown, LADWP should design a plan with the public’s involvement and present it to the City Council for the enactment of an ordinance.

The 400 megawatts of solar power (produced only when the sun shines) from Proposition B would only provide a yearly projected Increase of the total Electric demand for overbuilding and perhaps enough to supply the controversial LED billboards in Los Angeles - accounting for less than 3% of the overall City Electric needs.

Charter Amendment B has all the earmarks of back-room deal, originating from the LADWP union, the IBEW.

With the LADWP's recent legislative attempt to raid SB 1's funds, which was developed under the California Solar Initiative, a program that provides rebates for customers who install solar systems on their roofs and reduce their electricity bills -- to use the money for utility-owned wholesale power generation, the LADWP has shown their position disallowing customers from selling excess electric generation back into the grid.

A recent Los Angeles Times article cited that the LADWP does not allow its customers to purchase solar electricity from third-party solar developers, a widely adopted state program  that allows schools and businesses to harness tax credits and hedge against future utility rate increases.

The Los Angeles Times wrote: "The proposed charter amendment and ordinance proposition is less about solar energy than it is a grab for political power."
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Mayor Villaraigosa, in his support of the current effort to consolidate political power around renewable energy echos his failed initiative to exert the political power of his office over the Los Angeles Unified School District.

In underwriting Charter Amendment and Ordinance Proposition B, the current 39th Assembly Democrat officeholder Fuentes has revisited his ill-fated attempt to pass AB 212 that would have limited L.A.'s zoning ability to control land use, sponsored by a developer whose Tujunga project would have benefited from the legislation - after making a campaign contribution to actually craft the bill.

Seeing the lack of urgency required of political leadership, my campaign for the 39th Assembly seat in 2008 had hope to help steer our wasteful, consumptive society away from the brink of unstoppable ecological catastrophe toward a sustainable, green economy - that both Democrats and Republicans fail to seriously address.

As the Green Party Candidate, I grounded my campaign on the imperative to transition to a carbon-neutral, renewable energy, green jobs economy based on grass-roots democracy, relocalization and watershed revitalization.

Defeat of this green-washed, wrong-headed, top-down, anti-union, payola underwritten Proposition does not stop solar development within the City of Los Angeles. Measure B will be defeated and then we will make a real plan for clean energy and clean government, with a place for all Stakeholders at the table to refine it and move swiftly ahead.
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Charter Amendment and Ordinance Proposition B fails on the Green Party Ten Key Values for violations of Social Justice concerns, for shortcomings in Ecological Wisdom, of the absence of Grassroots Democracy, for the imposition of a centralized framework over Decentralization, of closed-bid rather than Community-Based Economics, for pitting union against union, instead of Respect for Diversity, for cronyism over Personal and Global Responsibility, and for missing Future Focus/Sustainability.

The Green Party of Los Angeles County Council has gone on record as opposing the Los Angeles City Ballot Measure B: Solar Energy and Job Creation Program. Measure B appears on the March 3, 2009 City of Los Angeles Primary Nominating and Consolidated Elections Ballot.

 

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Permission is given to reproduce in whole or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article. An architect by education and profession, Jack Lindblad is running to win California's 18th Senate District seat in 2014, having (more...)
 

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