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.
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.
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.
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.