The first of five “Our Voice, Our County” Expos was held in LA County’s 5th Supervisorial District at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, California.
Day One – a nonprofit organization that has promoted environmental justice, public health, and youth empowerment across the San Gabriel Valley – acted as the Expo’s primary partner.
Throughout the course of the event, attendees circulated around 8 discussion tables. Each table focused on 6 Actions from the Discussion Draft, grouped around a central theme that reflected one or two goals. The Actions were highlighted based on their relevance to a grassroots, non-expert audience. Participants were asked to express which Actions had the greatest relevance and priority for them and their community through “dot voting” activities.
All of the Plan’s Actions received at least some votes, but some received far more votes than others, especially Actions that addressed major issues with high visibility. Top vote-getting Actions were:
- Preserving and increasing affordable housing, which was by far the most voted-for Action
- Phasing out single-use plastics
- Increasing energy and water conservation efforts
- Creating Green Zones
- Actions pertaining to parks, open space, and the urban-wildlife interface, such as planting more trees, increasing native plants and biodiversity, and increasing access to recreation spaces.
Sample Comments/Feedback Received
- Many expressed interest in more maintenance, facilities, and transportation access to mountain areas
- Attendees want cities to stop planting street trees that don’t provide shade and have high water needs
- There were calls for building bioswales on public and private land
- Increasing density and transit-adjacent affordable housing emerged as extremely important to attendees
- Participants highlighted organizing reuse and “freecycle” programs
- There were several comments in regards to banning all gasoline-powered small engines like lawn mowers and leaf blowers.
54 attendees signed in throughout the day. According to entrance polling, out of those polled, 16% of attendees were born outside of the U.S. while the rest were U.S.-born. Nearly half of attendees were between ages 36-64, with 15% over 65 years old and 10% under 18 years old. A nearly even split of attendees identified as Asian or White, making up nearly 75% of total attendees. Just under 20% of attendees identified as Latino/a.
OurCounty, the Los Angeles Countywide Sustainability Plan, is an effort to outline a bold, inclusive and truly regional vision for the present and future generations of Los Angeles. To ensure that residents, local groups and youth from across the County had an opportunity to understand the Draft Plan and provide input to the final plan, Liberty Hill Foundation and the LA County Chief Sustainability Office organized five “Our Voice, Our County Expos” with support from community-based organization anchors.