Congresswoman Bass believes that the climate crisis is among the greatest challenges facing our city – and that it’s an important opportunity for Los Angeles to rebuild its infrastructure, and invest in a more equitable future.
Air pollution is putting our children in the ER with asthma. Wildfires jeopardize our homes. The perennial drought threatens to upend our businesses and communities. And communities of color have borne the brunt of these emergencies. Substantially reducing our carbon footprint is non-negotiable. Adapting to the changing climate is the only way we can protect the health and livelihood of all Angelenos.
Bass understands that the catastrophic effects of climate change not only require us to transform our economy, but also to address decades of environmental injustice that has left communities overburdened by pollution and underinvestment. In doing so, Bass will lead in the way that she always has: by placing the interests of communities of color and working people at the center of policies and programs.
Los Angeles must return to the forefront of addressing climate change globally, serving once again as a model for cities throughout the world. Bass will take bold action to advance a clean energy economy, expand access to clean transportation and open space, enhance biodiversity and climate resiliency, conserve our natural resources, and train our workforce for prosperous green jobs – especially for frontline communities, under-resourced groups, communities of color, people with disabilities, children and the elderly.
Bass will get it done. As Speaker of the Assembly, she led efforts to increase energy efficiency, create a reliable water supply for the state, and expand workforce development opportunities for good-paying, green jobs. And in Congress, she helped deliver the once-in-a-generation Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – the largest investment in clean drinking water, wastewater infrastructure, and public transit in our nation’s history – which will help complete key projects like the Metro Purple Line extension.
All people have the right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment where they live, work, and play. While every Angeleno experiences the adverse health impacts of toxic air, polluted water, and contaminated soil, these harms are disproportionately experienced by low-income Latino, Black, and immigrant neighborhoods. Conversely, environmental benefits – such as open space, parks, and tree canopy – are far less accessible by these same communities.
That’s why Bass will work toward a jobs and justice-centered plan to decarbonize our economy. Climate justice means providing working people and communities of color with the resources they need to adequately prepare for our changing environment.
Bass has long believed that oil drilling should be phased out in Los Angeles, and was one of the first elected officials to publicly call for the closure of the AllenCo facility, an urban oil drilling site in South Los Angeles that caused terrible health impacts to the surrounding community. She worked closely with community organizers, Senator Barbara Boxer, and federal and state regulators to permanently shut the facility down.
As Mayor, Bass will promote an inclusive approach that centers community decision-making in tackling disproportionate rates of pollution and environmental disparities in our most vulnerable communities. Bass knows that we can address the climate crisis and advance equity with a wholesale transformation of Los Angeles, by working collaboratively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in sustainable energy, create economic opportunity, and enhance community resilience.
End the City’s Contribution to the Climate Problem
There is no reason why Los Angeles cannot transition away from fossil fuels. Bass not only affirms L.A’s goal of achieving 100 percent clean power by 2035, but also commits to dramatically reducing vehicle emissions, getting people out of their cars, decarbonizing buildings, securing a zero-emission Port of Los Angeles, and appointing environmental champions to get the job done.
Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles and Dramatically Reduce Vehicle Emissions
Tailpipe emissions from cars and heavy-duty vehicles have consistently led our region to have the poorest air quality of any in California. Bass will work to eliminate harmful emissions from fossil-based fuels used to power our transportation systems and replace them with clean alternatives. Bass will:
- Expand the network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout Los Angeles, both in households and corridors – where Angelenos live, work, and play – specifically in communities where access has been limited.
- Create jobs installing and maintaining EV charging stations by expanding job training – particularly in underserved communities – and ensuring that small and minority-owned businesses can participate in the rapid growth of the charging network.
- Spur collaboration between the Department of Water and Power (DWP), community-based organizations, and other relevant city agencies as well as the private sector to help lower-income drivers purchase EVs.
- Accelerate the transition to electrify all city-owned bus fleets.
- Partner with Metro and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to expedite the transition to a clean bus fleet throughout the city.
Transform Our Streets and Expand Walking, Biking and Transit In All Communities
Los Angeles’ transportation infrastructure was designed to accommodate single-passenger vehicles and the movement of goods. As a result, the health of Angelenos has suffered while our communities have been divided by freeways and major thoroughfares. As Mayor, Bass will transform our streets to become safer and more walkable – and will champion mobility options so that walking, biking, and transit are accessible to all communities. Bass will:
- Transform our city streets to become public places and spaces where livability and wellness are priorities, and where all the city’s major corridors are walkable, bikeable, green, and safe.
- Connect where Angelenos live and work by working with communities to expand Los Angeles’ network of protected bike lanes.
- Invest in the chronically under-funded Vision Zero project, to create safer streets and make zero traffic fatalities a reality.
- Expand the city’s open streets frequency and locations – like CicLAvia – to provide community connectivity and encourage shifts in modes of mobility beyond the use of cars.
Help Homes and Apartments Reach Zero Emissions
Buildings in Los Angeles account for a substantial share of greenhouse gas emissions, the main source of which is natural gas. Although the City Council recently moved to require all new residential and commercial construction in Los Angeles to be zero-carbon by 2030, the bigger challenge concerns millions of existing buildings. After meeting with tenants and building owners to hear their unique concerns, Bass will:
- Work with the DWP to accelerate weatherizing retrofits and the transition to electric appliances.
- Assure protections to prevent the displacement of low-income renters who cannot bear increased retrofit or utility costs.
- Support building owners in complying with the Existing Buildings Energy & Water Efficiency Program (EBEWE) to track energy and water use.
- Prevent abuse and ensure accountability in PACE programs, which provide financing to homeowners to weatherize their homes and lower their energy bills. These programs’ use of door-to-door sales, especially in working-class communities, has resulted in alarming predatory practices. In the end, the programs promise a lot but end up delivering little, often at hugely inflated prices. It is imperative that we protect homeowners from being exploited by these bad actors.
Clean Up Our Port To Benefit Communities
The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest container port in North America and a globally significant freight hub that facilitates the movement of goods throughout the entire country. It is also the single highest source of air pollution in the Los Angeles region, significantly impacting Harbor neighborhoods and exacerbating the climate crisis.
Residents and frontline workers co-exist with the myriad of trucks, trains, and ships that traverse communities, resulting in localized pollution that threatens the health and safety of workers and communities of color.
Addressing these impacts ensures that the benefits of the Port avoid burdening our neighborhoods, workers, and our environment. As Mayor, Bass will:
- Achieve 100 percent zero emissions for all Port operations by 2030.
- Partner with all levels of government to meet public health and climate goals, including working with the Port, South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board, and federal agencies to develop strong emissions regulations that ensure port and freight infrastructure investments do not exacerbate negative health impacts or perpetuate environmental racism.
- Develop and implement renewable energy policies for use at all Port operations, including strengthening partnerships between the Port and DWP to ensure the port is both an incubator as well as an adopter of innovative technologies.
- Support healthy land use and permitting policies that prevent or mitigate community impacts, including guidelines for facility siting and standards that promote the use of new and emerging zero-emission technologies.
- Support investment of port revenues in community benefits for impacted neighborhoods, including public health and mobile clinics, parks, open space, and community gardens, climate resiliency and adaptation projects, technology development and deployment, education enhancements, and projects that address noise pollution.
Clean Up Our Airports To Benefit Communities
Airplane emissions represent a dangerous hazard to workers and neighbors, and prevailing winds carry the pollution generated at LAX into adjoining neighborhoods, and further into South Los Angeles. In fact, the zip code adjacent to LAX has one of the highest rates of asthma of any neighborhood in Los Angeles County.
Moreover, noise generated by L.A.’s airports is not just a nuisance – it is a public health issue. As a member of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus, Bass has fought to make the harmful economic and health effects of airplane noise a higher priority for the FAA.
Through its capital investment, modernization and noise abatement programs, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has taken significant strides to reduce its carbon footprint, along with airplane noise, at Van Nuys and LAX airports. As Mayor, Bass will continue her aggressive advocacy with the FAA, and partner closely with LAWA leaders to improve the health of our communities.
Appoint Environmental Champions to Get the Job Done
The next Mayor will appoint representatives to the boards governing the DWP, Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, L.A. Metro, and other powerful agencies with substantial authority over air quality, water, and greenhouse gas emissions.
As Mayor, Bass will appoint leaders to these bodies who will make public health and addressing climate change their top priorities, and commit to collaborating with community, environmental, business, and labor partners to get the job done.
Ensure All Communities Thrive In the Clean Economy
The clean economy is a powerful engine for economic growth and innovation, projected to generate thousands of new jobs for Angelenos each year. While our transition away from fossil fuels will create new and dynamic opportunities, we must ensure this growth is sustainable and inclusive as industries change.
That’s why, as Mayor, Bass will fight to ensure all communities thrive as Los Angeles moves to be powered by 100 percent clean energy.
Bass knows that spending on clean investments and sustainable infrastructure creates nearly three times more jobs per dollar than other infrastructure investments – with green job growth expected to outpace total job growth throughout Los Angeles County by 2050. But women and people of color are underrepresented in these jobs, and wage disparities have led to persistent workforce inequities.
Bass understands that more equitable growth leads to stronger communities and more prosperous local economies. As Mayor, she will drive climate investments — including through Measures M, R, and W, as well as ongoing state and federal infrastructure programs — to ensure equitable access to employment and close race and gender gaps. She will partner with communities, workers, and industries to reimagine local, clean economies as inclusive drivers of job creation, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
Lead a Comprehensive Approach to Developing Good-Paying Jobs
Too often, training programs for green jobs are designed for short-term gigs and are tailored to new technologies – but most green jobs are based on skills in more traditional fields – like construction, manufacturing, and transportation. Los Angeles needs to develop a green jobs program that encompasses both. As Mayor, Bass will:
- Promote a comprehensive, regional approach to workforce development – anchored by deep partnerships with labor, community-based organizations, workers, educational institutions, and every sector of the clean economy.
- Leverage public dollars to require strong wage, benefit, safety and skill standards for all climate investments. This includes expanding community workforce agreements for construction projects and designing procurement policies that require inclusive workforce standards for government contracts and businesses.
- Invest in high-quality training partnerships and apprenticeship programs that place graduates and workers in good-paying jobs.
- Enhance support for programs helping the unemployed, underemployed and those who face additional barriers to employment with soft skill and professional development training, grants, and scholarships.
- Improve equity and participation in training and employment outcomes through sustained, targeted outreach.
Support Displaced Workers
Oil and gas workers have powered industries for generations – often working dangerous and precarious jobs to provide for their families. Bass will put workers first, and ensure that workers and their families benefit from our transition to a green economy. Fossil fuel workers affected by the transition should be entitled to new jobs, health care, pensions, and wage support.
As Mayor, Bass will partner with communities, labor, institutions, and industries to develop short and long-term plans that address fossil fuel industry disruption. Together, they will explore policies that provide an uninterrupted path to good-paying local jobs for vulnerable workers.
Our investments in modernizing the electric grid, building electrification, electric vehicles, and more have enormous potential to create high-quality jobs that are accessible to all. Bass will fight to realize this potential and to secure an inclusive economic future for all Angelenos.
Build Healthy and Resilient Communities
The climate threat is getting worse by the year – and as extreme heat and other disasters impact Angelenos, many thousands of households remain vulnerable. At the same time, Los Angeles is home to major industries, oil drilling and refining, a massive network of freeways, and other industrial activities that pose dangerous threats to the air we breathe and the water we consume – especially for children, the elderly, and people of color.
Bass understands that we can expand access to amenities that improve the health and resiliency of our communities while reducing exposure to toxic and hazardous sites.
End Neighborhood Oil Drilling
Bass supports the City Council’s action to prohibit new oil drilling and phase out existing drilling. As Mayor, she will make the case for rapid decommissioning of oil extraction and defend against potential lawsuits brought by the oil industry. Bass also supports accelerating the repurposing of land now devoted to fossil fuel production, and engaging residents to meet community needs for affordable housing, parks, and commercial corridors that support small business development.
Expand Green Zones and Improve Environmental Services
Bass will expand Green Zones to ensure environmental justice for communities hardest hit by pollution. The Clean Up Green Up ordinance created Green Zones to prevent conflicts between industrial and residential land uses through more stringent development standards, including setbacks, landscaping requirements, and buffers between industrial operations and residential areas.
Bass will not only expand this innovative program beyond pilot communities, but also increase investment in basic environmental services for all Angelenos. This includes increased sanitation and trash removal, improved street lighting and street maintenance across Los Angeles – especially in neighborhoods that do not have a fair share of environmental assets.
Make Our Communities More Resilient
Heatwaves routinely send hundreds of Angelenos to the hospital, while the city’s few cooling centers sit virtually empty. Bass will provide an alternative: resilience hubs. Angelenos already visit their libraries, community clinics and local service centers, and Bass will transform these community assets into centers that can help during heat waves, wildfires, earthquakes, and floods. These hubs can provide a place for people to meet, recharge their cell phones, grab a cup of water and stay out of the elements – and operate off-the-grid when power lines are down.
Many communities in Los Angeles are also more vulnerable to fire in our changing climate. As Mayor, Bass will help Angelenos learn and apply techniques to harden their homes from embers and plant landscapes that are more fire-resistant.
Make Our Food Systems More Resilient
Our food system has failed working-class Angelenos and communities of color. “Food deserts” and “food swamps” have contributed to obesity and diabetes epidemics – all while more people than ever before are going hungry.
In order to provide equitable access to healthy food, Los Angeles must provide more resilient supply chains in times of economic and natural disasters, while serving the health and economic well-being of consumers and workers.
Bass will support our regional and urban farmers, regenerative agriculture practices that promote biodiversity, healthy soils that capture carbon, and prioritize worker and community well-being – and she will maximize the availability of healthy food in low-income communities through a network of healthy neighborhood grocery stores and farmers markets.
Keep Los Angeles Cool
Dark surfaces absorb and trap heat from the sun – sometimes, a simple paint job can lower the temperature and keep communities safer from extreme heat. That’s why Bass will update city plans and building codes to champion the rollout of passive technologies like cool roofs, cool walls, cool playgrounds, cool parking lots, and cool streets. Shade structures can cover busy intersections and bus shelters can protect transit riders from the sun. Trees and greenery provide the best cooling of all, and Bass will expand the urban greening programs of her predecessors.
Too many of our students live in neighborhoods and go to schools without ever coming into contact with green space. Bass will support the greening of our city’s asphalt-covered playgrounds, and partner with LAUSD and the Los Angeles Living Schoolyards Coalition to bring more plants and trees to our school campuses. Providing access to nature at school leads to environmental and academic benefits. Bass will also invest in access to pools and summer youth programming to provide children and families with safe and enjoyable opportunities to escape the heat.
Give Impacted Communities a Seat at the Table
As Mayor, Bass will do what she has always done: hear directly from those impacted by energy, climate, and environmental policies by giving them a seat at the table where decisions are made. Bass understands that frontline communities have suffered terrible environmental harm, and she trusts the practices of indigenous people and Native American Tribes to help restore our ecosystems.
Bass will increase community engagement with historically overlooked Angelenos, and expand the use of participatory governance and science-based policy that embraces indigenous and community knowledge about environmental impacts on human health and our ecosystems. Bass will strengthen the Climate Emergency Mobilization Office to increase community engagement with historically overlooked Angelenos, and expand the use of participatory governance and science-based policy that embraces indigenous and community knowledge about environmental impacts on human health and our ecosystems.
Secure a Sustainable Water Future
California is now experiencing the worst drought in recorded history. Our warming climate means we will see a smaller snowpack, more severe heat, and longer droughts. Los Angeles can no longer count on the imported supplies we’ve relied upon in the past, and our aging water infrastructure will need to be adapted to 21st-century conditions. Even as we face longer drought periods, the amount of rain Los Angeles receives over each 10-year average period is not projected to change significantly. This means that the less-frequent wet years will be wetter, and the rainstorms more intense.
As Speaker of the State Assembly, Bass led on water policy and in Congress, she helped deliver significant resilience resources through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water throughout the nation, and more than $8 billion for water initiatives including water recycling, water storage, and groundwater recharge.
Bass will leverage that experience to modernize our aging water infrastructure — and to make sure Angelenos can always trust the water that comes out of their tap.
As Mayor, Bass will work to ensure a holistic approach to securing our local water future. There’s no one solution – but by choosing a strategic balance, investments in our water future will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but sequester carbon, mitigate flood risk, improve air and water quality, reduce heat impacts, advance health and equity, and expand parks and open space throughout the city. Bass will:
- Invest in programs that help Angelenos reduce their water use, including partnering with community organizations to ensure equitable access to water-efficient appliances, devices, and landscapes.
- Support low-income residents with on-site repairs to ensure that the quality of our water is equal in every corner of Los Angeles.
Landscape and Land Use Transformation
- Prioritize new parks and open spaces that are designed to passively recharge groundwater, while mitigating flood risk, sequestering carbon, cooling communities, improving air quality, and enhancing public health and well-being.
- Increase turf replacement incentives and develop ongoing support programs to make water-sucking grass a thing of the past.
- Support the growth of local native nurseries, encourage all nurseries to carry more locally native plants, and invest in climate-appropriate landscape training for both the public and private sectors.
- Incorporate nature-based features into city streets to help us responsibly manage rainwater as we make our avenues safer, cooler, and more accessible.
- Create incentives to reduce the city’s acreage of water-shedding, heat-inducing hardscape and work with departments to reduce unnecessary hardscape on city property.
- Expand and accelerate incentives and programs to help Angelenos maximize on-site rainwater capture. By harvesting rainwater when it falls, we can mitigate flood risk, improve water quality, recharge groundwater and create a distributed network of emergency water supplies.
Groundwater Recharge and Remediation
- Increase groundwater recharge as we accelerate efforts to address legacy contamination hotspots, particularly within the San Fernando Valley Groundwater Basin, so that groundwater can provide a larger share of our supply.
Protect Sources of Imported Water
- Improve relationships with Tribes and communities in the Colorado River Basin, Mono Lake, and the Owens Valley and double down on water-saving strategies to reduce the need for water imports and secure a sustainable water future.
Protect and Expand Nature for All Angelenos
Parks and open spaces are essential community infrastructure, critical for our collective well-being and quality of life. They reduce temperatures, clean our air, help recharge groundwater, create wildlife habitats, provide recreation access, and improve our life expectancy and mental health.
But decades of underinvestment have left nearly 80 percent of Los Angeles without the quantity or quality of parks they need and deserve. Communities of color are among the most park-deficient neighborhoods in the city.
Los Angeles is also one of just 36 global biodiversity hotspots, home to a multitude of animals and plants not seen anywhere else in the world. Protecting the city’s natural habitats is essential for both Angelenos and at-risk species to thrive.
As Mayor, Bass will ensure that Los Angeles protects and expands its natural environments so that more Angelenos can walk to a park from where they live and work.
Bass will eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in our parks and open spaces, expand the use of California native plants and trees on city-run properties, and incentivize residents and businesses to do the same. Nature should not be relegated to mountainous areas – we can have thriving biodiversity and wildlife corridors in the heart of our great city. Protecting open space and creating more parks is not in conflict with meeting our housing goals. We must, and will, do both.