Global Green USA CEO Matt Petersen, LA's first Chief Sustainability Officer, says “cities are on the front lines of solutions to climate change and creating a clean energy economy.”
Signaling he intends to focus on creating a more environmentally-friendly Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday named Global Green USA CEO Matt Petersen as the city’s first Chief Sustainability Officer.
“I am proud to have him lead my citywide effort to make every neighborhood healthier, create green jobs, and hold every city department responsible for cleaner air and water,” Garcetti said in a statement.
Since 1994, Petersen has led Santa Monica-based Global Green USA. It is the American affiliate of Green Cross International, which was founded by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev to “foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future,” according to the group’s website.
Petersen, 46, has worked to create greener cities and advance solar energy and fuel-efficient car markets, according to the mayor’s office. In 2008, Time Magazine recognized him for helping New Orleans rebuild a greener community after Hurricane Katrina.
Members of Congress are headed home for their summer recess, interrupting an unusual phenomenon that cropped up in recent weeks: little bits of bipartisanship breaking out on Capitol Hill.
On a recent afternoon — the hottest day, so far, of this summer — nearly six dozen members of Congress marched out under the noonday sun onto a podium, American flags at their back and bottles of water at their feet. One by one, lawmakers stepped forward, giving their pitch for the merits of working together.
It was a public rally to show bipartisan support for a package of bills endorsed by a group that calls itself “No Labels.” Two California Republicans and nine Democrats identify themselves as “No Labels Problem Solvers,” including GOP freshman David Valadao of Hanford. He says every person running for office always talks about bipartisanship and working across the aisle. "This is an opportunity for me to do that and find opportunities to do that," said Valadao, "and find issues where we get along."
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The State of California has lost its latest appeal to halt prisoner releases ordered by a federal court to ease overcrowding.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected Gov. Jerry Brown’s argument that a lower court's prisoner reduction order threatens public safety.
The state had sought a stay of a lower court's ruling, which the Supreme Court denied. Unless the High Court agrees a formal appeal from the state, California will have to reduce its prison population by roughly 9,000 inmates by year's end.
The justices gave no reason for the denial. Justice Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented, saying they would have granted the stay.
The Secretary of California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Jeffrey Beard, responded with a written statement, saying the state will pursue its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court “so that the merits of the case can be considered without delay.”
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In the first month since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed gay marriages to resume in California, requests for marriage licenses grew dramatically throughout Southern California.
Southern California county clerks have seen a flood of couples requesting marriage licenses after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in late June ended California's ban on same-sex unions.
Los Angeles County issued 47 percent more marriage licenses this July than in the same month last year. Applicants don't list their genders, so no one at the County Clerk's office was willing to attribute the increase to same-sex couples.
San Bernardino County was up 30 percent, and Orange County 23 percent.
The really big increase was in Riverside County — particularly in the desert town of Indio.
As soon as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Prop 8, the mayor of Palm Springs started promoting his gay-friendly resort city as a destination for same-sex marriages. The local tourism bureau website features same-sex as well as heterosexual couples.
Nury Martinez Campaign
Newly sworn-in Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez told her all-male colleagues, "We can do better" when it comes to electing women in the city.
Nury Martinez was sworn in as the only woman on the 15-member Los Angeles City Council Friday. In fact, she’s the only elected woman official in the nation’s second largest city. The mayor, city attorney and controller are all men.
“The fact that I’m the only woman in 18 elected offices in the city of Los Angeles…its embarrassing,” Martinez said in her first remarks at a city council meeting in Van Nuys, an area she represents.
“We can do better,” she said.
The former Los Angeles Unified School District board member encouraged her male colleagues to mentor young women and to encourage them to run for office: “Gentlemen, all of you have women in your districts that are doing great community work.”
Martinez's family, including her husband and young daughter, joined her in council chambers. She thanked her parents, who also attended.