July 17, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Issues Heat up at Climate Summit

BY SAM SKOPP

news-climate11416eSanta Monica’s first ever Community Climate Action Summit was held Saturday October 29 at the event space located at the St. Monica Catholic Church on 725 California Ave. The all-day event included panel discussions, booths by environmental advocacy groups, catered food, networking and social opportunities, as well as a number of community engagement projects and fun activities.
The day’s first panel discussion which kicked off the morning was titled “Downtown Community Plan: The Future of Mobility.” Francie Stefan, Mobility Manager for the City of Santa Monica, moderated a panel that included Amanda Eaken, the Director of Transportation and Climate for the National Resources Defense Council (NDRC); Ashley Z. Hand, the transportation technology strategist fellow at Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT); and Colin F. Peppin, the manager of outreach and strategic relationships for the LA Metro. Throughout the discussion, each panelist spoke from their own experience about how transportation in Santa Monica could be more efficient and better overall.
news-climate11416f“We’ve reached a traffic tipping point,” said Eaken, who gave, as an example of traffic wastefulness and inefficiency, concertgoers waiting for up to an hour with their cars’ engines running in a parking garage, waiting to leave the show. “It’s just unacceptable, and a crazy quality of life to have to deal with that kind of thing.”
The final topic brought up in the discussion, before eventgoers broke for lunch, was economic equity, or more specifically, how transportation could be improved to serve disadvantaged communities.
“A pedestrian should not be concerned with their safety,” said Hand. She called for the elimination of call buttons (the button that pedestrians press at a stoplight crosswalk) to applause from the audience.
Peppard began by simply recommending that the audience listen to a talk given by Tamika Butler, who is the Executive Director of the L.A. County Bike Coalition, on the subject of equity. He concluded his answer, and the panel discussion, with an urge to accept that for progress to be made, the government has to fail from time to time, and learn from those failures.
The day went on to include talks titled “Achieving Clean Energy for All,” “Resilient Communities, Low-Carbon Living,” a “Pecha Kucha” slam in which performers respond to a rapid series of images projected onto an onstage screen, and a social hour. Additionally, a live DJ performed at the outdoor portion of the event, which also included drinks and food catered by Rockenwagner.
For information about current and future climate action events in Santa Monica, visit climateactionsantamonica.org.

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