Good, Green, Safe Jobs: The Los Angeles Green Retrofit and Workforce Program


On April 8, 2009, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an ordinance establishing a Green Retrofit and Workforce Program. The Ordinance calls for green retrofits to more than 1,000 city buildings and a workforce development policy that creates career pathways into good, green, safe jobs, targeting those in low?income neighborhoods. The result of a two?year campaign, the Ordinance was developed by the Los Angeles Apollo Alliance, a coalition formed by Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) and comprised of more than 25 community, labor, and environmental organizations in Los Angeles. This groundbreaking Ordinance addresses major issues confronting society today – environmental, economic, and health – and represents the first time a program designed to retrofit buildings and reduce municipal energy and water costs has been combined with training for green, quality, union jobs, with the added provision of pathways out of poverty for residents in low?income neighborhoods and with consideration of worker and community health. The Ordinance represents a convergence of community organizing and local, state and federal initiatives to address climate change at a historic moment. At the local level, the ordinance is one component of the Green LA Climate Action Plan. At the state level, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) requires a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. And at the federal level, stimulus funds are forthcoming to address the dual environmental and economic crises through investment in a green economy.

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