Los Angeles CA (SPX) Apr 20, 2011
Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and President Obama's environmental policy advisor, joined Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) officials yesterday to award $1.4 million in federal grants to 25 local nonprofit organizations to promote energy efficiency and water conservation in hard-to-reach communities of Los Angeles.
The grant program is available through the City of Los Angeles Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a Presidential priority to encourage energy efficiency and conservation across the country.
Ranging from $20,000 to $135,000, the grants will assist Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations to creatively reach diverse communities, encouraging them to reduce their energy and water use to benefit the environment and lower their utilities bills.
The selected grant recipients will target a broad cross-section of residential and commercial customers, representing diverse populations throughout the city and reaching communities through multiple languages including Spanish, Armenian, Korean, and Tagalog, among others.
"Conservation is a responsibility for all Angelenos and thanks to these generous grants from the federal government, local nonprofits will now have the bandwidth to educate a diverse group of communities about the importance of energy efficiency," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.
"Los Angeles is a committed partner to each organization using innovative and creative outreach programs to strengthen our City's water and energy conservation efforts."
Ms. Sutley, who served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Deputy Mayor for Energy and the Environment prior to joining the Obama administration in 2009, and LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols, were also joined by Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, District 13, and City Councilmember Ed Reyes, District 1, along with representatives of several organizations receiving the grants.
"These Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants are one way the Federal Government is strategically investing in and empowering communities across the nation to create the jobs and economies of the future," said Ms. Sutley.
"With these grants, the City of Los Angeles can continue to be a leader in helping deliver on the President's plan to win the future through promoting clean energy and by creating healthy and prosperous communities."
"The grants we are celebrating here represent a local approach to a national and global imperative. We thank Nancy Sutley for her execution of President Obama's commitment to supplying local governments with tools to reduce energy and water consumption, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for getting this funding out of the door. As Los Angeles looks to a greener future and a new green economy, it is imperative that we engage with local communities and organizations," said Council President Garcetti.
"This is a green and grassroots partnership between the federal government and the City of Los Angeles to promote clean energy and water conservation in our diverse communities," said Councilmember Reyes.
"This partnership opens dialogue about developing the green economy in neighborhoods most impacted by rising utility costs. I applaud the Obama administration for working with us to help residents and businesses conserve energy and lower their utility bills."
The outreach grant program is one of five programs that LADWP is managing under the City's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, totaling over $8 million for the development and promotion of energy efficiency and conservation programs.
LADWP General Manager Nichols said the community outreach grants will be instrumental in helping LADWP spread the word about energy and water conservation, especially among underserved populations and non-English speaking customers.
"We are looking forward to seeing how well these programs work and potentially even replicating some of the most successful ones," Mr. Nichols said. He added that during this difficult economic environment, "I cannot overstate the value of receiving this assistance from the federal government in supporting water and energy conservation programs."
The event featured three of the award recipients, including the LA Conservation Corps (LACC), Anahuak Youth Soccer Association, and the Valley Economic Alliance.
The announcement took place at the Northeast Center of LACC, which received a combined $135,000 grant award to develop a team of young adults as "energy efficiency ambassadors." As such they will train other youth and corps members in community outreach and public education on topics related to water conservation and energy efficiency.
"The youth of the LA Conservation Corps will deliver this important and critical conservation message in the months ahead and we look forward to working with LADWP to make Los Angeles a cleaner and greener city," said Bruce Saito, LACC Executive Director.
The Anahuak Youth Soccer Association will receive $90,000 for a personal door-to-door water conservation and energy efficiency campaign targeted to thousands of apartment dwellers. The campaign is designed to complement and follow up on an LADWP program through which energy efficient light bulbs and water conservation kits were distributed to all residential customers in the city.
Anahuak Community Programs Director Miguel Luna said his organization is "excited to partner with LADWP on this outreach project. We have a responsibility to inform our communities to continue to conserve water and energy. It's the right thing to do for our environment and a great way to save money in these tough economic times."
The Valley Economic Alliance, a nonprofit economic development and marketing corporation, has been awarded a $90,000 grant to support a series of energy efficiency and green building workshops. Conducted in partnership with the San Fernando Valley Green Team and the Foundation for Pierce College, the workshops will be targeted to executives, managers, brokers, financial institutions, engineers, architects, and building contractors.
"The Valley Economic Alliance is delighted to participate with LADWP on the Community Outreach, Research and Public Education Grant," said Kenn Phillips, Valley Economic Alliance Vice President of Workforce Initiatives. "Our collective efforts will positively effect the environmental philosophy of hundreds of businesses."
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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
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