Los Angeles Small Businesses Support a Coal-Free LA by 2020!

by Guest Blogger

June 20, 2011

It’s well-established that here in Los Angeles we need to give our local public utility a makeover that will clean up its act.  The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has an opportunity to cut ties with the deadly, polluting coal industry that provides over a third of the city’s power.  We can do this by creating a long-term energy scenario that gets us divesting in coal by 2020, and investing in the future of Los Angeles by fully funding clean energy and energy efficiency programs.  It is in our best interest as Angelenos to divest from coal by 2020, and both individuals and small businesses agree that this is an important step to clean up our city.

For the past months, Greenpeace Los Angeles has been dedicated to breaking the coal addiction in our city. By petitioning, gathering community endorsements, and attending City Council public hearings, we as Angelenos are edging ourselves closer to ridding ourselves of such a dirty energy source.  The dirty coal industry’s influence on policy has not deterred small businesses from voicing their opinion on the matter, and to date we have recruited over 200 small business from around the city to endorse our campaign.

The Greenpeace LA crew at our last Business Endorsement Day in Van Nuys

Most recently, Greenpeace Los Angeles volunteers took a trip down to Van Nuys (Council District 6), to gather community endorsements for our campaign from local business owners. The goal of this effort is to demonstrate that local businesses, the soul of the city that generate the revenue for each district, support the campaign to end the use of coal-powered electricity. These are very diverse businesses, but many shared the common interest of ridding Los Angeles of this energy source. One of our volunteers stated that the area is “a tight-knit community, almost like a family, how they all they stick together.” One passionate supporter, Luigi Della Ripa, has owned a tailoring business for over 50 years. In just a stretch of just under 4 blocks, we were able to obtain an amazing 24 endorsements, each from very different types of businesses.

Greenpeace LA Volunteer Leader Lauren Keenan with local business owner and campaign supporter Luigi Della Ripa

Achievements like these solidify our ambitions to end Los Angeles’s addiction to coal by 2020. If we are able to demonstrate that both individuals and local community groups and businesses support our campaign, we can truly demonstrate that Angelenos as a whole want to push for cleaner, renewable energy sources. We are aware that this is only one step in our campaign, and we will continue to collect endorsements from districts all over the city. However, if we were able to obtain 24 endorsements in less than a mile of businesses, it’s clear we’ll have plenty of success in other parts Los Angeles. We are dedicated to make Los Angeles a true pioneer in clean technology in the US-now we just need to see real dedication from our own City Council and the LADWP.

JOIN our local work to get LA to quit coal!  Our next team endorsement day is this Saturday, June 25th in Van Nuys!  RSVP today


Weiss Hamid is a Grassroots Organizing Intern with Greenpeace in Los Angeles.  Weiss is a born-and-raised Angeleno who wants to see his city be a leader in getting off of coal and promoting clean energy and green jobs.  A recent graduate of UCLA and a soon-to-be law student at Loyola Law School, he enjoys YouTube videos, cake pops, and his newest claim to fame is that he met Justin Bieber while wearing a Greenpeace tshirt.

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