Archive: Feb 2013

  1. Acting Now for Lasting Change

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    Sustainability and economic development spurred by manufacturing have recently become more prominent fixtures in the national political discourse. The Obama Administration has made a pitch to the American people (and, to a lesser degree, the U.S. Congress) to start calling for bold action on issues of climate change and to demand a coherent policy framework to retain and attract more good-paying, advanced manufacturing jobs to U.S. shores. How much of this rhetoric translates to action is yet to be seen, but we can start looking at policy interventions and new tools that show promise in these arenas. A few months back, we noted that policymaking at all levels of government takes coordination and collaboration – and this is especially true in the areas of climate change and economic development. (more…)

  2. Lifting the Expiration Date on the Future of Renewable Energy

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    For the most part, the nation has embraced a move to more renewable sources of energy. There are state mandates to increase the consumption of renewable energy, temporary tax credits and incentives, and local subsidies for renewable power generation. But as environmentalists, policy wonks, and decision-makers begin to rack up cheerleaders for renewable energy, we need to ensure that our policies promote the sustained growth of renewable energy industries while contributing to the economic health of our communities. So far, the story of renewable energy in the U.S. has been one of fits and starts. It’s time to look at how we can provide predictable incentives for sustainable energy production. (more…)

  3. For the Love of Manufacturing

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    The role of manufacturing in the global economy is changing. For years, technology has supplanted less-skilled work that used to be performed by humans. So-called “smart machines” are threatening to eradicate scads of high-skilled, middle class, and professional jobs that once seemed safe. At the national level, there has been much debate about how best to harness these advances in technology and productivity while still retaining the manufacturing sector as a critical component to build (and sustain) the U.S. middle class. As we’re grappling with how best to deal with the realities of the manufacturing sector, let’s look at some interventions that show potential to connect trained workers with advanced manufacturing jobs. The ideas that are gaining the most traction bring the public and private sectors to the table to help design worker training programs that meet the specific needs of today’s employers. (more…)

  4. Vallejo Launches Participatory Budgeting

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    Image from Participatory Budgeting Vallejo

    Image from Participatory Budgeting Vallejo

    This month, ELP Advisors decided to mix things up a bit and invite a friend and colleague to share her experiences with our readers. Exciting innovations in sustainable development and civic engagement abound and we wanted to bring you an insider’s perspective for one of the topics that we covered back in 2012. We wrote a while back about participatory budgeting [PDF] and wanted to follow-up with an example from California. We’ve invited Ginny Browne from the Participatory Budgeting Project to share some insights from their experiment in Vallejo. Enjoy! (more…)

  5. Parklet Update

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    Image from Cynthia Guzman

    Image from Cynthia Guzman

    Los Angeles now has four parklets in place. The photos above were taken by ELP’s own Cynthia Guzman during the official opening for the Spring Street installments earlier this month. The LA sidewalk parks come on the heels of reports from Long Beach that the parklets installed in that city are netting tangible economic benefits for some lucky restaurateurs. In Downtown Los Angeles, the neighborhood council is “mid-stream in conducting [a] Parklet Impact Study,” so expect more hard numbers in a few months. Also, they’re soliciting new ideas for more locations, so email away!

  6. LA Clean Trucks Program Update

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    The 2008 passage of the Clean Trucks Program at the Port of Los Angeles generated significant public health benefits for residents of the surrounding communities by reducing their exposure to dangerous diesel fuel emissions. The program which, imposes environmental, safety, and security requirements on diesel trucks that enter the Port, also sparked a lengthy legal battle between the Port of LA and the American Trucking Association (ATA). That battle has made its way up to the US Supreme Court. (more…)

  7. Traveling the Length of California by Local Transit

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    From the guy that brought us the “when pigs fly” map of high-speed rail in the U.S., is a more reality-based (if not entirely practical) map of local transit [PDF] throughout California. For those of you who may be contemplating a grueling 32-hour trek across the state via local transit, including seven transfers and a brief stint in Nevada, this map may come in handy.