Villaraigosa sheds light on second-term plan, touts 'Solar L.A.' to business group
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will officially lay out his plans for the next four years in his inaugural address Wednesday. But he dropped a few hints in his speech today at the Los Angeles Business Council’s 2009 Sustainability Summit – vowing to “recreate L.A. as the CleanTech, green manufacturing center” of the world.
“This clean-tech future is ours,” said Villaraigosa, who announced last week that he would not run for governor and would instead focus on completing his agenda in Los Angeles. "It is time that we create that new economy, that we center it here in the capital city of the Pacific Rim, that we join business, labor, institutions of higher learning, city, county, all of the public institutions and really reinvent L.A., really begin to put our stamp on the future economy, the green economy here in L.A.”
The mayor said Los Angeles had been “late to the game” in its environmental agenda – chasing cities including Austin, Chicago and Seattle. Although he touted the city’s progress toward drawing more energy from renewable sources, its water conservation efforts and the retrofitting of city buildings to make them more energy efficient, he said efforts so far had been a “pittance” compared to what could be done.
Villaraigosa signaled that a major focus this year will be building public support for his plan to draw more of the city’s power from solar energy. The mayor said the narrow failure of the solar energy initiative he backed in the March election – which would have installed 400 megawatts of DWP-owned solar panels throughout the city by 2014 – had not dampened his resolve.
Speaking at the Getty Center, Villaraigosa acknowledged that the voters of Los Angeles "had some concerns." "So we’re going back out," he said. "We’re not going to allow an election to impede the future, to impede what we have to do in the city.”
The mayor called the “Solar L.A.” plan “a commitment to Angelenos that the Department of Water and Power will install over 1200 megawatts of solar power over the next five years, ensuring that we become a solar powerhouse.”
-- Maeve Reston at L.A. City Hall
-- Solar panels atop Staples Center. Photo for The Times.