Los Angeles, CA – On December 3, 2019, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board signed a resolution committing the school district’s transition to 100 percent clean, renewable electricity by 2030, and all other energy usages, including boilers, HVAC, and transportation by 2040.
Mobilized to act by a team of climate leaders from The Climate Reality Project: Los Angeles Area, CA chapter, the Board began considering the benefits of transitioning the country’s second largest school district to 100 clean, renewable energy in June of this year. With help from LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian and co-sponsored by LAUSD Board Members Scott Schmerelson, Jackie Goldberg, and Dr. George McKenna III, the resolution was introduced at the November 5, 2019 board meeting, and voted on at an open public board meeting on December 3, 2019.
Inspired by the recent Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Los Angeles in August 2018, and the 100% Committed campaign, members of the Los Angeles Area chapter of Climate Reality decided to mobilize their efforts towards the transition of LAUSD to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. Today’s announcement is the culmination of a monumental undertaking, including countless phone calls, emails, blog posts, public outreach, school presentations, and meetings with board members.
The resolution has been endorsed by hundreds of LAUSD students, teachers, parents, and administrators, in addition to many environmental activist and justice groups, including Sierra Club Climate Parents, Pacoima Beautiful, and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA).
“As long and as hard as the work has been, it has been even more rewarding. Given the realities of the crisis we face and how critical it is that everyone get on board, virtually everywhere we turned, we met with enthusiastic support and a willingness to assist in pushing this forward,” says Los Angeles Area, CA Chapter Co-Chair Michael Zelniker and 100% Committed Co-Lead Sybil Azur. “We are profoundly grateful to the many LAUSD students, teachers, parents and activists who are members of our very large and committed coalition.”
LAUSD is the second largest school district in the country with more than 625,000 students enrolled in more than 1,100 schools with more than 26,000 teachers. The district’s schools and facilities make it one of the largest consumers of electricity in Los Angeles. Transitioning LAUSD to a 100 percent clean, renewable energy profile will decrease the district's greenhouse gas emissions by hundreds of thousands of tons.
As LAUSD students face increased numbers of school closures and absences as a result of wildfires and asthma and other respiratory and medical issues, caused by greenhouse gas emissions and the climate crisis, the prospect of LAUSD contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future by transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels and into clean, renewable energy will inspire and empower our children in ways that are beyond measure.
The chapter’s efforts were led by Michael Zelniker, Sybil Azur, Blossom Shores, Mabel Wong, Kathy Schaeffer, Lois Keller, Kristin Engle, and Kori Malia. We thank The Climate Reality Project: Los Angeles Area, CA Chapter for their dedication to this fight.