Whereas the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was enacted by the California Legislature in 1970 as the State’s premier planning and environmental protection law, which has been further affirmed by the Supreme Court in a 1972 decision by Justice Stanley Mosk and has served to inform the public and local government decision-makers of potential environmental harm and ways to eliminate, avoid or reduce that harm before it occurs; and
Whereas CEQA has ensured the public’s right to participate in a fair and transparent planning process for the past forty years because members of local communities are often knowledgeable of the needs and environmental issues in their neighborhoods so they should be allowed to participate which has resulted in improved project planning due to public participation such as better air quality for residents of the Port of Los Angeles and the Central Valley, green building standards to reduce greenhouse gases, and water quality improvements and increased water and energy use efficiency; and
Whereas CEQA has been amended several times over the past 40 years in order to clarify the law’s intent, streamline the process, and most recently facilitate the approval of infill and low-income housing; and a report released by the Public Policy Institute found that less than 2% of CEQA projects lead to legal action; however there have been recent attacks on the integrity of this law that would compromise, dilute and diminish its effectiveness by eliminating public participation and the public’s right to enforce, as well reducing the transparency of the public process, and.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party re-affirms its support and commitment to CEQA’s original intent to ensure public participation and transparency in the planning process in order to protect California’s environment. The Los Angeles County Democratic Party calls on the State legislature and Governor to oppose any efforts to weaken this law and reduce public participation, and
Be It Further Resolved, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party will send a copy of this resolution to all members of the California Democratic delegation of the State Legislature and the Governor.
Submitted by: Lynne Plambeck and Carole Lutness, AD 38
Adopted by LACDP 1/8/13