The Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce quietly parted ways with its executive director last week, telling local reporters only that it wanted to embark on “a new direction” that would include “more community outreach and more collaboration with local businesses and city government.”
Well I’ve got just the new direction the Chamber is looking for.
It’s a direction totally in line with its mission to “promote, educate and organize the businesses which serve our residents” and will instantly deliver on its desire for community outreach and collaboration with both businesses and city government.
The Green Idea City movement has been slowly building since the Hermosa Beach City Council embraced it at its January goal-setting workshop, as then-Mayor Michael DiVirgilio outlined in his March article in the Daily Breeze.
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When it comes to the holiday season I’m a Thanksgiving kind of guy.
I love everything about T-Day: the focus on gratitude and appreciation, the gathering of family and friends, the sharing of a feast we’ve all contributed to, and best of all, its non-denominational inclusiveness.
In a year when there was hardly anything on the national environmental scene to be thankful for (and frankly plenty to flat out freak out over) it’s been the right time to think globally and act locally, especially if that locality happens to be Hermosa Beach where you have green champions such as:
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My old pal, Michael DiVirgilio, the Mayor of Hermosa – until Pete Tucker takes over that ceremonial title later this month – is putting on a “Leadership Forum” on Sept 10 in Hermosa Beach in the City Council chamber. I only know about it because the announcement was sent to me by accident with a request not to forward it to anyone. I’m honoring that request by reposting the invite here instead of forwarding it to anyone.
It’s all been very hush-hush with no public announcements or outreach despite the fact that he’s been planning it for a couple of months now. It’s apparently by invitation only and intended for VIPs of an undisclosed nature. Call it a closed session if you want to be really accurate.
This isn’t the kind of transparency or sunshine I expect from local elected officials and this level of secrecy isn’t worthy of a “Green Idea City” label.
After eight months of working directly with Mayor Michael DiVirgilio to introduce and launch the Carbon Neutral City initiative, I stepped aside two weeks ago to focus more on the surrounding South Bay communities and to play a different role in Hermosa.
It’s been a rewarding and exhilarating 34 weeks since I first sat down with DiVirgilio, Dency Nelson and Robert Fortunato at the Planet Earth Café to propose that Hermosa Beach become the first municipality in Southern California to go carbon neutral and rebrand itself as the “Green Idea City.”
I’ve learned a lot over that period.
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Hermosa Beach Mayor, Michael DiVirgilio, speaking on behalf of 350 at the International Day of Climate Action last October.
Hermosa Beach Mayor, Michael DiVirgilio, has on Op Ed piece in today’s Daily Breeze on why he is leading his city to a carbon neutral future.
In an era when most elected officials offer no substance and no positive vision for our future, DiVirgilio is downright JFK-like in his view of what must be done:
“But now is not the time to narrow the vision for our own future, to diminish our expectations for the better days ahead or to downsize the ambitions for our children’s quality of life.
Now is the time to step up and seize the opportunities available to those who act on new realities before they become mainstream trends. Now is the time to use the stimulus, grant and foundation money available to those who lead before the map is even drawn.
Now is also the time to act because we are standing at another threshold, the threshold of climate-change tipping points that may diminish the future prospects and possibilities for young and old alike.”
So we choose to go carbon neutral, not because it is easy, but because it is our best possible future, and the best path to preserving the small-town beach community and culture we all cherish and want to pass on to the generations who follow.
Courtesy of YouTube and the Hermosa Beach City website, and converted and enlarged through the magic of Greenius, we bring you this exclusive look at the Carbon Neutral ClueTrain leaving the Hermosa Beach station this week. Local mainstream media missed this story completely but fortunately for them this on-line record will exist for them to use as research. So will the reporting that the new Patch.com news group will be providing.
The story actually began last week during Hermosa Beach Mayor’s State of the City address where Mayor Michael DiVirgilio spoke about the Carbon Neutral City concept:
Mayor DiVirgilio was right back at it Monday night at the Hermosa Beach Green Task Force meeting, speaking enthusiastically on behalf of the idea:
Join us after the jump to see your friendly neighborhood Greenius and my Fratelli Verde, Robert Fortunato, following the Mayor with our own remarks.
Ever since the Copenhagen climate treaty talks ended in impotence two months ago there hasn’t been a single ounce of positive news on the international scene about our chances of cutting the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and getting CO2 levels back down to the safe 350 ppm zone. Here in the United States our President and Congress haven’t shown the leadership or sense of urgency necessary to prevent a climate catastrophe and they’ve given the people no hope for their children’s future at the national level. Many in Congress have acted unethically and immorally with the responsibility they have been trusted with.
As the Creative Greenius and organizer of the South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group that’s just unacceptable to me. If they can’t get the job done in Washington, DC or at the UN – and it’s obvious to me that they cannot – then we will take the reins of responsibility from them right now and we will get the job done here locally.
That’s exactly what is happening now.
Last night at the Hermosa Beach, California City Council meeting, Mayor Michael DiVirgilo, confirmed that he and the City Council are committed to making their iconic beach town a Carbon Neutral City at the earliest possible date. Hermosa Beach’s Green Task Force was directed to come up with the plan and a special joint session of the Council and the Task Force was scheduled for March 30 to get the carbon neutral ball rolling. This makes Hermosa Beach the first city in the South Bay of Los Angeles County, and the first city in all of Los Angeles County to declare their intent to become carbon neutral and sustainable. And that makes them the leadership model we will replicate in all of the other 87 cities that make up this County of 10 million people.
None of this is happening by accident.
Your Creative Greenius was there on the scene to witness the historic action and to add my remarks to note the occasion. Check out the video excerpt courtesy of Hermosa Beach’s website after the jump, and discover, in classic Paul Harvey tradition, the rest of the story… Continue reading
When our South Bay 350 Climate Action Group asked for Congresswoman Jane Harman’s help with our October 24, International Day of Climate Action we got it. Her Environmental Deputy, Diane Moss, has been not just accessible but also terrifically responsive in a straight forward, no bullshit way the Greenius really loves.
And what I also love is the obvious way the Congresswoman studies the issues and isn’t afraid to say and do the right things – despite opposition from the far right as well as the far left of her own party.
If you’re a regular Creative Greenius reader you know that I’ve been writing for quite a while about California’s leadership on climate, renewable energy, environmental legislation and energy efficiency issues.
I’ve also been pounding away about the climate fate of the vulnerable small island states and sea level rise for many months now.
So you know how much I love seeing Congresswoman Harman call these very issues out in the powerful statement she released today with her reaction to the just concluded Copenhagen climate talks. Continue reading