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Green We Go

I’m back!

You may (or may not) have read my earlier post about “Social Connectedness,” courtesy of the Goldhirsh Foundation’s LA2050 “Meetups,” so here I am once again to share my thoughts on the recent “Environmental Quality Community Meetup” (

This Meetup took place at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Mid-Wilshire ( and was jam-packed with environmental policy wonks sprinkled with staffers from various elected offices. Where were the representatives from the business community you ask…well that’s a good question since the last portion of the dialogue was just about that! Are public/private partnerships the answer to funding “green” projects that are desperately needed to ensure an environmentally sustainable city or are such strategies a pie in the sky when the business community claims it’s beaten up by the process?

I guess the question of funding is secondary to the bigger topic…what is an environmentally sustainable Los Angeles in 2050?

The panelists shared the following views:

Paula Daniels, Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Los Angeles – climate change will cause us to focus on resilient systems of water capture and food production to create an aquaponics system. Food production is a big source of environmental impacts when you consider livestock being the biggest contributor to the creation of Greenhouse Gases.

Omar Bronson, LA River Revitalization Corporation – the future Los Angeles will be made up of 51 miles of public greenway coupled with a contiguous water body called the Los Angeles River, where the entire stretch will be walkable, bikeable and within three miles of all forms of public transportation. 

Fred Walti, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator – without a sustainable economy, we won’t have a sustainable environment. Transportation and energy infrastructure, complete with energy storage and underground goods movement systems, is where we will be in 2050. 

Elsa Barboza, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) – Communities and families will play a central role in the new green economy and in creating environmental quality. 

Mia Lehrer, Mia Lehrer + Associates – in 2050, Los Angeles will remain a megalopolis, but it will be full of culturally-diverse villages, where streets will be rich multi-sensory places and parks are abundant and accessible. 

In 2050, my environmentally sustainable Los Angeles is a city that partners with its neighboring cities to collaboratively approach decisions on how to handle water capture and reuse, energy storage, transportation infrastructure, real estate development and/or reuse. Cities will not be operating in silos, rather they will be working together to determine the best regional solution possible.  



Respect and Confidence


From Day 1 Coro has emphasized the importance of embracing ambiguity. After six months, I still find myself embracing ambiguity. Coro is a nine month, graduate-level experiential leadership program with six placements in different sectors.

My final placement was in the public communications sector, last week.  It was no surprise that our trainer did not notify us about our public communications placement until the day before (the whole embracing ambiguity thing is no joke). When I finally received the email with my placement information, I went on Google.

On the Consensus Inc. website, I read the firm focused on community outreach and public relations work. I was ecstatic! I assumed that only entertainment companies hired outside PR firms and that all other industries used internal staff. I was wrong.

Consensus is hired by public and private entities to work on construction, transportation, energy and real estate projects.

On my first day, I was briefed on a project before driving out to San Pedro to attend a luncheon hosted by one of the firm’s clients. The rest of the afternoon consisted of staff meetings and social media work. Everyone at Consensus is passionate and deeply invested in his or her assigned projects. The firm deeply believes in creating innovative ideas for their client and their office oozes innovation, from their funky stools to their massage chair in the break room. Consensus was ranked among the top ten privately owned public relations firm in Los Angeles and there is no doubt in my mind that it will continue to flourish. My biggest takeaway from my time at Consensus is the importance of respect and confidence not just as a firm but more importantly as an individual.


This blog was written by Jacqueline Navarro who was our Coro Fellow for a week.  Jacqueline graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a double major in Legal Studies and Social Welfare.  She is from Northridge.


2050: LA’s TRANSITion


What will Los Angeles look like in 2050? 2050, I will be 71 years old. I will be watching my generation pass the torch to the next generation to build what they think is a successful city. 37 years from today, a successful Los Angeles, at least in my mind, is one that embraces community and fosters innovation. Angelenos will be just that…“Angelenos” not “westsiders,” “eastsiders,” or “suburbanites.” We will be unified through innovative communications platforms where our voices are heard by decision-makers regardless of whether we are able to show up at a hearing. We will be unified by public transit offerings that will connect every area of the city within the bloated mass of suburbs that make up Los Angeles.

I recently attended a “Meetup” put on by the Goldhirsh Foundation on one of their eight indicators, “Social Connectedness” The “Social Connectedness” panel was made up of representatives from different organizations that engage audiences in various ways. Here’s what they had to say about what it will take to make a successful Los Angeles:

Torie Osborn, Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood and Community Service: “we have to turn the ‘me’ to ‘we’”

Karen Mack, LA Commons ( “stories should become our main form of communication since they are a powerful tool, one that connects across the bubbles we all live in”

John Szabo, Los Angeles Public Library ( “libraries are and will continue to be busier than ever because we play the role of a dynamic, innovative, and social part of each neighborhood”

Benjamin Stokes, USC and Games for Change ( “digital games are here to stay, since they are not about technology but about connecting, relating to each other, and about place”

Aaron Paley, CicLAvia ( “who would’ve thought LA would become a model for the creation and use of a great car-free event, an event that cannot be messaged rather just participated in to understand”

Karla Zombro, California Calls ( “government is not bad or to be distrusted, rather it’s a vehicle to pool our resources together to lift us all up”

So, I left the evening wondering what I, as a member of the Consensus Inc. team and as a civically engaged Angeleno, can do to be a part of the process of transforming Los Angeles. Should I lead by example and get out of my own comfort zone to explore and dive deeper into my city? Am I feeling desperate for a new in-person community via this dive or am I satisfied with my online communities? Hmm…

Stay tuned for my next post in mid-March from the “Meetup” regarding “Environmental Quality,” again being put on by the Goldhirsh Foundation. 


SXSW 2013: Mayor Cory Booker on need for Engagement

Mayor of Newark Cory Booker calls for authentic engagement in government at SXSW 2013 conversation "Cory Booker: New Media Politician." Read a highlights of the discussion from Time magazine here:


The SXSW Experience, a Sophomore Take

This LA woman is getting back in the saddle at South by Southwest a little more prepared. I liken this experience to being at the eye of a hurricane. Our world is changing around us as a revolution of inspiration, democratization and interaction unfolds.

Last year, at SXSW Interactive, I was inspired by a call to action to prevent our democracy from being hacked by apathy, special interests and lack of creativity. We then partnered with LA-based startup NationBuilder and that journey is underway.

Because I have to hit the panels, (pro tip: if you are on time you’re late!) Here’s a brief summary of what I am looking forward to:

Being inspired by Brazos St. - Brazos Street is the heart of Austin’s start up community. One thing I have learned from the geniuses here is that there is an app, program, innovation to solve just about any challenge. And if it doesn’t exist yet, it can.

“The next big thing is..not a gadget” - That’s my first panel and if that’s true, I’m intrigued.

Serendipity and street conversations - Most of the best things I learned were on the streets of Austin, where any chance encounter often turns into some enlightening conversation (usually while you are waiting for something).

Join the ride and share your story with us on Twitter and Instagram via @consensuslive and #oursxsw.

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