At Tuesday night’s council meeting, I proudly accepted my appointment to Downey’s Green Task Force by Councilman Rick Rodriguez. I want to start off by thanking Councilman Rodriguez for giving me this opportunity to serve my community on the Green Task Force.
When Downey’s Green Task Force was created in 2008 by former mayor Mario A. Guerra, its mission was to focus on educating the public on environmental issues and providing long-term solutions for conservation and sustainability in our community. This mission is just as relevant today, if not more so, than when the task force was founded.
Following a model from the United Nations Urban Environmental Accords, Downey conducted a study of city operations, policies and procedures to help become more sustainable for the future. The model includes seven focus areas to recognize environmental challenges and guide urban cities to a clean, healthy, and safe environment: Energy Efficiency, Waste Reduction, Urban Design, Urban Nature, Transportation, Environmental Health, and Water Conservation.
The initial efforts of the Green Task Force were impactful. Downey installed recycling containers in many public facilities, as well as established a citywide policy to refrain from using polystyrene (styrofoam) at all community functions. To enhance sustainable building opportunities, the city updated building and zoning codes to create more energy efficient standards for future construction in our city; this includes incentives for solar efficiencies.
In recent times, the committee has faced issues with membership dedication and being forced to cancel meetings due to lack of quorum. I am excited to get to work, lead by example and help put this task force back on track.
I have a three-year-old son named Benny, and when I think of him and all the youth in our community – it reminds me why the Green Task Force is so important and why we need to protect our environment. Our children need to see examples of environmental responsibility and how to care for our community and our planet, because they are our future and this is the only planet we have. Our future depends on what we do now.
The residents of Downey have elected great leaders in our city, past and current, with a true vision for protecting and preserving our community. Our city has begun to help our environment in practical ways, but I believe we can push Downey forward for a greener future.
I am honored to be serving my community in this capacity, and together we can all help make Downey a better, more sustainable place to live.
To learn more information about the Green Task Force, green city resources, and organization, you can visit the city’s website – www.downeyca.org and click on “Green Task Force” in the City Government Tab.
Haley Guerra was born and raised in Downey. She is Vice President of Guerra Enterprises and received her B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She can be reached at Haley@GuerraIns.com