What would it look like for Los Angeles to have its Green New Deal?

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August 20, 2019
Anna Hu, a person in training, works on a laptop computer

The Mayor's office has kicked off citywide discussion with its introduction of a local "Green New Deal," laying out sustainability goals that set measurable targets for almost every aspect of life in our city. By working towards the GNDLA, we have a blueprint for totally clean energy, widened access to electric vehicles and charging, sustainable practices in city government, zero net energy buildings, and so much more. You can read about the goals yourself.

But one thing you might not get from a plan on paper is a real sense for how regular people – folks like Anna Hu – stand to benefit from the equitable transition L.A. has envisioned. What does it mean to see the opportunities of a GND roll out for all of us, in ways we can take advantage of? At GRID Alternatives, we believe that the training we offer is shining a light.

Solar Design Intern Anna was born and raised here in town, and GRID has been her first, ambitious step towards pursuing a solar career. In order to assists the GRID Project Management team, she travels to and from our offices from her home off the 110 Freeway and participates in the daily work of planning solar. Over three months of design practice, she's gotten the full benefits of training in SketchUp and created dozens of residential system single-line diagrams. If she had even more time, she'd step away from the computer and do site visits – at GRID, she can learn it all!

A typical office day, Anna might be digging into the calculations that lead to efficient solar, working in SketchUp on her GRID computer, or drafting placards to submit to local fire departments. Meanwhile, she's pursuing deeper learning in interests she's recently developed in microtransit, cleantech prototyping, and community volunteering. For the first time, the presence of GRID and other publicly accessible resources in L.A. are cultivating active participation in the booming new industries that come with a sustainable future.

Thinking through her plans to become a solar professional, Anna knows that she could make a skilled impact on the energy grid internationally; many other countries need reliable energy grids, and all of them need clean electricity. For the moment, though, Anna wants to be doing this work right here. L.A.'s Green New Deal, which anticipates 400,000 new jobs by the time we reach net zero in 2050, is more than a dream. It's a door opening for people with skills like Anna's.

We'll continue to support a thriving, green L.A., during a transition to renewables that includes everyone. Keep following the stories on our blog to see more ways the green economy truly works for all of us!