Water Equity Clearinghouse

Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)

Los Angeles, CA

Our vision is to help build a new economy rooted in good jobs, thriving communities, and a healthy environment. Here in Los Angeles and in cities across the country, we are moving steadily toward that vision – recharging democracy through grassroots organizing and community-oriented policy. Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) is a nonprofit organization focused on grassroots organizing and community-oriented policy that leads to well-paying jobs, vibrant communities, and a clean environment. LAANE recognizes the stark inequality that pervades Los Angeles, and strives to advance working communities towards economic equality and a healthy community.

Efforts to Advance Water Equity

One of LAANE’s main efforts campaigns is the Repower LA citywide coalition that advocates for equitable environmental programs and career-path jobs at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP). As the largest municipally-owned utility in the nation, the DWP has the potential address high unemployment rates at a large scale, as well as help residents in LA’s lower income neighborhoods lower their energy and water bills. One of Repower LA’s LADWP and IBEW Local 18’s programs that Repower promotes is, the Utility Pre-Craft Trainee (UPCT) program, is a pre-apprenticeship program that has recruits recruited many women and communities people of color, including the re-entry population. These apprentices earn $16/hour with benefits to learn valuable electrical and water utility skills, while simultaneously working towards stable permanent DWP jobs. Repower LA also helped institute win the Equity Metrics Data Initiative (EMDI) within the DWP. This initiative tracks and releases semi-annual data to the public on how the DWP is serving customers in low-income communities through employment, services, and programs. It will feature an analysis in the future releases that are intended to help guide DWP policy.

Our Water LA is another coalition effort LAANE is a lead part of that brings communities and environmental organizations together to work on improving stormwater capture and groundwater recharge in LA County. The campaign identifies ways to cut down on stormwater pollution while improving community resilience through and job creation. The LA County Public Works Board of Supervisors is now focused on doing outreach for a proposing a future ballot tax measure that will generate a source of dedicated revenue for these projects. LAANE is working in conjunction with Public Works staff to ensure outreach and engagement with low-income communities of color, as well as to ensure that water projects in low-income areas receive priority, while also generating a report on the construction and operations jobs potential from the measure.

LAANE has also helped shape policy in many other City and County of Los Angeles departments through Community Benefit Agreements and Project Labor Agreements. For example, the Construction Careers and Project Stabilization Policy outlines a targeted and disadvantaged hiring program and project labor agreements that are applied to board approved construction projects within Metro, the Port of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles City Public Works.