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Sustainable Living, Redistricting Maps Top Mar Vista Community Council's Annual Meeting

The panel applauds a $45,000 grant from the LADWP to run a series of sustainable living workshops, but remains concerned over draft proposals to split up the MVCC area's state Senate and Assembly districts.

Sustainable living and redistricting maps were the two top talking points at the annual Mar Vista Community Council stakeholders and board of directors meeting Tuesday night.

About 25 people came to munch on appetizers and dessert at the auditorium and to hear committee updates. 

The board first elected officers for the upcoming year, sworn in by Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl. All of last year's officers were re-elected to their same positions with Albert Olson serving another term as chair, Sharon Commins as vice chair, Bill Koontz as 2nd vice chair, Laura Bodensteiner as secretary and Alex Thompson as treasurer. 

Rosendahl was also there to formally recognize  series as the recipient of a $45,000 grant from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

The grant, originally awarded in May, is designed to promote outreach and sustainability. Rosendahl picked Sustainable Works from a short list of projects fulfilling that description.

Mar Vista held a pilot sustainability workshop about a year ago, which provided the impetus for the funds, Green Committee co-chair Bodensteiner told attendees.

“What we are doing here in Mar Vista has become a beacon and a light to the rest of the city,” Rosendahl said.

Sustainable Works helps homeowners to conserve in areas such as energy, waste, chemicals and transportation purchasing, said Susy Borlido, Sustainable Works' program director. 

The organization also works to assess savings and help secure rebates from LADWP for businesses, she added.

Sustainable Works will be offering four Green Living Workshops in District 11 within the next year. The next will take place Aug. 30 at the Aldersgate Retreat Center in Pacific Palisades.

In other business, the board unanimously approved a motion objecting to draft state Senate and Assembly redistricting maps.

In June the California Citizens Redistricting Commission released draft maps along with a request for input. The panel is tasked with creating "communities of interest" in the drawing of new lines for state and federal legislative districts.

Proposed state Senate and Assembly districts split up the Mar Vista Community Council area, which has dismayed council members. 

“There is no value or interest in slicing up the MVCC,” said Geoffrey Forgione, co-chair of the Elections and Bylaws Committee.

Mar Vista’s motion does not request a specific placement on the map for the district. 

“[This motion] just says, 'Keep us together,' ” Forgione said.

But Thompson called the motion “mathematically infeasible,” pointing out that 93 neighborhood councils exist in Los Angeles and it may be impossible to avoid splitting some of them. 

Forgione said the purpose of the motion was to take a stance and put the issue on the record for members of the commission.

He noted that other councils, such as Studio City's, have passed similar motions. 

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