Dear Friends: In the wake of unprecedented LADWP power outages during the recent heat wave, unfortunately with one of the greatest number of incidents in CD4, I joined with my Council colleagues Eric Garcetti, Jan Perry and Wendy Greuel in support of “Operation COOL L.A.” The top call to action is an audit of infrastructure to assess where the agency is in its upgrading of facilities. Our “load,” jargon for the amount of power needed at a given time, has become intense. Many homes have computers, home entertainment systems and other electronics that use much more energy than just a decade ago. When air conditioning is going at full blast, the system can crash. I’ve been successful in getting up-pushed for upgrades for distribution grades in the Los Feliz, Los Feliz Oaks, Hollywood Knolls, Windsor Square and other, older neighborhoods and I will not let up in this effort. Some of our distribution stations are nearly 100 years old and have patched systems. An audit would help us prioritize our resources. We also are asking for a report on LADWP’s customer service operations. It is very distressing for customers to experience power outages, but it just intensifies their frustration when they cannot get answers or updates from LADWP operators. The agency has suffered from personnel cutbacks during prior administrations and this mandate should be revisited. We look forward to the findings of “Operation COOL L.A.”
As we go about city business, we are confronted with numerous challenges day in and day out, so it’s good when we can emphasize the positive. That’s what I did this week in City Council when I gave an overview to my council colleagues on our accomplishments with the Sister Cities of Los Angeles organization these past several years. As many of you know, I serve as president of L.A. Sister Cities and enjoy many great relationships with our 24 member cities, including our most recent member, Yerevan, Armenia. A delegation led by Council President Eric Garcetti traveled to Armenia earlier this year for the ceremony. This people-to-people program was created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 to strengthen citizen diplomacy and avoid future conflicts. As Los Angeles continues to thrive as one of the world’s most culturally diverse places, so too does our Sister Cities program. Our annual Sister Cities Cultural Day showcasing world music and dance performances has grown in size and stature and especially now that it is held at the Grove at Farmers Market.
I am always eager to lead a delegation to any of our Sister Cities around the world and will do so twice in the next three months when I join Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit for events marking the 40th anniversary of the Los Angeles-Berlin Sister Cities relationship.