Monday, February 11, 2008
St. George Hotel Goes Solar
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. created a program, The Solar Neighbors program, a partnership, engineered by Mr. Norton, between BP and Enterprise that connects celebrities investing in solar electric systems with low-income homeowners who receive a donated BP system of their own. With utility costs markedly reduced through the use of solar electricity, the 42 low-income homeowners who have already benefited from the program have enjoyed savings of hundreds of dollars off their monthly bills. The St. George is the premiere West Coast multi-unit building to receive a solar electric system through the BP Solar Neighbors program.
Everybody was there as it was a happy day for all. It is an example of the results that can be accomplished when people and organizations join together to work for a common goal.
At the top is Ed Norton, the actor he inspired and motivated his celebrity colleagues to participate in the program. Below is Council woman Jan Perry, Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa and City Council President Eric Garcetti
What is my feeling about this? I thought it was great. Most of the time at ceremonies people speak but have nothing really to say. They know it as well as the audience. Today was different. Everybody that said something said something that was significant and that which adds to the total program.
Indeed, it was a proud day for Michael Alvidrez, the executive director of Skid row Housing Trust,who is pictured at the very top. I decided to leave the text in place as it is. (You can see where I already said that Ed Norton was at the top. I decided to add a solo picture of Michael Alvidrez. So I learned how to crop it and add it to the total. So I was lazy in not wanting to change the text. At the same time I am sharing my learning and growing process with you.)
Of course, I should have been creating resumes but I thought this was more important. The more I learn, the better my resumes will be. The more I learn, the better and more creative I will become in producing the story of Skid Row and the progress that is happening in Skid Row.
Television Stations sent their camera crews. This was one occasion where everyone in the room deserved to have a picture taken of them. Anita Nelson and Steven Van Zile, from SRO Housing were also there.
I am just tickled at what I am seeing. Everyone needs to give themselves a pat on the back.
I was thinking. What what it take to motivate companies, maybe "green industry" companies, to put assembly plants of solar systems in Skid Row? Could there be tax incentives to locate companies in Skid Row? Could companies start training programs so that those in Skid Row could be on the cutting edge of technology that could be used to save dollars, keep us independent from oil consumption, and provide employment for those that society had deemed lost causes.
About ten years ago, during the Christmas Holidays, I received a telemarketing call. It was not your usual telemarketing call. This call came from a physically challenged organization. In the past they would be classified as handicapped. They were selling lightbulbs over the phone. These were special lightbulbs. They used less energy and lasted a long time, 5 times longer than the normal lightbulb. A certain amount of the proceeds would go to the organization. I bought some of those lightbulbs. That was the only purchase I ever made from a telemarketer.
I believe today is just the beginning of public/private partnerships in the Skid Row, Central City East district.
There is potential in bringing corporations here to do good things. Los
Angeles can lead the way in the "going green" campaign. Let's take it up a notch. Robert Kennedy said that he dreamed of things and said "Why not?" His son is a big "green" advocate. Why not accomplish two things at once? Why not bring in green industries to Skid Row. We can do things to save the environment and save the lives of people by giving them skills in an industry that is the future of this country. Instead of Skid Row being the end for most people. The residents of Skid Row can be a part of a heroic beginning for this country as we wake up and realize that things must change if we are going to be here in the future.