Friday, December 2, 2022
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Editorial: Reasons to be grateful in 2022

In 2022, there was a lot to dislike. Russia invaded Ukraine in February. In May, nineteen children and two teachers were killed at the Uvalde school. In June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, overturning a constitutional right to abortion that had been in place for nearly half a century. Against the backdrop of all this, there has been another toxic election season, showing the country’s deep political divisions, skyrocketing inflation and ongoing economic uncertainty. And, of course, the ever-present dark cloud of climate change.

However, throughout the year there were moments and acts of grace and inspiration that helped us to keep up our spirits. This Thanksgiving, here are some of the people, events, and trends that have given us reason to give special thanks:

The electoral workers are everywhere. This is an underestimated and increasingly dangerous task as political conspiracy theorists, including one former president, have taken their anger out on the people who collect, count and protect our ballots. We thank them for making the midterm elections go off without a hitch and with few complaints of fraud.

Improved wildfire containment strategies. So far this year, California has avoided the extreme devastation of 2021 and 2020. While we have not addressed the root causes of wildfires, we are very grateful that the fires have not gotten worse in 2022.

Residents of Los Angeles. We saved 6 billion gallons of water over the summer after not responding well to the drought in the first half of the year. This may take some time, but it shows that we end up doing what is necessary to get the job done.

Inflation appears to be on the decline. This is a reminder that, despite the war in Ukraine that has caused turmoil in energy markets and the convulsions of the pandemic, lockdowns and Great Retirementour economy is healthy.

Nancy Pelosi. She pioneered as the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives. But also her skill in the legislative process, aimed at improving the lives of her fellow citizens, deserves our praise. Earlier this month, she announced that she would no longer seek re-election to a leadership position in the House of Representatives, but would remain an important member of California’s congressional delegation.

California Smart Voters. Who said big money wins elections? Special Interests may have broken spending records this campaign season on voting measures, including sports gambling, kidney dialysis regulations, electric vehicle funding and flavored tobacco, but they didn’t win. Voters rejected their arguments. In Los Angeles, mayoral candidate Rick Caruso spent more than $100 million of his fortune on his campaign, filling airtime and mailboxes with ads. But voters chose his opponent, Rep. Karen Bass (D-LA), as the next mayor. It is encouraging to see that money does not always equate to electoral success.

Brazilian voters. Last month, they toppled far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in favor of leftist ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who had been campaigning against protecting the Amazon rainforest. Brazil’s election results are an encouraging sign of the preservation of a region often referred to as the “lungs of our planet” and a site of unparalleled biodiversity.

Opening of K Line. This Crenshaw/LAX light rail line is part of a growing network of rail lines designed to provide Angeleno residents with a faster, more efficient and convenient choice of public transportation. The line will eventually connect to Los Angeles International Airport in 2024, providing future Thanksgiving travelers with an alternative to Los Angeles’ hellish horseshoe traffic.

The end of fossil fuel vehicles is just around the corner. The California Air Resources Board has set a firm 2035 deadline to stop selling new gas-powered vehicles. A state that has pioneered car culture is building a new all-electric road.

A car-free road in Griffith Park. In a small but significant move, Los Angeles has banned cars from its stretch of Griffith Park Drive in an effort to reduce through traffic and provide park users with a safe route to cycle, ride and walk. The Angelinos are hungry for more public space – just look at the people flocking to the Sixth Street Viaduct – so let’s look for more roads to close temporarily or permanently.

Fight against NIMBIism. Gov. Gavin Newsom is cracking down on some communities that make it too hard to build much-needed housing. His administration created the Housing Records Division to support state laws to increase housing development, protect rent-governed units, and reduce racial segregation.

Persistence of supporters of street vendors. California lawmakers have finally passed a bill to make it easier for food vendors to obtain the permits they need to legally sell their wares. It took years of organizing, lobbying, and advocacy groups to ensure that purveyors of sliced ​​fruit, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, tacos, and other delicious foods could operate without fear of closure.

New health protection measures. California legislators have banned the construction of new oil wells and wells within 3,200 feet of homes and schools, and the Los Angeles City Council has decided to stop new drilling throughout the city and phase it out completely within 20 years. These were turning points in a decades-long struggle for environmental health and justice for polluted communities.

Inflation Reduction Law. Congress finally did something meaningful on climate change with this landmark legislation, which will be the largest U.S. government action to combat global warming in history, helping to reduce pollution on the planet and accelerate our transition to renewable energy.

Ban on single-use plastic. After several misses in recent years, California lawmakers passed a landmark consumer packaging bill in 2022 that will significantly reduce the use of single-use plastic over the next decade by banning most plastic packaging that is not recycled or composted.

antigenic tests. While the pandemic has stayed with us in 2022, the availability of home testing for COVID has made it easier to keep meetings safe.

Voters supporting reproductive rights. In California, Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, and elsewhere, voters have sent a strong and unequivocal message that they are demanding reproductive rights by passing measures in state ballots to protect access to abortion and repealing measures to limit or eliminate abortion rights.

Safer passage for wild animals. This year saw the completion of the long-awaited state-of-the-art Liberty Canyon Highway 101 Bridge, which will allow mountain lions and other creatures to cross the treacherous road safely. State lawmakers also passed the Safe Highways and Wildlife Protection Act, which requires the California Department of Transportation to create more intersections where needed when the agency builds or improves highways.

Hope for homelessness and housing. Three events this year together could change Los Angeles’ fight against homelessness and housing affordability: Bass’s election, the creation of a new county agency to preserve and build affordable housing, and Measure ULA’s November 8 victory in the city’s vote. raise millions of dollars annually for affordable housing.

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