Honored for Sustainable Leadership
By Lookout Staff
November 19 – City Council member Pam O’Connor
became the first recipient Tuesday of The County Board of Supervisor
chair’s green leadership award in recognition of her work
helping to make the region more sustainable.
O’Connor, who sits on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board
was acknowledged for “her leadership to enhance community livability and
environmentally sustainable climate protection throughout the entire region,”
according to a statement from the Board of Supervisors.
“Pam’s leadership and personal commitment to the environment
has put both the City of Santa Monica and MTA on the national stage,”
said Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke.
“As a Council member, Pam’s ability to motivate and inspire others
has led to revolutionary innovations including the adoption of the
first local green building code and the Solar Santa Monica initiative,”
As MTA chair, O’Connor was fundamental in establishing a Sustainability
Committee to ensure that MTA reduces its own operational environmental footprint.
The move has led MTA to partner with other stakeholders to implement regionally
effective climate adaptation strategies, Burke said.
O'Connor was originally elected to the MTA board in April of 2001 to fill a
partial 19-month-term and re-elected in January 2003.
O’Connor vowed to improve communication between the loosely knit 18-city
network and the MTA bureaucracy, which oversees a $2.5 billion budget and nearly
10,000 employees in the massive 1,433-square-mile bus, light-rail and metro
O'Connor became involved in public transit in 1997 when her car broke down.
As then mayor of Santa Monica, she refused to buy another car and began riding
the Big Blue Bus to work.
Riding public transit "got me thinking about the policy issues and how
it all works together," O'Connor said.
O'Connor went on to represent western cities in the Southern California Association
of Governments, which prepared the Regional Transportation Plan for the southwest.
The supervisors’ award was conceived last Earth Day, when Supervisors
Burke and Zev Yaroslavsky urged the County to implement a Green Leadership Award
program to showcase the diverse local achievements occurring throughout the
entire County of Los Angeles.