When Jonathan Parfrey was named by the mayor to replace Nick Patsaouras on the DWP Commission four months ago, he vowed to give up his role as a lobbyist on environmental issues with the Liberty Hill Foundation and advocate for his group, the Green LA Coalition.
Here’s what the LA Times reported back then:
“Parfrey is the head of Green L.A., an environmental coalition that
has pushed for greener policies at the City Hall. Last year, he was
registered with the Ethics Commission as a lobbyist for Liberty Hill
Foundation, a nonprofit group that focuses on environmental and social
“Parfrey, who is paid for his work with Green L.A., said he views his
work as social advocacy, not lobbying. Still, because Villaraigosa bars
lobbyists from serving as commissioners, Parfrey vowed to stop
contacting city policymakers on behalf of his group’s advocacy issues.
According to the Ethics Commission’s website, Parfrey halted his
lobbying work on Dec. 11 — the day the mayor nominated him to serve on
the DWP board.”
But that didn’t stop Parfrey from backing Measure B like the DWP officials who claimed they were just being “informational,” not advocating for it.
And it doesn’t stop Green LA, part of the Liberty Hill Foundation, from lobbying for approval of the new water rate hike that does little or nothing for conservation efforts since its goal is to maintain DWP revenue when the mayor’s conservation plan, such as it is, goes into effect.
The effect of the hike is to allow the DWP to continue paying exorbitant salaries to its workers — far higher than other utilities pay or the city pays for the same jobs — and to continue to cut sweetheart deals with consultants and contractors.
It amazes me why environmental groups like Green LA and the LA League of Conservation Voters, of which Parfrey is vice president, continues to support take money out of the public’s pocket for Measure B and rate hikes that keep DWP workers in the green but do nothing to make the environment greener.
I don’t question the right to support whatever they want, just their judgment in backing a corrupt power structure that has failed to fulfill its environmental promises for so long, and why they now are pushing for a rate hike instead of much tougher conservation measures that we need and broadly would support.
I can see the difficulty Parfrey faces as an environmental lobbyist and activist co-opted into an official capacity by the City Hall political machine. But you’re either for the best environmental measures possible or the question has to be asked whether you’re an environmentalist or a greenwasher profiting from public support for a greener world.
Here’s Green LA email urging support for the hikes:
GREEN LA Water Activists
Everts and Stephanie Taylor
Shortage-Year Rate Increase
Dear Water Activist,
We need your support! Please
join Conner Everts, Miguel Luna,
Miriam Torres and Joe Linton in
signing on to the attached letter to
Los Angeles City Council urging them to pass the water shortage-year rate
increase when it is resubmitted by the Department of Water & Power
To sign on, please send Stephanie your name, title and
organization by COB Tuesday, April
We will also need you to attend
the City Council meeting to testify on behalf of this important conservation
measure. Stay tuned for the date.
The Water Shortage-Year
Rate Increase ordinance, based on an April 2008
ordinance, seeks to permit a second tier and charge extra
for LADWP customers that fail to conserve water. This water
shortage rate increase will help the City to reach its 15% conservation goal, as
Metropolitan Water District could be cutting its allotment of water to the
City by as much as 20%.
We anticipate the Board of Water and Power
Commissioners will re-approve and re-submit the Water Shortage Rate
ordinance to City Council as soon as Friday,
April 17 (date to be