Economic Inclusion and Climate Equity

By JR DeShazo, UCLA Luskin Center; Manuel Pastor, USC PERE; and Mirabai Auer, USC PERE

November 2011

Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

A hard-hitting academic study jointly authored by UCLA Luskin Center and USC PERE research teams finds that Los Angeles has a significant workforce trained and ready to contribute to the solar economy jobs, but that city leaders have so far failed to enact policies that would take advantage of this resource and put city residents to work.

Further, the study finds that the areas in Los Angeles with the greatest potential for rooftop solar power – and thus the greatest capacity to support solar-related jobs – include many areas suffering from high unemployment and economic need.

“Unless civic leaders ramp up efforts to expand solar programs, the city and region face the prospect of being left behind,” states the report, Empowering LA’s Solar Workforce: New Policies that Deliver Investments and Jobs. “This report is, above all, a wake-up call to policymakers to make certain they are utilizing an important workforce segment – and creating policies that will put qualified people to work.”

The report, presented by the LABC Institute, will be formally released at the LA Business Council’s “Building LA’s Workforce” Summit at UCLA on Nov. 16. It will be discussed at the event by a panel that includes three leading mayoral candidates– City Council President Eric Garcetti, Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilwoman Jan Perry.

The study finds that, while California has set a goal of generating 33 percent of its energy from renewable energy by 2020, our region lacks sound policies to meet these goals and employ ready green-economy workers. In fact, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has one of the weakest solar track records among major California utilities, generating less than one sixth as much solar power per customer as the state leader, Southern California Edison.


Read our other publications by research area

    Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.

    Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity

    In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.

    Social Movements & Governing Power

    ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.

    Publications Directory

    In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).

    The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.

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