Progressive political candidates are on the rise, and progressive coalitions are growing here in Los Angeles - even in some unexpected sections of America's second largest metropolis.
Glendale, a fairly conservative city that has become known for its intrusive development deals, controversial racial history, and regressive sustainability planning, has a first time candidate for City Council who could quite literally be a breath of fresh air its 200,000 residents need.
Local residents have become increasingly vocal about city planners who seem intent on large, corporate development deals that don't act in the best interest of the community. In 2017, Glendale announced plans to spend millions to rebuild Grayson Power Plant, the last planned gas plant in California. But with the available technology and a workforce ready to replace gas with clean energy, this was far from necessary.
Dan Brotman has since pledged to apply his passion for environmental activism and talents for community organizing to issues such as safer streets, solutions to traffic congestion, and housing affordability.
In walked Dan Brotman, an economics professor at Glendale Community College who took issue with the Plant's proposal for expansion, which would increase emissions by 415,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the community each year. So he co-founded an environmental coalition to push back on the city's plans. After he organized three protests attended by more than 400 community members, these efforts resulted in a 4-to-1 vote by the City Council to halt expansion in exchange for considering cleaner energy alternatives.
Scholl Canyon Landfill also falls under Glendale’s purview, which has been dumping toxic waste atop the community for years. Glendale developed a Zero Waste Action Plan back in 2010, but there hasn’t been much follow through. Brotman wants to keep the council accountable for past commitments and help guide fellow councilmembers to combat issues like Grayson and Scholl Canyon.
"I'd never been involved with political action before. I never really wanted to have to be," Brotman said shortly after announcing his candidacy. He has since pledged to apply his passion for environmental activism and talents for community organizing to issues such as safer streets, solutions to traffic congestion, and housing affordability.
One thing progressive candidates all seem to have in common is that they genuinely care about the future of their community, not how much they can gain from running for office, or what money they can earn along the way. And like most progressives, he is running a clean money campaign. If elected, he won't be answering to corporate developers, or the fossil fuel lobby. But he's certain to shake up the status quo, which is exactly what the city, and country, needs in 2020.
You can discover more about Dan Brotman on his website.