Greening Los Angeles: A Case Study

On November 6, 2013 Applied Research Center (ARC) was rebranded as Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. The content on this page was published on the ARC website prior to the rebrand.


11.19.2009 –Media Contact: Debayani Kar 510.338.4917 or


November 19, 2009:  Applied Research Center (ARC) is today releasing “Greening Los Angeles: A Case Study of Green Retrofits of City Buildings as a Model for Regional Equity in the Green Economy.” The study profiles how community organization Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) and the Los Angeles chapter of the Apollo Alliance won passage of a green retrofit ordinance for municipal buildings that will create high-quality jobs for women and communities of color struggling with the economic crisis.

Visit to read and download “Greening Los Angeles” and the Green Equity Toolkit.


“This report highlights the work to revitalize Los Angeles, making it an innovator and hub for green industries and sustainable jobs,” says Yvonne Liu, Senior Research Associate at the Applied Research Center and author of “Greening Los Angeles.” “L.A. is positioned to be a regional and national leader in the green economy, setting the standard for expanding the mutual benefits of equity and green growth.”

Though President Obama hopes to create five million green jobs within a decade, women and people of color will be left behind without active policies to ensure participation. Blacks and Latinos comprise less than 30 percent of those employed in green industries and occupations. Black women are employed in only 1.5 percent of jobs in the energy sector, with Latino and Asian women employed at 1.0 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. White executives dominate the key sectors going green, construction and energy.


Greening Los Angeles” is part of the Green Equity Toolkit, intended to help community organizations, public agencies and individuals maximize and share the benefits of green economy jobs. The Toolkit provides a guide for creating high-quality jobs that are fully accessible to people of color and women.


Yesterday, ARC convened a Webinar on the Green Equity Toolkit, featuring the Los Angeles case study. Toolkit coauthors Yvonne Liu and Terry Keleher of the Applied Research Center joined Elsa Barboza of SCOPE to discuss equal participation in the green economy. Webinar audio and presentations are available here.


ARC has carried out extensive research to define good, green jobs and demonstrate how communities of color and women can experience shared benefits. Greening Los Angeles is the first in a six-part series of case studies highlighting model initiatives that advance race and gender equity. Additional Case Studies and a Model Policy Bank will be released in the months ahead.


Visit to read and download “Greening Los Angeles”and the Toolkit.


FOUNDED IN 1981, the Applied Research Center is America's leading think tank on racial justice. ARC investigates the racial consequences of public policy initiatives and develops new frameworks and solutions to address racial inequality. With offices in New York, Chicago, and Oakland, ARC engages in media and journalism, strategic research and policy analysis, and leadership development. ARC is the publisher of ColorLines magazine.