election 2020

Candidates Address Pasadena's Green Future in Environmental Forum

Posted January 15, 2020
By Dennis Haywood

Pasadena is a place that has many trees and parks. That is part of what makes this city so hard to leave and so inviting to move to if you can afford to live here. The main topics of the evening were the Arroyo Seco trails, Hahamongna Park and the Climate Action Plan.

​Jason Hardin, Victor Gordo, and Mayor Terry Tornek were basically speaking the same language about what can and can't be done in Pasadena environmentally. Major Williams suggested that we leave it up the experts. One of the panel members, who is a student at Sequoya High School, mentioned that Hardin was the only candidate who signed the Green New Deal petition that all of the candidates were asked to sign. Mayor Tornek broke down why he hadn't signed the deal and that was because it's a national issue and not local.

He further explained that Pasadena has its own Climate Action Plan (CAP) that is in many ways more progressive than the Green New Deal, which states that we can have a completely clean city by 2030. Both Tornek and Victor Gordo agreed that the 2030 date isn't feasible. Hardin didn't say he believes the deal's prediction was possible, but he applauded the student for his dedication to a cleaner future because nothing comes with no effort.

Another concern of people in the community is the commercialization of the Arroyo Seco by adding things like more restrooms and areas where people can do more recreational things. Personally I'm a frequent runner of the trails and the archery course and casting pond seem to be enough along the trail. There are horses and other animals that could be affected by construction. There is a lot of natural habitats that we don't need to be disturbed. People go down there for the peace the engulfs it. Being on the trails is like you aren't even in the city. All of the candidates believe in the preservation of natural habitats along the Arroyo Seco.

The expansion of buildings in the city appears to be a great concern because the trees don't come back once you gut them and the more complexes that are built means higher emissions into the community. Hardin suggested that we put a greater effort into helping people understand the advantages and importance of utilizing public transportation and ride-sharing as one way of combating the growing population.

Victor Gordo reminded us all that Pasadena is a big city stuck in a small city's body. The city is growing upward because there is no room to go out. that makes all of the decisions even harder to make because no matter what, all will not be pleased and some may be directly affected in ways that need to be thought out first.

Tonight, Mayor Tornek had the upper-hand. He has been involved in environmental issues since he was a city councilman. Gordo has a clear understanding of what the city has been doing and envisions for the future. Hardin new just as much about the Climate Action Plan as Tornek and he even had some suggestions on how it could be more effective for the people as a whole. It was a great and informative forum and even though Tornek was on top of his game, Gordo and Hardin were formidable opponents. 

The next candidate's forum is January 30th at Madison School from 5:45 til 8:00 pm. The topics will be Housing, Local Economy, Public Education System, Immigration, and Policing. If any of those topics interest you, feel obligated to get involved and listen to what the men have to say. Your choice is taken away from you after the election.