by: Sharon Sandow, Director of Government Relations
I admit, I’m not a blogger. But I thought that I’d venture into unknown territory to share my experience today as an attendee at Mayor Garcetti’s Resilience Workshop. Sounds fancy, right? But here’s what it was all about and why I thought it was important to write about.
I’ve lived here my whole life, have been with the Red Cross for three years, and have been involved in local and state government for many more, but this was the first workshop of its kind where we came together as a community to talk about resilience.
In December 2013, The Rockefeller Foundation announced the selection of the City of Los Angeles to participate in the Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge; seeking to support 100 cities that are ready to build resilience to the social, economic, and physical challenges that cities are increasingly facing in the 21st century. As a member of 100 Resilient Cities, Los Angeles has a distinct and important opportunity to strengthen its commitment and Mayor Garcetti hosted a panel today to discuss Community Resilience in Los Angeles and engage local partners.
Our Los Angeles Region Red Cross CEO Jarrett Barrios joined a panel of experts, including people from LA City Emergency Management and even from the Israel Trauma Coalition. Jarrett spoke about individual and community preparedness, vulnerable communities, and how to create a more resilient Los Angeles. He cited the importance of forming partnerships, with the business community as well as residents of the city, as one critical step to forming more resilient communities. By emphasizing planning, partnerships, and capabilities development that improve preparedness and resilience, we may be able to mitigate some of the effects and costs of a disaster that might hit the L.A. Region.
The word resilient is a great word; meaning hardy, strong, robust, spirited and quick to recover … but we can only be resilient in the face of disaster with the cooperation, encouragement and commitment to preparedness, first. Getting businesses talking to other businesses and to their employees, getting neighbors talking to neighbors, getting city governments to work together. Only through cooperation and conversation will we land in a place where our cities and communities can truly be called resilient.
That is what I learned today.