Marie Steckmest, the founder of Palisades Cares in 2006, advocated for reusable bags, composting, gardening, recycling and community service activities in Pacific Palisades. She carried on the crusade for more than a decade and was named the 2008 Citizen of the Year for her efforts. She moved from the Palisades last month, but with the hope that someone would either continue Palisades Cares or promote her efforts.
Resilient Palisades, a nonprofit launched in August, will help meet that challenge and will hold a community Zoom meeting at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, September 3. The five founders–Ryan Craig, Ingrid Steinberg, Shayna Samuels, Karen Ephraim and Aleksandar Pavlovic– are Palisades residents.
Ryan Craig told Circling the News in an August 24 email: “Our goal is to act as an umbrella organization for projects and initiatives to address climate change at the local level and elevate our beloved community as an example of what can be done if we think globally and act locally.”
He said that his group will discuss the following specific projects on Wednesday night:
1) Launching a virtual solar power plant in the Palisades (which would be the first in the U.S.).
2) An initiative focused on waste (substituting paper for plastic) and reusables at local establishments.
3) A November election project with the Environmental Voter Project.
4) An initiative related to enforcing a City ordinance outlawing the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in residential neighborhoods.
5) Plant-based eating.
Craig was asked about an email that Circling the News had received: “For the past three years, I have walked Temescal Canyon at least once a week and I often pick up trash. Each year, there is a substantial increase in the amount of litter, specifically food containers, plastic cups, utensils and liquor bottles. What is most alarming are the number of tissues and napkins, used for “pit stops”, that are left in the bushes and on the ground. Not only does all this debris make Temescal Park unsightly and unsanitary, but this trash is blown down to the beach and ends up in the ocean. I am glad to work with service clubs and/or any volunteers to organize a community clean-up of lower Temescal Canyon.”
CTN asked Craig, “Would this be a project that Resilient Palisades would undertake?”
“Projects will be driven by the interests of members,” he said. “We are hoping that action groups will form organically based on community interest.”
He was asked if the nonprofit had been in touch with Pepper Edmiston, who had taken over Diane Wolfberg’s work of trying to eliminate gas-powered blowers. “Yes, Pepper and a number of others connected with CAPP (Community Air Protection Program) will be attending our meeting and are planning to form an action group within Resilient Palisades. By the looks of it, this is going to be a substantial group. I know from speaking with them they were close pre-Covid to convincing the City of L.A. to move all its equipment to electric power.”
The founders of Resilient Palisades include: INGRID STEINBERG, who grew up in South Africa, completed her undergraduate studies in South Africa and graduate studies in London and at UCLA, where she earned a doctorate in philosophy, specializing in ethics; SHAYNA SAMUELS, who grew up in Santa Monica and attended Santa Monica High School and UC Santa Cruz, where she majored in psychology; KAREN EPHRAIM, who is from South Orange, New Jersey and studied anthropology at Cornell and then earned a law degree at UC Berkeley; ALEKSANDAR PAVLOVIC, a local who attended Palisades Elementary, Paul Revere Middle School, Palisades High School and Cal State University Northridge majoring in psychology; and RYAN CRAIG, who is originally from Toronto and, majored in economics and literature at Yale, where he also earned a law degree.
Craig said Resilient Palisades started with an idea from Steinberg, and she and Samuels, who have kids at the same school, pulled in Craig for assistance. “The three of us began meeting last fall,” he said, noting that they asked Ephram, a practicing attorney, for help with their 501(c)(3) status. “We were connected to Aleksandar due to his interest in vegan issues. We’d been planning to announce Resilient Palisades back in March when Covid-19 hit, and we ultimately delayed the announcement until August.”
To register, visit: Resilientpalisades.org