Green appointed Vice-Chair of Santa Monica Urban Forest Task Force

Long time Green Linda Piera-Avila was elected co-chair of the Santa Monica Urban Forest Task Force on September 26th by unanimous vote.

A passionate activist on both community and statewide forestry issues and a lover of hiking, Piera-Avila was first appointed by the City Council to the Task Force in September 2009, when the City Council established the Task Force for a period of limited duration, to assist in the development of the city's Urban Forest Master Plan.  
The Task Force was in operation through December 2011.  During that time Piera-Avila served on the guiding principles subcommittee, which formulated the goals and specific strategies to ensure community stewardship and best management practices for the care of the urban forest. 
Ultimately the Task Force recommended that a public advisory body be established to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the Master Plan during the first seven years at which time the Plan would be re-evaluated and any proposed changes be sent to the City Council for consideration. At its April 10th meeting this year, the City Council voted to reconstitute the Urban Forest Task Force to carry this out. Piera-Avila was re-appointed in July and then at the first meeting of the reconstituted Task Force, she was chosen by her colleagues as vice-chair.
Along with other Task Force members, Piera-Avila plans to use this opportunity to provide input on implementation of the city's Land Use and Circulation Element, including input on zoning ordinance development and development requirements related to public and/or private trees. She looks forward to participating is the development of a Heritage Tree educational program and recommending changes to the Master Plan's goals and strategies where needed.
A physical therapist by profession, Piera-Avila ran for Santa Monica City Council  in 2008 on a platform of expanding community gardens, parks and open space; affordable housing and tenant protection and sustainability and a healthy environment.  In  2010 she ran for the 41st State Assembly District, promoting a new "triple bottom line" taking into equal consideration environmental stewardship,  social responsibility and economics.  Her credible performance in both races helped lead to her appointments to the Task Force.
Piera-Avilia also currently serves on the Pico Neighborhood Association Board of Directors in Santa Monica, as well as the South Central Farmers Health and Education Fund Board of Directors.
Her Green Party involvement ranges from the local, where she is active with both the Los Angeles Greens and the Santa Monica Greens, to the County where she is an elected County Council member, to the state where she is a GPCA standing delegate, to the national where she is a GPUS alternate delegate. A registered Green since 1990, Linda was on the organizing committee for the first national Green Party convention at UCLA in 1996. Three times she has as served as a California delegate to national Green Party presidential conventions - in 2000 for Ralph Nader, in 2008 for Cynthia McKinney and this year for Dr. Jill Stein.  
Piera-Avila is one of three Green Party members currently serving on Santa Monica's appointed Boards and Commissions - Annie Goeke is also the Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women and Richard Chacker is a member of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Over the years, Santa Monica Greens have also been appointed to the Architectural Review Board, Pier Restoration Corporation, Planning Commission, Recreation and Parks Commission, Sustainable City Task Force and Task Force on the Environment.
Two Santa Monica Greens have been elected to the City Council - Mike Feinstein (1996 and 2000) and Kevin McKeown (1998 and 2002). Jeff Sklar was elected twice to the Rent Control Board (2000 and 2004). Feinstein also served as Mayor between 2000 and 2002.