Westside Urban Forum to Present Westside Prize to De Leon, Gold and KCRW

The Westside Urban Forum, the leading civic organization promoting discussion of land use and urban issues on the Westside of Los Angeles, will bestow its highest honors on a group of extraordinary recipients at its annual Westside Prize event Friday, June 14, 2019.

These are the only awards for land use and design given by an organization dedicated to urban issues on the Westside of Los Angeles, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, Inglewood, Malibu, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and West Hollywood.

“At the Westside Urban Forum, we love to debate and discuss the future of Los Angeles at our monthly breakfast events,” said Board President Josh Stephens. “At the Westside Prize event, we take a break from the debates and celebrate the successes.

Westside Prize: Santa Monica College and KCRW

Santa Monica College has consistently been a leader among California community colleges, with excellent transfer rates to four-year colleges and a legacy of well-prepared graduates with AA degrees. It has also contributed to the Westside’s built environment. The SMC campus is a beacon of learning, and it manages to accommodate over 30,000 students and staff members working in multiple disciplines. Its transportation plan and partnerships with local transit agencies are extensive and impressive. New additions like the Center for Media and Design and The Broad Stage have expanded the college’s reach and enabled it to enrich the cultural life of the Westside.

Just as SMC is a crucial part of Los Angeles’s educational infrastructure, its partner KCRW is a crucial part of the city’s media infrastructure. Even going up against the heavyweights of the Media Capital of the World, KCRW makes its presence felt with exceptional local programming and with news and music shows that are broadcast across the country. KCRW proudly built its reputation in a cramped basement on the main SMC campus but has recently opened a state-of-the-art office and studio complex at the Center for Media and Design that will further enhance its influence and reputation as a provider of legitimate, thoughtful news and commentary that seeks to enrich listeners — not to turn a profit.

John Chase Legacy Award: Mark Gold, UCLA Inst. of the Environment
It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when clean water was a radical proposition. But back in the 1990s, when Mark Gold began his career as a scientist and environmental advocate, Heal the Bay was still fighting against decades of polluting and political inattention to improve the then-dismal water quality of the Santa Monica Bay. Heal the Bay’s many victories under Mark’s direction have radically improved water quality, proving that environmental protection is both possible and beneficial. For his demonstrable successes to-date and his ongoing commitment to science, policymaking, and the health of the Los Angeles region, the Westside Urban Forum is pleased to recognize Mark Gold — and his many colleagues at UCLA and beyond — with the 2019 John L. Chase Legacy Award. The award is named in memory of the late John Chase, the City of West Hollywood’s urban designer and WUF board member.

12 Year Climate Challenge: Kevin de León
Today, Westside Urban Forum recognizes the dire nature of the climate change crisis, and Californians’ eagerness to contribute to solutions, by instituting an award honoring actions that seek to curb the causes of climate change over the next 12 years – the brief window of time that remains for us ensure the survival of our planet as we know it. With the inaugural 12 Year Climate Challenge we honor the efforts of Kevin de León, California State Senate President Pro Tempore Emeritus and author of SB 100. This landmark legislation mandates an end to California’s use of fossil fuels for its energy needs.

During a 12-year-long tenure as a California State Assembly member and state senator, including an historic term as Senate President Pro Tempore, de León represented East L.A. and adjacent communities. Thanks to SB 100, these communities and the entire state have a better shot at survival in the face of the existential threat of climate change.

Design Awards
This year, WUF is awarding 25 Design Awards to built and unbuilt projects throughout Los Angeles. The nine categories include schools, public/institutional, public/open space, multi-unit housing, affordable housing, mixed use, office, hotels, and plans/policies. The three-person jury consisted of James Mary O’Connor, FAIA, principal of Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners; Antonio Pacheco, former West Coast editor of The Architect’s Newspaper; and Tony Pleskow, AIA, principal of Pleskow Architects and chair of AIA|LA Urban Design Committee.

“We are proud and excited to honor incredible Westside-based people and institutions who have made Los Angeles more educated, informed, clean, green, equitable, and attractive,” said Stephens.

The event  will take place on Friday, June 14, 2019 at the Casa del Mar Hotel 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA 90405, Doors at 11:30 a.m., program at noon, $120 nonmembers, $95 members

To Register, go to  http://www.westsideurbanforum.com/events

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