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California Environmental Quality Act: Workshop

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

On December 10, 2015 we co-hosted a CEQA workshop with California Central, a USC Villaraigosa Initiative.

CEQA has been in the cross-hairs of discussion about development since its enactment in 1970 by then Governor Ronald Reagan.  It was adopted in the spirit of environmental protection that also led to many regulatory and other initiatives in California that have reduced smog, protected open space, and tackled greenhouse gas emissions.

The drumbeat, of late, is that CEQA is an impediment to infill and transit development.

In this workshop, we will explore questions such as:

  • What are the specific critiques of CEQA and are there any misconceptions in any aspect of the critical meme?
  • Are there any modifications to CEQA that would address the critiques without losing the basic principles of environmental protection, public transparency, and accountability in the development process?

Remarks by Antonio Villaraigosa, 41st Mayor of Los Angeles

Moderated by Paula Daniels and Raphael Bostic

Presentations by

  • Mary Leslie – President, Los Angeles Business Council
  • David Pettit -Senior Attorney, NRDC
  • Mott Smith – Co-founder/Principal Civic Enterprise


  • Rick Cole – Santa Monica City Manager
  • Gladys Limon – Attorney, Communities for a Better Environment
  • Douglas P. Carstens – Managing Partner of Chatten-Brown & Carstens LLP




Bedrosian Center