Paula Daniels is Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Los Angeles. She specializes in sustainable food and water policy, including watershed and urban runoff management, water re-use, and regional food systems. She took this position in the summer of 2011 after six years as a Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner, where she developed the following initiatives:
- the Green Streets initiative, which includes the development of the nation’s first standard plans for Green Streets (see http://eng.lacity.org/index.cfm)
- the Low Impact Development Ordinance, and related green infrastructure policies (http://lastormwater.org)
- a food policy framework, found in the report “Good Food for All Agenda” (http://goodfoodla.org)
Until her appointment by Mayor Villaraigosa to the fulltime Board of Public Works, she had a long career in civil litigation as a trial attorney, mediator and arbitrator. She has been actively involved in California environmental policy issues for over 20 years, when she first became involved with Heal the Bay, an environmental group whose mission is to improve and protect Southern California coastal waters and beaches. Daniels was also commissioner with the California Coastal Commission, and a gubernatorial appointee on the governing board of the California Bay-Delta Authority (a cooperative effort among more than 20 state and federal agencies that work with local communities to improve the quality and reliability of California’s water supply). She founded the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, a policy based collaborative of food system leaders working toward an environmentally sustainable, equitable and regionally based food system.
She teaches with the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, has served on a number of boards of environmental and Asian American non-profit organizations and bar associations, and is the recipient of a number of recognitions and awards, including: Heal the Bay’s Superhealer Award (1991); the Environmental Leadership Award of the California League of Conservation Voters (2005); and the Water Quality Leadership award from the State of California Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (2007).