Delivering his inaugural address on the City Hall lawn in 2005, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa challenged Angelenos to turn Los Angeles into “… the greenest big city in America.”
A recent conference at UCLA's School of Law, "Transboundary Environmental Management in the Arava and Beyond," proposed that Los Angeles might gain some ground regarding its often-contentious water policies if the city turned to Israel's example.
David Nahai is an environmentalist and an attorney, not an engineer, and his major previous management challenge was running a 15-employee law firm. But he is the man Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tapped take on the $304,000-a-year job as general manager of the Department of Water and Power, the nation's largest -- and frequently troubled -- public municipal utility. He's also the first ever to helm the DWP without decades of experience in either the utility business or city government.
"He's a soul mate in terms of environmental sensitivity and good government," said Dave Freeman, about mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa. Freeman, former head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), paused for just a moment, then continued in his Southern accent, "I just think he has the ability to advance an agenda more focused on what I consider Jewish values."