First published in the Nov. 5 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
I have worked closely with Tamala Takahashi on Reusable Burbank.
Reusable Burbank is a local volunteer group advocating on reducing disposable food wares and saving costs for restaurants.
One of the first things Tamala advocated for was “skip the stuff,” i.e. restaurants should provide accessories with takeout or delivery orders, only if the customer requires them. The city of Los Angeles approved this ordinance early of 2021.
Tamala continuously called in to urge the sustainability committee and City Council to apply this ordinance for Burbank also. This is a simple way for Burbank restaurants to save money and reduce single use waste city wide.
Tamala has also worked with the group to co-author a comprehensive plastic ordinance, which has been submitted to Burbank City Council at the end of 2021.As we have always seen, improvement on environmental policies is a slow process. It needs key volunteers and many others to keep their voices on for years. The proposal was initially supported by the sustainability commission, but the discussion was ultimately paused. Tamala called in persistently to urge the sustainability committee and City Council to put the discussion back on the agenda.
To better advocate for changes in Burbank, Tamala often attends coalition meetings of other environmental groups to be aware of what’s going on in other cities. She gets the word out of “green opportunities” in her newsletter and social media so residents are aware of environmental policy change, compost workshop in Burbank, how to participate in community gardens, etc. She is endorsed by Ban SUP, Sierra Club, Burbank Eco-Council and LALCV for her work as a sustainability advocate and her position on plastics, waste and water among other environment issues.
Besides being an activist for environmental improvements, Tamala is also a strong advocate on education, local business, transportation, etc. Her decades of experiences in volunteer work and her bond with the community as a longtime Burbank resident proves that she would be a wonderful member for our City Council.