La Brea-Hancock resident Bill Funderburk was honored recently by the non-profit Mujeres de la Tierra (Women of the Earth) for his work on a DWP data initiative helping low income neighborhoods. Funderburk received the Benito Juarez Award, which is presented to individuals for environmental leadership while standing up for working class people, at a Mujeres de la Tierra’s recent Dia de Los Muertos event.
Funderburk, who also serves as Board of Water and Power Commission Vice President, was honored for the creation of the Equity Metrics Data Initiative (EDMI) to help ensure that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) programs and services are fairly distributed among the city’s neighborhoods, including those with the lowest incomes.
“I was humbled to receive an award whose last recipient was Kevin de Leon and to be introduced not only by civic leader Ms. Munoz but also Councilmember David Ryu, Deputy Mayor (and LA River movement leader) Barbara Romero and new DWP General Manager David Wright whose mantra “customers first” turned around the Riverside water and power utility and is well on the way to turning around DWP,” Funderburk told the Buzz.
A first for any utility in the nation, the EMDI helps LADWP staff and leadership examine service and infrastructure disparities to better allocate resources for the highest quality water and power service to all communities across LA. The data collected will provide information on the condition of infrastructure, frequency and duration of water and power outages across LA neighborhoods as well as how water conservation, energy efficiency and economic development initiatives are allocated across the LADWP service area.
“I am honored to receive the Benito Juarez Award for my work on the Equity Metrics Data Initiative,” Commissioner Funderburk said in a press release. “But the EMDI is bigger than one person. Its foundation lies in Mayor Garcetti’s leadership on equity-based directives addressing gender, procurement, workforce, and affordable/multi-unit housing, and establishes new performance metrics to increase transparency in core LADWP operations. Through this initiative we can better enable all Los Angeles communities to fully benefit from the programs LADWP has to offer, regardless of income level.”
The EMDI was adopted by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners on August 16, 2016, enabling current and future boards and LADWP management to make policy decisions based on data. The initial data will be reviewed by the Board at the December 6, 2016 meeting and the Board will be presented with the other mandated metrics in February 2017.
Commissioner Funderburk has served on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners since 2013. He is a founding partner of Castellόn & Funderburk LLP, a business litigation boutique in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area and has practiced at the firm since 1999. He manages the firm’s Los Angeles office. Mr. Funderburk received a B.A. in engineering and applied science from Yale University and received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Funderburk is a member of the State of California bar and District of Columbia bar. He is also a former Board Member of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.