Meeting of the Minds Speaker

Aura Vasquez

Commissioner

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

When Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Aura Vasquez to the Board of Commissioners for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in 2017, she became the youngest Commissioner in the City.

It was another remarkable milestone in a story that began in Colombia, where Aura was born.

As a Latina immigrant to the U.S., and a woman of color, Aura brings a closeness to the Earth and a belief in the power of multiculturalism to her mission to make the LADWP more equitable, inclusive and sustainable.

Her career has been intertwined with her calling to respect the environment and give a voice to people who have been, historically, unheard.

As a community organizer, Aura championed state and federal immigrant rights with the PICO Network. As a protector of the environment, she spearheaded the ban on single-use plastic bags in Los Angeles. She was a prominent player in the Sierra Club’s ‘Beyond Coal’ Campaign, which secured a commitment by the City of Los Angeles to go coal-free by 2025.

Her leadership has been instrumental in passing legislation that requires public utilities to produce 50% of their electricity from clean energy sources by 2030 and to reduce greenhouse gas levels to 40% below 1990 levels in the City of Los Angeles.

By partnering with a diverse coalition of stakeholders, Vasquez was instrumental in the development of the Feed-in Tariffs Program in Los Angeles, the largest rooftop solar program for businesses in the U.S. To date, the program has supplied 150 MW of solar power for businesses in the City of L.A.

As a Commissioner of the LADWP, Aura guides the largest publicly owned utility in the U.S., with 9.000 employees who serve 647,000 water customers and 1.4 million electricity ratepayers.

As a principal of Vasquez Solutions LLC and a board member of the League of Conservation Voters, Aura has more than ten years of experience in New York, Washington D.C, and California, creating narratives with the power to transform communities, and offer hopeful visions of the future for their citizens.