Rashid “Ra” Gilanpour
Co-Director of the Southern California Permaculture Convergence
Owner of Ra Sol Dzn – Eco-Screenprinting Services
What city or neighborhood do you live in?
I just moved to San Francisco but still come to LA on a regular basis.
Who most inspires you?
I am inspired by all of those who are stepping up, and deciding to be agents for change. I am inspired by all of my friends who are all profoundly talented, full hearted, and beautiful beings. They inspire me every day, constantly creating and working diligently through their skill-sets and passions to be of service to the world.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I am honored to have my artwork published in an international book about the anti-war, pro-peace art movement and to have been deeply and actively involved for many years during some of the most difficult times for activists in the last decade.
Which of LAANE’s projects interests you the most?
Healthy Grocery Stores interests me the most, but I really can’t pick just one. They are all amazing!
LAANE is often advocating for a “living wage.” What does a living wage mean to you, not necessarily in dollars but in results?
A “Living Wage” is more than just the minimum wage necessary for meeting basic needs of survival. It is a wage that allows for an individual to rise above the state of being mired in mere survival. This person can now find a place where the mind, body and soul can be directed toward more exalted aspirations and refinements. In this place they are more likely to engage with their community, participate with their local government, forge mutually beneficial relationships and create long-lasting beauty for themselves, those they care about and their greater community.
What does a “new economy” mean to you?
A “new economy” recognizes that social justice, environmental sustainability, economic viability and cultural fulfillment are all essentially one intertwined and inter-related set of issues. The driving force of the “new economy” will not be profit. The new bottom line will be benefit. The new driving force will be social, environmental, spiritual and economic sustainability.
What moved you to become a Champion-level InterAct member?
I am more than happy to support LAANE’s work in bringing economic, social and environmental upliftment to all Angelenos. I really feel that LAANE is doing some very effective work with a holistic approach and is very conscious of the big picture. I am excited to engage in the dialog and community building and to come to the amazing events and meet like-minded collaborators.
Is there something you’re doing or that you would like others to do to shape the future of L.A.?
Plant your bare feet in the earth and remember. Connect with organizations that are hubs for alternative education, resource sharing, policy reform and/or throw really great parties (with a purpose). Realize that the trajectory of human culture at the moment is inherently aiming for a temporary existence. Learn about permaculture. Grow as much food as you possibly have the space or time for. Harvest rain-water. Compost and then build your soil. Vote for campaign finance reform. Push for more bike-integrated and rail system-integrated transportation infrastructures. Don’t forget that Los Angeles has a river. Look at an old 1920’s map of the long-gone and dismantled Los Angeles streetcar system and try not to weep. Get out there and do something epic; because as long as your handprint is bigger than your carbon footprint, we’ll all have a better chance of having a permanent culture and a sustainable Los Angeles.