Rally for SB-5 and AB-18 Draws Hundreds
SACRAMENTO (Aug. 31, 2017) — Nearly 200 gathered on the east lawn of the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon for a rally in support of Senate Bill 5 and Assembly Bill 18. The two bills will be heard by assembly and senate committees Thursday.
In part, SB-5 and AB-18 are designed to provide desperately needed funding to protect and preserve California’s forests, coasts, wildlife and water quality, as well as steward our iconic network of state parks.
Among the speakers at Wednesday’s rally were Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Sen. Kevin de León, Sen. Ben Hueso, Asm. Eduardo Garcia, Asm. Laura Friedman, Sen. Nancy Skinner, Sen. Bill Dodd, Asm. Monique Limon, Asm. David Chiu, Asm. Kevin McCarty and Sempervirens Fund’s Fred Keeley.
“You cannot pass a park bond every half generation and expect to keep up with the needs of California and its residents,” said Keeley, who also served in the State Assembly and sponsored two successful park bonds during his tenure.
“More parks are not just a wish, dream or ideal, it’s a real need,” said Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the California State Assembly. “We have an ever-growing population of 40 million that needs green space.”
Asm. Eduardo Garcia stressed the economic importance of the two bills to the California economy and the importance of parks to communities.
“In California, our parks and open spaces are an extremely important part of our economy…recreation accounts for some $92 billion in revenue. At the same, 700,000 men and women work to make sure our parks are working…so this investment makes complete sense,” Garcia said.
“Your zip code, the hue of your skin and yes, your legal status, should not define whether or not you have access to Mother Nature,” said California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León.
“Most of our communities are park deficient in the State of California. We have a lot of work to do … I believe if we put the right bond on the ballot, people will support it. The people of California want parks,” said Sen. Ben Hueso.
“This is our opportunity to do something for the people. For thousands, the park is the backyard that they don’t and will not have,” said Asm. Monique Limón.
Videos of the speakers can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/2vMocKl. Please share widely and continue to drum up support for these important parks bonds. #SB5 #AB18 #ParksForAll
In addition, representatives from Sempervirens Fund, East Bay Regional Park District Bay Area, Open Space Council, The Trust for Public Land and Outdoor Voice and many others were on hand for the rally.
AB-19 was heard by the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks & Wildlife at 10 a.m. Thursday and passed by a vote of 9-2.
For more information, contact: Sara Barth, Executive Director, 650-949-1453 ext. 201