Park Advocacy Day 2016
Advocates Lobby for State Parks at 14th Annual Park Advocacy Day
Over 150 park supporters from throughout California joined CSPF in Sacramento on May 3 for our 14th Annual Park Advocacy Day. Together we made a strong statement of support for California’s 280 state parks, urging legislators to support legislation that will:
- Fund California’s state parks for the future
- Increase park access and park relevance
- Support efforts of state park partners
- Ensure that the names of public state parks and key state park facilities cannot be claimed for private gain or purposes
With the help of our park advocates, we had meetings with over 120 policymakers during Park Advocacy Day! These meetings will have a lasting impact on policymakers as they make important policy decisions about state parks throughout the rest of this legislative session.
Morning Kick-Off and General Session
Park Advocacy Day 2016 kicked off with a robust program of speakers during our Morning Session at the Sacramento Convention Center CSPF president Elizabeth Goldstein provided a welcome address, followed by an update of event logistics by CSPF’s Director of Grassroots Advocacy Linsey Fredenburg-Humes, and a comprehensive overview of our 2016 Talking Points by Traci-Verardo Torres of TVT Consulting and Margo Parks, of Political Solutions.
Speakers clockwise from top left: Thurmond, Yañez, De Leon, Cooley, Rendon, Baker
CSPF was pleased to have leadership from of both the State Assembly, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Senate, Senate pro Tempore Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) address park advocated as part of the morning session.
Also speaking during our morning session:
- Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond)
- Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova)
- Assemblymember Catharine Baker (R-Dublin)
- State Park and Recreation Commissioner Elva Yañez.
Meetings with Policymakers
In teams of 3-6 people, our advocates spent the bulk of the afternoon walking the halls of the State Capitol meeting directly with legislators and legislative staff. Park Advocacy Day participants lobbied in support of 5 specific pieces of legislation:
- Assembly Bill 1972 by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D- Arcadia)
AB 1972 clarifies that veterans who are disabled as a result of their military service – whether in wartime or not – should be eligible to receive the existing lifetime Distinguished Veteran Pass offered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).
- Assembly Bill 2249 by Assemblymember Ken Cooley
AB 2249 prohibits a concessionaire from bidding on state park contracts if the concessionaire uses its contract as a basis to assert trademark rights to the names of a state park venue. Although concession and operating contracts for state parks in California already prohibit such copywriting or trademarking in state parks, it is valuable to codify such a practice to ensure it continues.
- Assembly Bill 2444 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D- Coachella)
AB 2444, the California Parks, Water, Climate, and Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2016 proposes a $2.985 billion California Parks, Water, Climate, and Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2016, a bond to be placed on the November 2016 ballot for approval by California voters.
- AB 2909 by Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee
AB 2909 requires DPR to provide quarterly reports to donors that will show the status of funds the donor contributed to the state park system. As one of the very few areas of state government that regularly receives private donations, it is essential that DPR continue to maintain public trust and confidence by providing basic, necessary reports about those donations to the donors themselves.
- Senate Bill 1111 by Senator Fran Pavley (D- Agoura Hills)
SB 1111 removes a cap in current law which limits DPR’s authority to enter in operating agreements with nonprofit organizations – that cap prohibits DPR from entering into operating agreements for more than 20 parks where those agreements involve the operation of the entirety of a park unit.
Based on legislation passed in 2011, five nonprofit operators currently operate state park units. Under their operations, all of those parks have seen increases in visitation, programming, revenue, and community support.
The authority to enter into nonprofit operating agreements is an important “tool in the toolbox” for managing and operating state parks in ways that increase the relevance and attractiveness of state parks.
After spending hours walking the halls of the State Capitol, our advocates returned to the Sacramento Convention Center where they shared experiences and highlights from their lobby visits.
To close the day, former CSPF Legacy Award recipient Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and State Park and Recreation Director Lisa Mangat spoke to our advocates.
Learn more about the legislation we lobbied on at Park Advocacy Day and to find ways to become involved in our ongoing advocacy efforts.
If you still have questions about Park Advocacy Day, please contact our Sacramento office at 916-442-2119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.