This year’s election is a big one—not only are we casting votes for President, but California voters will also be making decisions on a variety of important issues. There are 17 state-wide ballot initiatives, (the most for a state election in over 15 years!)—And that’s in addition to city, county and school measures and numerous candidate elections. As you prepare to cast your votes, CSPF encourages you to vote in support of state, local and regional parks, and the protections of California’s natural and cultural resources. CSPF has endorsed the following and recommends voting YES
Proposition 67: Protect California’s Plastic Bag Ban Plastic waste is a blight on our state parks and our ocean waters. Single-use plastic bags find their way into our precious places, then harm fish and wildlife. They end up in our oceans, parks, and wildlife – costing local governments an estimated $400 million to clean up. Single-use plastic bag bans at the city level have been highly effective in reducing plastic pollution. One hundred and fifty California cities and counties—nearly half the state—have already banned plastic bags. Across the board, cities and counties are documenting significant reductions in plastic bag litter and waste. The City of San Jose found a 59% drop in park and roadside plastic bag litter, a 76% reduction in creek and river litter, and a 69% reduction in plastic bag litter in storm drains. In 2014, the State Legislature passed and the Governor signed the first ever statewide ban on plastic bags. However, the implementation of the law has been held up. Proposition 67 is our chance as citizens to speak our mind and get plastic bags banned once and for all throughout California. (Note to the wise: Don’t confuse this initiative with the deceptive Prop 65, sponsored by the plastic bag manufacturers, that comes before it on the ballot.) Read further information about Prop 67 here.
Measure A: Los Angeles Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks, Open Space, Beaches, River Protection and Water Conservation This Los Angeles County ballot measure would allow for the authorization of an annual assessment on virtually all parcels of real property within the county. Voters approved similar propositions in 1992 and 1996 that have provided critical funding for parks for the past 25 years. A portion of that dedicated funding has already expired and the remaining funding will expire entirely in 2019, leaving no dedicated funding to address these critical park and resource needs. A YES vote on Measure A will provide support for local parks, beaches, open space, and water resources. As you may know, Los Angeles County manages many state beaches and parks without state funding. This measure is a way to ensure that those parks, as well as the rest of the county system, are adequately funded. Read further information on Measure A here.
Measure J: Sonoma County Regional Parks and Water Quality Improvement Measure This Sonoma County ballot measure will create a half-cent sales tax in unincorporated parts of the county to support parks. The measure includes a detailed plan to expand, maintain and improve Sonoma County Regional Parks; to protect drinking water sources, streams and rivers; to preserve and enhance natural areas and fish and wildlife habitat; and to increase local trails and recreational opportunities. Sonoma County is a glorious patchwork of regional parks, state parks and other protected lands. As a result we are confident that this measure will enhance the area’s entire network of public lands. Read more about Measure J here.