On Tuesday, we took to the streets of Sacramento to protest the closure of 70 state parks with a march and rally at the Capitol. Our rally cry? “Closing parks is bad for business.” We think we got the message across.
The rally event had three goals, and we accomplished what we set out to do.
Goal 1: Bring attention to the park closure issues.
Check: Lots of enthusiastic advocates joined us for the march and rally. They also helped deliver over 100 oversized postcards and thousands of petitions to the governor’s office. Check out this video by Folk4Parks of the big drop, including our own Traci Verardo Torres telling Brown’s aides why this is such an important issue. They literally had to use a cart to move all of the petitions we brought in! Side note: is that Gov. Brown walking into his office at 1:33? It’s hard to tell; he’s incognito.
Goal 2: Kick off our new ‘Closing Parks is Bad for Business Campaign,’ which will publicize the negative impacts park closures will have on California’s fragile economy.
Double Check: Several business leaders spoke to the rally crowd about how park closures impact their businesses, clientele and communities, including: John Severini, president/CEO of California Travel Association (CalTravel), Christina Strawbridge, owner of Christina S Fashion Destination in downtown Benicia, Christopher Grant Ward of Folk4Parks, and Kevin Murphy, general manager of Sports Leisure Vacations.
Goal 3: Get advocates to attend and testify at the joint legislative hearing of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife and the Assembly Committee for Accountability & Administrative Review.
Checkmate: We certainly made an impression, as park advocates not only filled the hearing room, but spilled out into the hallway. If you weren’t able to be there, good news, you can watch the video on demand on the California Channel. Fair warning, it’s a three-part series (there was a lot to talk about!), so better make some popcorn for this trilogy.
Will closed parks be bad for your business? Let us know in the comments.