RELEASE: AB 31 Author Sen. De León Congratulates LA Communities on Parks Grants

Friday, April 06, 2012

Cites New Wealth/Health Study by Univ. of Wisconsin as Proof of Need

             Los Angeles - A recently released University of Wisconsin and Robert Wood Johnson study that ranked U.S. counties’ health found there was a strong parallel between wealth and health. Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), author of 2007’s Assembly Bill (AB) 31, which is the source of park grants that were awarded this week to some of Los Angeles County’s poorest communities, cited the study as further proof that we must do more to provide disadvantaged neighborhoods with greater access to recreational opportunities.
            “This study just identified what we already know,”
emphasized Senator De León. “Without parks or other recreational amenities, the people of LA’s poorest communities are further challenged to live healthier, more prosperous lives. I am so happy to see AB 31 benefiting disadvantaged communities. All children regardless of where they live or where their parents come from deserve green parks and open space. A family’s financial wherewithal should not dictate a child's access to nature."

            AB 31 (Community and Neighborhood Park Revitalization Act of 2007) created guidelines and criteria for Proposition 84 park funds, which targeted underserved communities suffering from significant park poverty.  These communities, largely disadvantaged, suffer from higher rates of crime, unemployment, poverty, school drop-outs, and health ailments, including obesity and asthma.

           "Senator De
León has been a leader on urban environmental issues since he came to the legislature in 2006. As author of AB 31, he immediately saw the dire need for green spaces and places to play in under-served communities in California. AB 31 not only will provide recreational opportunities within walking distance for millions of Californians, but additional economic, health and environmental benefits as well,” said Sam Hodder, California Director for The Trust for Public Land. 

Between both rounds of Proposition 84 funding, 103 new parks will be created and 23 existing parks will be expanded or substantially improved for a total of 126 projects.

A complete list of recent park grants can be found here. You can also find a copy of the University of Wisconsin study here.