Governor Brown signs ballot measure to fund parks and water resilience; another bill strikes against the marketing of unhealthy food in schools
Earlier this week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 5 into law, placing a $4.1 billion park and water bond on the June 2018 ballot. If approved by California voters, the Drought, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 would designate $725 million to build and renovate parks in low-income and park-poor communities, and invest in safeguarding the state’s natural resources, including safe drinking water.
These proposed investments in California’s parks and natural resources couldn’t come at a more critical moment, as we see rollbacks of federal environmental protections, the effects of climate change fueling extreme weather events -- including deadly wildfires -- across our state, and the ways community design can protect or expose residents to environmental hazards, violence, and displacement. The park bond was one of the bills PI and our allies supported during this year’s ENACT Day, when Californians converge on Sacramento to speak up for legislation that supports healthier, safer, and more equitable communities. We are very excited to see it move forward.
Access to parks and open spaces are fundamental building blocks of healthy, safe, vibrant communities. Across California and the nation, the leading causes of death—heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, injury, and violence—occur with greater frequency and severity, and take hold earlier in life within communities of color and low-income communities. This is in large part because these communities lack the social, economic, and physical supports that make it possible to be healthy in the first place. All Californians deserve access to these critical resources. Safeguarding our natural resources, investing in parks and open spaces, and advancing healthy, equitable land use – as the park bond proposes – will make California a healthier and more equitable place to call home.
In other good news, Governor Brown also signed AB-841, a bill that bans schools from advertising unhealthy food and beverages during the school day. It also prohibits schools from participating in corporate incentive programs that would reward students with free or discounted food that doesn’t meet nutritional standards.