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RE: LA Mayor Support More Urban Parks

  • Subject: RE: [cg] LA Mayor Support More Urban Parks
  • From: "Jack Hale" jackh@knoxparks.org
  • Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 17:28:29 -0500
  • Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-index: AcZDxwMT79AagpmARXCOSi0be1GXDAAAXfkA
  • Thread-topic: [cg] LA Mayor Support More Urban Parks

This just in....
Eddie Perez, mayor of Hartford, has just declared tomorrow (March 10)
Knox Parks Foundation Day in the city in recognition of our 40 years of
making Hartford greener and more productive.  Yep, it's a big
anniversary year.
JH

Jack N. Hale
Executive Director
Knox Parks Foundation
75 Laurel Street
Hartford, CT 06106
860/951-7694

-----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
[mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com] On Behalf Of
adam36055@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 5:16 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] LA Mayor Support More Urban Parks

Hmmmm.... I wonder if the mayor is interested in neighborhood based
greening projects too- like community gardens? 
 
An interesting afternoon for Mayor's methinks. 
 
Adam Honigman
 
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-bond8mar08,1,5
518022.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california
Mayor Backs More Urban Parks
By Duke Helfand
Times Staff Writer

March 8, 2006
Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and environmentalists urged state
officials Tuesday to provide hefty funding for urban parks, clean water
and other ecological needs in an upcoming state public works bond.

Standing on the banks of the Los Angeles River near downtown,
Villaraigosa and leaders from several environmental groups said that
green space and safe waterways are as important to the state's future as
new roads, adequate housing and secure levees.

"The era of pavement and concrete is an era of the past," Villaraigosa
told a news conference along a stretch of the river choked partly by
dead brush and trash. "We want to grow smart. We want to grow green and
we want to enhance the quality of life for our citizens."

Villaraigosa made his pitch as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrats
in the Legislature negotiate the details of a public works proposal that
could reach $222 billion. 

The state leaders are trying to meet a Friday deadline to place the
measure on the June ballot.

Under Schwarzenegger's plan, about $68 billion in general obligation
bonds would go before voters in five elections.

The governor's initial proposal included only scant money for parks and
instead focused on highways, schools, roads, levees, jails and other
facilities, officials said. 

Some prominent Democrats would like the state to spend more than $1
billion to buy and maintain recreation space, with nearly two-thirds of
the money going to urban parks.

The money would build on two state bond issues since 2000 that provided
nearly $5 billion to buy and maintain park land and other natural
resources.

Villaraigosa, who sponsored one of those state park bond measures while
he served in the Legislature, said Los Angeles still suffers from a
dearth of recreation space.

He said just 30% of people in Los Angeles live within a quarter of a
mile of a park, compared to 80% in Boston and 90% in New York.

Environmental leaders and public health experts said the lack of parks
is most severe in the city's poorest areas, where obesity levels also
are the highest.

"Children of color have the least access to parks," said Robert Garcia,
executive director of the Center for Law in the Public Interest. "These
are the children who need the parks the most but have them the least."

Garcia and others said that parks play a central role in the physical
and psychic health of a city, and that it would be a mistake to meet
other public works needs without also making Los Angeles more livable.

"Do we want a green state or an asphalt state?" asked Mark Gold,
executive director of Heal the Bay, a watchdog group that keeps an eye
on pollution in Santa Monica Bay and Southern California coastal waters.

The mayor's emphasis on parks offered a window into his priorities.

He already has lobbied state leaders to secure more bond money for
affordable housing and mass transit in Los Angeles. 

He said parks are as much a priority as homes for the poor and speedier
roads, but it was unclear whether state leaders would grant all of his
requests.

Still, he appeared undaunted during his riverside event Wednesday,
describing a future Los Angeles that is environmentally friendly and
cooled by parks large and small.

"This is about the future," Villaraigosa said. "It's about the kids."
 
 
Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times
 
 
 
Katie Salay
Associate

Project for Public Spaces
700 Broadway New York, NY 10003
T (212) 620-5660 x 313  F (212) 620-3821
http://www.pps.org


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