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Diverse Allies Support Tax Ballot Measure with Equitable Park Funding

The City Project and a diverse and growing alliance support tax ballot measures with funding for parks and park programs that includes an equity plan in place to ensure the benefits and burdens are distributed fairly for all, including park poor and income poor communities. Equitable park funding will help people move more, eat well, stay healthy, live longer, and do better in school and life. Parks and parks programs are one of the most effective public safety strategies to provide positive alternatives to gangs, crime, drugs and violence.

On November 13, 2012, the Los Angeles City Council placed a half-cent sales tax hike on the March 2013 ballot. The council also sent a proposed dedicated park parcel tax measure to the rules committee for consideration on ballot in May 2013 or later.

Voters of color and low-income voters disproportionately support measures for park revenue and should receive their fair share of those benefits. We support a citizens’ oversight committee and an equity plan to ensure that funding is equitably distributed. The equitably distribution of park resources is legally required.

We ask the City of Los Angeles to implement an equitable park funding plan that includes the following elements. Council members Jan Perry and Bernard Parks have asked the city to address these concerns.

(1) A clear description of what the city plans to do with proposed revenue.

(2) An analysis of the burdens (taxes and costs) and benefits of parks and programs for all people.

(3) An analysis of alternatives.

(4) The full and fair inclusion of minority and low-income populations in the decision-making process.

(5) An implementation plan to address any equity concerns identified in the analysis.

Regardless of how the city funds parks, it should implement an equitable park funding plan.

Click here to read the entire letter from the alliance to the Los Angeles City Council and the City Attorney.

Click here to view 2007 maps and analyses showing park access and equity by Los Angeles city council districts, using 2000 census data.