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KPCC Southern California Public Radio What about parks? L.A. Mayor’s Race

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Listen to the complete story on KPCC Southen California Public Radio:

Los Angeles mayoral candidates talk about improving quality of life, and for many residents that translates into access to parks and recreation programs. But today’s parks system is financially stressed.

It’s a story of closed pools, locked gates, unlit fields, canceled or diminished recreation programs and barely-staffed playgrounds. . . .

Speaking about the mayor’s race at Vista Hermosa Nature Park near Downtown L.A., [Robert] Garcia said the candidates have both pledged to support The City Project’s goals. Those include creating more park space in L.A., revising funding formulas to improve parks in every neighborhood and equalizing residents’ access.

“So that’s good news,” Garcia said. “The bad news is that politicians make promises all the time and then don’t keep them.”

The City Project cannot endorse a candidate in the mayor’s race, but it does evaluate their records. Garcia said Councilman Eric Garcetti claims to have created more new parks in his district than any other council member. A spokeswoman for the Recreation and Parks Department said that could not be verified because they don’t keep such information by district.

Garcia said he was disappointed with Greuel as controller because she did only one audit of parks, whereas her predecessor did numerous audits.

“It’s still hard to distinguish the two candidates because neither one has done much,” Garcia said.

Vista Hermosa Nature Park is everything most L.A. city parks are not. . . . It’s an example, Garcia says, of what could happen elsewhere in L.A, elects a mayor who is dedicated to improving city parks.

Click here to read the pledges by Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel to create diverse, thriving, healthy communities for all.

Click here to read the letter from diverse allies seeking full and fair park funding for all.

Sharon McNary, KPCC, at MRCA’s Vista Hermosa Natural Park