Parks And Politics: What You Need To Know About Propositions 68 And 70

What to make of the propositions on California’s June 5 ballot? As ever, the issues span the political spectrum. But two address the environment, one asking voters to shell out billions to improve it and another that could make it more difficult for the state to spend billions on helpful projects. Taken together, these measures would provide money to shore up crumbling levees, give kids more places to play and help clean the air—albeit at a price—and affect how the state spends proceeds of the cap-and-trade system that California uses to reduce greenhouse gases. Let’s unpack.

OPINION: California’s Natural Treasures Will Benefit If Proposition 68 Passes

The Golden State’s incredible natural treasures are woven into our identity as Californians. And that is why we always react with such outrage when these treasures are threatened by things like oil spills, development and habitat destruction. But there is another threat that doesn’t get a lot of headlines, but is no less devastating: lack of funding. Not only does this contribute to the slow deterioration of parks and open space, but it divides our populace into those that have access to nature and those that don’t.

OPINION: Pouring A Little Rain On Prop 68’s Parade; But Most Others Should Pass

Virtually every newspaper in the state of California is marching in the Proposition 68 parade. The Parks, Environment and Water Bond promises to spend $4.1 billion on state parks, habitat conservation, ocean clean-up and many more water-related projects. Who doesn’t love parks? Who can’t see the need to conserve? Yet, here we are on the curb, unable to get in step.

Proposition 68: Will Voters Approve $4.1 Billion For Parks And Water Projects?

The last time California voters passed a statewide ballot measure to provide funding for parks, beaches, wildlife and forests, it was 2006.  Arnold Schwarzenegger was in his first term as governor, Twitter was a fledgling app, and the iPhone hadn’t been invented yet. Since then, California’s population has grown from 36 million to 39.5 million — the equivalent of adding a new San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego.

Prop. 68 Promises Billions For California Parks, Clean Water

For bicycle riders like Eric Johnson, the American River Parkway is an urban jewel in Sacramento County — and a place to be cherished. “It’s nice to be away from the cars,” Johnson said. “It’s nice to be in the nature scene. You know, it’s peaceful.” That’s why Johnson said he supports Proposition 68, a $4 billion bond measure that would allocate an extra $10 million to the American River Parkway.