The California Association of Recreation and Park Districts (CARPD) Legislative Platform confirms the Association’s position on current legislative matters with the potential to affect recreation and park special districts directly or indirectly. The legislative platform is a guiding document for CARPD legislative committee to utilize to promote and preserve recreation and park district interests at the State level. CARPD staff will coordinate with its State advocacy services and partners as appropriate to monitor and assess state legislation, and relevant administrative or regulatory proposals, and take action in alignment with the adopted Legislative Platform to advance and protect CARPD member interests, as necessary.
The California Association of Recreation and Park Districts advocates for and provides park districts the support needed to fulfill their role as providers of quality programs and facilities to their local communities.
- Recognize and support the needs of member districts.
- Promote and support new and established partnerships amongst district community groups, state and local governments.
- Monitor, promote, and support legislation that positively affects recreation and park districts.
- Advocate and support stable service funding sources for park and recreation districts.
The Board of Directors recognizes the need to advance and protect recreation and park districts’ interests and local legislative authority and to identify various avenues to implement its strategic goals. It is the policy of CARPD to proactively monitor, advocate for and oppose legislation as directed by the Legislative Platform, established herein, and by the specific direction of the Board of Directors. The CARPD Standing Legislative Committee has been established as a standing committee consisting of selected representatives from the CARPD Board for legislative review and delegated position authority, with the Executive Director authorized as the membership’s voice for position authority when bringing the proposal to the Standing Committee or Board is not possible due to timing.
ADVOCACY POSITIONS FOR ADOPTION
- Oppose Unless Amended
Support: A support position indicates to the legislature, regulatory agency, and other stakeholders that CARPD membership is in favor of both the spirit of the proposed law as well as in support of the technical approach in which the proposed law seeks to address the issue.
Oppose: An oppose position indicates to the corresponding legislature, regulatory agency, and other stakeholders that CARPD membership is strongly against the proposed legislative policy proposal. Barring an amendment that would exempt the recreation and park districts from its provisions, it is unlikely the proposal could be feasibly amended to remove all concerns.
Oppose Unless Amended: An oppose unless amended position indicates to the corresponding legislature, regulatory agency, and other stakeholders, that CARPD membership has concerns about either the spirit of the law and/or the specific approach being taken unless all or a significant number of the substantive concerns with the proposal are addressed. This position is often used to ensure policies can be modified to better suit the Association’s goals through the negotiation and amendment process.
Neutral: A neutral position indicates to the corresponding legislature, regulatory agency, and other stakeholders, that CARPD membership is impartial on the legislative proposal in question. Typically, this position is adopted after amendments have been taken to address policy concerns on a particular piece of legislation.
Sponsor/Co-Sponsor: A Sponsor or Co-Sponsor position indicates to the corresponding legislature, regulatory agency, and other stakeholders, that CARPD membership is not only in strong support of the legislative proposal but is publicly leading the advocacy effort. This position is only used when a state lawmaker has agreed to carry a specific proposal on behalf of the Association.
Monitor/Watch: Indicates to the corresponding legislature, regulatory agency, and other stakeholders, that CARPD membership is dedicating resources to review, evaluate and monitor the proposal. If CARPD is undecided on how to proceed on the measure in print, staff will continue to watch for amendments that may cause concern or provide tools/resources for the membership—taking the appropriate (formal) position only as directed.
LEGISLATIVE PLATFORM STATEMENTS
- Support maximum flexibility for local government in contracting and contract negotiations.
- Monitor legislation that promotes efforts to advance workplace diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Monitor and evaluate Proposition 13 and city and county tax apportionment proposals.
- Monitor and evaluate all proposals that include an unfunded mandate to local governments.
- Oppose measures that reduce local control over employee relations issues or mandate new or enhanced local government employee benefits.
- Oppose measures that impose compulsory and binding arbitration with respect to employees.
- Support efforts to maintain fiscal solvency with respect to unfunded pension and retiree healthcare liability. Support efforts that decrease local costs.
- Support legislation and administrative efforts that provide clarity and flexibility in CalPERS workplace rules including working after retirement and the use of contract service providers.
- Support efforts that will protect the revenue base for parks and recreation districts.
- Oppose actions that seek to reduce or redirect local revenues.
- Oppose legislation that eliminates or redefines any development tax, fee, condition, or other monetary change.
- Oppose measures that reduce local control over the use of recreation and park district property and facilities during declared emergencies including public health orders.
- Support efforts to increase Federal and State funding to prevent and reduce homelessness.
- Support measures that provide resources to address the mental health needs of persons experiencing homelessness.
- Advocate for recreation and park districts to be included in discussions pertaining to needs and solutions to address homelessness.
- Support efforts to increase district authority to regulate encampments on sidewalks, public parks, and open/public spaces. Oppose efforts that seek to further limit district authority to regulate these encampments.
- Support programs which provide access to funding and/or technical assistance to recreation and park districts for hazard mitigation projects including those identified in a FEMA-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, emergency plans, and climate plans. Evaluate options for special districts to declare a local state of emergency.
- Support legislation that balances increased public trust, confidence and access to public meetings while realizing the fiscal and operational constraints of local government.
- Support legislation that would increase civic participation and engagement including the continued allowance of legislative subcommittees, advisory committees, and commissions to participate virtually (post COVID-19 state of emergency) without physical location posting requirements under the Ralph M. Brown Act.
- Support legislation that would permit a minority amount of virtual board member participation without physical location posting, so long as a physical in-person quorum is present.
- Support state funding efforts to assist with enhanced public access for members of the community.
- Support legislation that would permit recreation and park districts to provide electronic copies of documents to satisfy requirements in the California Public Records Act.
- Monitor and evaluate proposals that create new mandates under the California Public Records Act without state reimbursement provisions.
- Monitor and evaluate proposals that requires a one-size fits all local record retention polices.
- Oppose legislation that would incentivize increased litigation by removing safe harbor provisions permitted in the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).
- Support legislation that would waive the enforcement of the CVRA for local government agencies below a defined population threshold.
- Oppose legislation that increases the cost of municipal elections through unnecessary new requirements.
- Pursue funding opportunities for public facilities and services including capital improvement projects, public works projects, homeland security, parks and social service facilities for special districts that provide recreation and park services.
- Support legislation and funding opportunities (e.g., state park grant funds, conservancy grant funds, and project mitigation funds) that would help districts fund improvements for parks, open space, natural resources, historic preservation, the arts, and cultural resources.
- Support and encourage non-competitive per capita funding measures offered through the Natural Resources Agency, State Parks and Recreation for the benefit of recreation and park district capital projects.
- Promote local agency control over policies that recognize the benefits of recreation and park facilities.
- Support efforts to secure funding for vital regional and community services delivered by special districts that positively impact Californian's access to parks, open space, bikeways, after school programming, youth services, senior services, food programs, facilities that promote physical activity, protect natural resources, and strengthen safety and security. Oppose efforts that erode funding for these vital services or negatively impact their delivery.
- Support childcare/daycare proposals that support funding for access to childcare and increase revenue streams for the provision of before and after school care through local special district programming.
- Closely monitor and evaluate any legislation pertaining to the Surplus Lands Act and oppose measures that limit how land can be used and maintained.
- Monitor and evaluate electric vehicle (EV) proposals that impact the regulation and implementation of EV infrastructure or management.
- Monitor and evaluate solar proposals that impact the regulation and implementation of solar infrastructure or management.
- Support and encourage measures that protect recreation and park jurisdiction and fiscal independence from counties, cities, and state overreach or usurpation.
- Monitor efforts to strengthen city, county, or state ability to consolidate, reorganize, or assume district services that operate within their spheres of influence.
- Monitor efforts to lower the threshold for voter-approved capital financing and opportunities for innovative public financing.
- Monitor initiatives which seek changes at the local, state, and/or federal level and support efforts that guarantee ongoing revenue sources for recreation and park districts. Oppose efforts that reduce or eliminate existing revenue sources.
- Seek out, develop, and support legislative and budget efforts that increase, protect and/or maximize local government revenues, maximize access to funding for special districts providing recreation and park services, and/or increase local funding flexibility.
- Protect local recreation and park district revenues and funding for vital community services:
- Support efforts to restore local control and authority over revenues and protect against unfunded mandates.
- Advocate for recovery of Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) revenues taken by the state and resulting revenue loss.
- Oppose efforts to capture or divert local recreation and park district revenue or efforts to shift responsibility for State services or programs to recreation and park districts without commensurate revenue.