Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia Champions Disability Access to Parks Legislation AB 2535 Passes First Legislative Hurdle
SACRAMENTO — California’s state parks make up the most-visited state park system in the nation, providing recreation for nearly 100 million visitors annually. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 ensured equal opportunity for all persons to benefit from the programs, activities and services offered by any public entity.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, wants to ensure that happens.
On Tuesday, April 26, Garcia’s AB 2535, Disability Access to Parks, passed the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife. This bill would ensure that projects receiving State of California grant funding for constructing or rehabilitating playgrounds or play structures include disability access.
Assemblymember Garcia has been a longtime parks champion who has delivered historic community park investments to his district thanks to his work authoring SB 5/Prop 68, the California Water and Parks Bond 2018. This past winter, Garcia announced $44.2 million in Prop 68 grant funds for local park projects in the Coachella Valley and Imperial County. Now with AB 2535, Garcia aims to prioritize park playground accessibility, an equity issue that he has advocated for throughout his career.
“Everyone should have access to parks and playgrounds. We must ensure park playgrounds across our state are more inclusive and accessible for those with physical and mental disabilities. Supporting funding for fully inclusive and accessible playgrounds is an important and long overdue step as we strive to achieve California’s parks for all vision,” Garcia said in a prepared statement.
Garcia is also a longtime champion of those with special needs. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, in May 2018 was recognized by the Special Education Local Plan Area Administrators Association of California for his dedicated efforts to increase special education services and resources for individuals with disabilities through public policy.
Garcia serves as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy. He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.
- Disabled man takes photos in state park: Shutterstock