Legendary Grateful Dead Drummer Mickey Hart Endorses Proposition 21, Creates Online Video to Engage Fans & Spread Message About Benefits of State Parks

Oct 25, 2010, 12:40 ET from Yes on 21, Californians for State Parks and Wildlife Conservation

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Working to mobilize the dedicated and passionate fans of state parks, legendary Grateful Dead drummer and long-time state park supporter Mickey Hart released an online video today endorsing Proposition 21 and urging Californians to join him in voting YES on the measure to save California's state parks. Proposition 21, which was put on the November ballot by California voters, will create a dedicated funding source for California's state parks to address decades of budget cuts. Mickey joins his wife Caryl Hart, dedicated environmentalist, in supporting Proposition 21 and mobilizing voters to vote YES on this important measure.

"California's state parks are the very soul of our state but are on the brink of disaster," said Mickey Hart. "State parks are our heritage and incredibly important to protect and safe-keep for future generations. I'm urging my fans and all Californians to make sure they vote Yes on Prop 21."

Hart joins a strong and growing movement of grassroots and online supporters who are backing Proposition 21. The measure, which was put on the ballot by more than 760,000 Californians and is supported by an unprecedented coalition of nearly 700 organizations, has launched numerous innovative online efforts to engage supporters. Most recently, the campaign launched an effort that puts real Californians in the campaign driver's seat and allows them to create campaign videos to help promote Proposition 21 virally. The videos can be seen by clicking here.

Hart created his video, entitled "This Is Your Brain On Parks," to showcase how important it is for often busy and harried California residents and families to get outdoors and enjoy the restorative benefits of open space and nature.

In these final days as residents are voting by absentee ballot or heading to the voting booth, the campaign needs help from all organizations and individuals supporting Proposition 21 to spread the word about the need to protect state parks. Proposition 21 is the only viable credible and viable solution to prevent more park closures and deteriorating conditions.

"It's absolutely critical in these final days that our supporters reach out to their friends, families and colleagues and spread the word about the need for Prop 21," added Hart. "I'm asking everyone to post my video, or one of the great videos submitted by campaign supporters, to your web sites and Facebook pages and email along to friends. Together we can harness and leverage the grassroots appeal of Prop 21 and ensure our state parks are kept open, safe and well-maintained."  

Chronic underfunding of state parks has caused them to accumulate a $1.3 billion backlog in needed maintenance and repairs. Roofs and sewage systems leak, restrooms are not cleaned, bridges have collapsed, trails are washed out, campgrounds and visitor centers are shuttered and buildings throughout the system are badly deteriorated. Twice in the past two years, state parks were on the brink of being shut down. Last year, nearly 150 state parks were shut down part-time or suffered deep service reductions because of budget cuts, and more park closure proposals and budget cuts are expected this year.  

Approval of Prop. 21 will provide California vehicles with FREE, year-round day-use access to state parks and beaches, in exchange for a new $18 surcharge. This new surcharge will be assessed as part of California's annual vehicle registration. Funds from the surcharge will be placed in a Trust Fund dedicated specifically to state parks and wildlife conservation, which cannot legally be used for other purposes.

Hart has a long history of supporting state parks. His wife, Caryl Hart, currently serves as chair of the California State Parks Commission and is a leading advocate for state park funding and conservation efforts in the Bay Area and throughout California.

"As a state parks commissioner and long-time environmental advocate, I've seen firsthand the devastating impacts budgets cuts have had on our beloved state park system," said Caryl Hart. "Without Prop 21, we are going to see more young people, more families and more Californians lose access to the benefits and opportunities that our state parks have to offer."

"Californians need to unite and make this important investment to preserve these inspiring and iconic places forever," added Caryl Hart.

Among the nearly 700 organizations that have endorsed Proposition 21 are The Nature Conservancy, California Travel Industry Association, California State Lifeguard Association, Location Managers Guild of America, California Action for Healthy Kids, Save the Redwoods League, California Teachers Association, Sierra Club California and the California State Parks Foundation. For a full list of supporters, please click here.

For more information, please visit www.YesForStateParks.com or www.facebook.com/YesForStateParks.

SOURCE Yes on 21, Californians for State Parks and Wildlife Conservation



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http://www.yesforstateparks.com