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Issues

Preserve, protect, and expand our East Bay Parks

I am committed to preserving and expanding our parks for current and future generations to enjoy.  In particular, I want to expand access to the East Bay Parks for underserved communities by continuing to convert industrial land to parkland, especially along the North Richmond shoreline.  I want to establish a regional park at Point Molate and create a Visitor Center at Point Pinole.  I also want to close the gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail between Hercules and Point Pinole. 

Combat Climate change

As the largest regional park system in the country, the Park District must lead on combatting climate change.  I support applying green building principles, including generation clean energy with solar panels, increasing energy efficiency, using recycled building materials, eliminating waste, and electrifying our vehicle fleet.

The Park District is on the front lines of addressing the impacts of climate change.  With 55 miles of shoreline, Sea Level Rise presents a significant threat to habitats, accessible shorelines, and our neighboring communities.  We are protecting our shoreline through adaptive restoration projects, such as the recently completed Albany Beach public access project.

We also are addressing the increased wildfire risk by implementing our wildfire prevention plan to reduce fuels and protect the wildland-urban interface across the East Bay Hills from Richmond to Castro Valley. Over the past 18 months, the Park District’s Fire Department has added new positions and more than doubled the number of its permanent staff. This includes hiring more firefighters and the addition of fire lieutenants, fuel reduction coordinators, an eight-person fuels crew, and administrative support.

Develop and retain an East Bay Parks workforce at all levels that reflects the full diversity of our East Bay Community

In order to recruit and retain an East Bay Parks workforce that reflects the full diversity of our community, the Park District must address implicit bias and the barriers that exist in recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention to create a welcoming workplace for people of color and LGBTQ+ people.  As a Board Director, I am proud to have successfully championed the need to address systemic racism and other bias that prevents people of color and LGBTQ+ employees from reaching their full potential. 

Increase access to parks and recreational opportunities for underserved youth

 I strongly believe that everyone must have access to our East Bay Parks.  In addition to increasing parkland that is in close proximity to underserved communities, I plan to increase access in other ways as well.  Specifically:

  1. Increase free bus transportation provided by the Park District to make parks more accessible
  2. Create bridges over busy highways to allow safe pedestrian and bike access to parks
  3. Expand opportunities for underserved youth by providing additional scholarships for camp and other recreational opportunities
  4. Increase summer and year round job opportunities for youth

 

Frequently Asked Questions/Topics

Point Molate

The East Bay Regional Park District has had a long standing interest in developing a regional park at Point Molate ever since the closure of the Naval Fuel Depot in 1995.  This continues to be a high priority of mine.

The City of Richmond currently owns Point Molate, and I have had conversations with Mayor Butt and other stakeholders about how a regional park could be created.  The development project approved by the City Council on September 8th includes parks and open spaces, but does not provide the large contiguous open space areas we envision for a regional park. 

I still hope to have the opportunity to work with the city and community to create the kind of regional park at Point Molate that so many of us would like to see.  Meanwhile, we continue to partner with Richmond to connect the San Francisco Bay Trail with Point Molate Beach Park.  


Paid for by Elizabeth Echols for East Bay Regional Parks Board 2020, FPPC#1428397
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