MCBC Goes to Sacramento! MCBC Joins 25 California Trail Advocates at State Capitol

In late May, MCBC Off-Road Director Tom Boss took part in what was inarguably the most epic Mountain Bike Advocate Lobby Day to date – meeting with California State Senators and Assembly members and directly asking for their support of key changes.

Organized by IMBA California Region Director Laurel Harkness, MCBC joined representatives from mountain bike clubs and advocacy organizations across the state, including National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), NorCal High School Cycling League (NorCal)Redwood Empire Mountain Bike Alliance (REMBA), SF Urban Riders, Bicycle Brüstop,  Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC),  Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers (CCCMB), Folsom-Auburn Trail Riders Action Committee (FATRAC), and San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA), for a full day of meetings with representatives asking for their support of  outdoor-friendly legislation.

What were we lobbying for? The following bills:

AB 907 – Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement

This bill would establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for specified purposes, including promoting active healthy lifestyles and improving the quality of life for all Californians

AB 18 – California Clean Water, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All (Assembly version)

This bill would authorize the sale of general obligation bonds in the amount of $3.1 billion. The bond would fund parks, other outdoor open spaces, waterways, wildlife corridors, climate change adaptation, and other natural resource projects.

SB 5 – California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act (Senate version)

This bill would authorize the sale of general obligation bonds in the amount of $3.5 billion. The bond is presently divided into 4 areas of emphasis pertaining to parks and natural resources: (1) parks; (2) rivers, lakes, and streams; (3) coast and ocean protection; (4) climate preparedness, and two additional areas of emphasis pertaining to water and flood protection and repair.

AJR 15 – Federal Public Lands

This joint resolution would urge the President of the United States, the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior, and the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture to protect federal public lands and the economic, historical, cultural, and ecological values that they provide for Americans; to support the enactment and use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 as a critical tool for protecting the public good by authorizing the designation of national monuments under the Antiquities Act; and to honor and protect the integrity of all national monuments as they have been designated by Presidents since 1906.

Additionally we introduced legislators to mountain biking’s health and economic benefits and discussed the changing demographics of the outdoor community. We received valuable advice from many legislators and their aids on how and when to approach legislators regarding bills and support for outdoor initiatives. To cap off the day, we met with Marin Assemblyman Marc Levine. Learning that this was the first time that a group mountain bike advocates had come to the Capitol, Marc talked with us about the challenges he faces when deciding what worthy initiatives to get behind, and reminded us to be sensitive to the diversity of California’s citizens and their needs. His words of wisdom will be applied the next time we meet in Sacramento.

Mountain bike advocates meet with Assemblyman Marc Levine

We also had a chance to meet with California State Parks to discuss the status of Park General Plans and Road and Trail Management Plans, and took advantage of the opportunity to socialize with diehard advocates from around the state, each with similar challenges and inspiring successes. It was a great opportunity to build on one another’s successes and momentum.

We thank IMBA for organizing the event and look forward to participating next year.

 

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