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Ward 1 of the East Bay Regional Park District

 
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 356

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:51 pm    Post subject: Ward 1 of the East Bay Regional Park District Reply with quote

If you live in or make use of Ward 1 of the East Bay Regional Park District (bay bridge to Point Pinole to Wildcat) and you value recreational use of open spaces in our urban areas, it is CRITICAL that you vote for Elizabeth Echols https://www.facebook.com/Elizabeth4Parks/ in the upcoming election of our new board member. Her opponent, Norman LaForce, is a one-issue--preservation or die!--candidate. He will fence off our limited open spaces, as he has done at the Berkeley Meadow and Albany Beach, and fight recreational use of our parks and access to water through our parks. Elizabeth is a balanced, mature, collaborative worker. Norman is anti dog, anti bike, anti reaction, anti water sports and has been so hated by his peers that he is the only council member in the history of El Cerrito passed over for the customer rotation of Mayor. He doesn't play well with others. Elizabeth does. https://www.ebparks.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=23484
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 356

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To get a sense of just how extreme LaForce is in his anti-recreation position and what it might mean for shoreline recreation, check out the section titled, 'Windsurfers and the Eel Grass' on page 4 (this is a suit filed by SPRAWLDEF, the Sustainability, Parks, Recycling, and Wildlife Legal Defense Fund, which was founded by Norman La Force (https://sprawldef.com/about/)):
http://www.albanyca.org/home/showdocument?id=22479
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15293
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spot on. It is important for windsurfers to go to Elizabeth’s Facebook page and like it—this makes it easier to campaign. Send her a little money if you can. Norman has fought access for windsurfing, kiteboarding, the Bay Trail, and mountain bikes on fire roads in the parks. He even fought the Berkeley High girl’s crew team and tried to stop them from rowing in Aquatic Park.

By the way, the judge didn’t buy his attack on windsurfers.
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johnarmitage



Joined: 10 Jun 2001
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how can we contribute to her campaign?
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy to contribute. Just type "elizabeth4parks.org" into your search bar. Be sure and add the".org" though.

I'll add that EE was instrumental in helping us to get Pt. Isabel Shoreline Park reopened. It had been summarily closed by park management due to misguided concerns about dog walking (plus some initial crowds).

Elizabeth Echols (EE) has been an important advocate for park access for people and their recreational needs. She was appointed to her position in January following the death of Whitney Dotson - who I worked with to develop the Pt. Isabel launch starting in 2015. Notably, Norman LaForce was another candidate for that interim appointment, but the Board unanimously preferred EE.

However, as we see up at Hood River, our access situation can change if users don't act responsibly.

We have an incredibly valuable resource at Pt. Isabel - particularly given current wind patterns that favor it vs. Berkeley, etc.

Encourage your friends to MASK-UP while rigging/derigging. Nobody expects us to wear them on the water though. I use a "neck gaiter" which slides down while sailing and is easily repositioned upon return to shore. Although it's not super effective it demonstrates concern, reminds folks to keep some distance, and doesn't give park management more reason for alarm and over-reaction.

David
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johnarmitage



Joined: 10 Jun 2001
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I contributed. Thanks for the information.
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jbokor



Joined: 06 Aug 1996
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I contributed too.
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meyer



Joined: 14 Jun 2004
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave a some $$ to EE. It is important to elect people who support recreational access to the bay.
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 356

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/help-ensure-access-for-people-at-urban-parks/?utm_source=l38_campaigner&utm_campaign=Wed_June_3_2020&cmp=1&utm_medium=email&fbclid=IwAR218YiZLT4F2sbQ7fSrDxr27ZlUqgLy-5klXHXr9mm7MQYdGtdtaAVhyIQ
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This letter was completed and signed yesterday by a group of volunteers supporting Elizabeth Echols:

xxxxxxxx

Dear Parks Lover,

We're writing to urge you to vote for our current East Bay Regional Parks Ward 1 Director, Elizabeth Echols. There's a big difference between the two candidates in the November election, and we believe that Echols is by far the better choice for inclusive parks, accessible to all.

We represent a broad range of parks user groups who rely on our parks for recreation, arts, youth education and development, and access to nature on our crowded urban shoreline and hills. We hike, run, cycle, hold arts festivals, play music, kayak, paddle board, windsurf, kiteboard, fish, and walk with our families, our students, and our dogs.  It has never been more evident how critical these scarce open spaces are for the East Bay community’s mental and physical health. 

Our East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) parks are overseen by a board of directors. You have the opportunity to help elect the Director of Ward 1 this November. Ward 1 includes the communities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, part of Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo. The EBRPD parks in Ward 1 include Brooks Island, Kennedy Grove, McLaughlin Eastshore State Park (which includes shoreline areas in Emeryville, Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond, plus Albany Beach), Miller/Knox, Point Isabel, Point Pinole, Sobrante Ridge, Tilden, and Wildcat Canyon. 


As a lifelong environmentalist, Ms. Echols has been a careful steward of the rich habitat of our parks and also understands the importance of access to nature for people in the East Bay. Ms. Echols, in addition to having the endorsement of every current EBRPD board member, has worked closely with diverse user groups to understand their concerns and those of all parks stakeholders. For example, she played a critical role in getting Point Isabel re-opened after it was closed during the early days of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order. Her strong advocacy for that reopening was a manifestation of her understanding of how important our regional parks are for the well-being of all visitors: walkers, joggers, elders, people with disabilities, children, and people with dogs. Echols listens, builds consensus, and gets things done.

By contrast, her opponent, Norman La Force, poses a threat to the enjoyment of and public access to our regional open spaces. He has a long history of using lawsuits to stop park projects from moving forward. Those actions have cost the park district hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and thousands of hours of staff time -- scarce resources that could have been better spent on park improvements.

Mr. La Force focuses narrowly on wildlife habitat without a reasonable sense of the importance of balancing preservation and recreation. His approach has often been divisive and shortsighted. He opposed the extension of the Bay Trail from Buchanan Street to Pt. Isabel in 1995, kayaking and access to the water in many parts of the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, bicycle use on fire roads, and rowing by the Berkeley High School girls crew team in Aquatic Park lagoon. He sued EBRPD, unsuccessfully (three times), to remove kiteboarders and people with dogs from Albany Beach. Time and again, he has tried to eliminate areas where people can bring dogs to parks, but now poses with a dog on his website while claiming he supports dog-friendly policies.

We need board members who want people to engage more with our parks, not board members who put up barriers to those parks. For our urban shorelines, we need parks that invite everyone to experience the waters of the Bay first-hand.

As the current Ward 1 Director, Ms. Echols has already demonstrated her skill at navigating complex demands from various groups. While Mr. La Force has a history of advocating through the singular lens of limiting human access, Ms. Echols understands the importance of balance:  of encouraging people to connect with their parks, become stewards of them, and ultimately to cast their votes to support, improve, and sustain them long-term. Ms. Echols listens, Mr. La Force brings lawsuits.

The East Bay Regional Park District is almost 200 square miles of open space, including shoreline areas and protected waters. Its 73 parks include two island bird sanctuaries and multiple protected marshes and preserves. Its bounty sustains habitat, wildlife, and the entire East Bay community.

We urge you to vote for Elizabeth Echols for Director, Ward 1, to ensure effective stewardship of and access to this unique treasure. Please vote for her in November and please go to her website now to support her campaign:

www.Elizabeth4Parks.org

Most importantly:  Please share this letter with your friends and family NOW. Their mail-in ballots will be arriving shortly.

Signed by the following park advocates, users, and volunteer stewards:

Jim McGrath
Paul Kamen
Mary Barnsdale
Austin McInerny
Andrew Sullivan
David Fielder
Larry Moss
Scott Bartlebaugh
John Roberts
Marilyn Saarni
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