In our “Yes for Parks!” series, we share articles submitted by local community members in support of Measure A, an upcoming measure on the November ballot that asks voters to continue funding all Los Angeles County parks through a special tax of 1.5 cents per improved property. To learn more about Measure A, visit: http://www.apiopa.org/measurea/.
So here’s the story: my parents could not afford to supply me with toys and video games, but what they could afford was time for an afternoon at the park. Growing up, I experienced countless hours of fun and play at Story Park in the city of Alhambra. From attending a friend’s birthday party to flying off the swings with my sister, Story Park always held another adventure waiting for me to discover. I loved this park. I would race up and down its grassy hills until I collapsed at its top to roll all the way down. The playground evolved into an imaginary battlefield where my cousins and I would attempt to fend off invading zombies. My sister and I met new friends with whom we played tag, hide-and-seek, and treasure hunting. I passed footballs with my dad and tossed Frisbees with my cousins. In my eyes, toys or video games couldn’t compare to the escapades of Story Park.
Each day at the park brought joy to my life; fresh air and cool shade from its numerous trees enhanced the adventures of which I embarked within its borders. Now as I bide my time in the concrete jungle we call high school, I reflect on these carefree days, and I have come to develop a greater appreciation for public parks. Sure these parks helped me stay healthy and fit, but I look back at these memories and confidently say that I had an amazing childhood because of Story Park. I’m willing to bet that Story Park had the same impact on those that enjoyed the park alongside me as well.
I tell this story because I would like to ask for your support in voting for Measure A, an upcoming initiative on the ballot in November that will help fund parks across Los Angeles County. Public parks are important to our communities because they provide an opportunity for children and adults alike to enjoy the outdoors, for free. Parks are a right, not a privilege, and all people should have the right to adventure and delight in the wonders of public parks.
I am only 17, so unfortunately I will not have the chance to vote for this; and that is why I need help from fellow community members like you! A Yes vote on Measure A means my story of Story Park does not have a sad ending. This election, please vote Yes on Measure A so that local parks in Alhambra continue to be places where stories are made.
Aaron Lockett is a senior at Mark Keppel High School, where he also serves as President of Promoting Youth Advocacy.