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/
I have always pictured myself as an outside person really, not the type to stay indoors all day online or watching TV. It wasn’t until recently, when thinking about Measure A and the future of parks in our neighborhood, did I start to realize how much I enjoyed being out and about at a park with the sun’s joyful beams. It’s something I took for granted, and I'm so grateful that I’ve grown up with a park like Garvey Ranch Park, just a few blocks away from my house.
The reason for my passion of the outdoors comes from running. I’m an avid runner on the Mark Keppel High School cross country and track teams. Some of my friends run to win medals, and others run to stay in shape. I run so I can appreciate the beauty of the outdoors. This is most apparent when I’m running at a park and suddenly find myself in an environment where I can relax, calm down and reflect on my day.
I believe that parks have a huge effect on our neighborhoods. As a kid who was raised by my local park, I feel that it gives us a different perspective in life; understanding how mother nature works with us, helps us better understand what’s going on in the world. Given the loud, fast-paced everyday parts of my life, knowing I have access to such beautiful parks brings an overwhelming happiness to me, as I’m sure it also does for my family and friends. Yes, things are busy and yes homework is waiting, but sometimes it’s important for us to take a moment for ourselves. Parks give me the chance to do this.
Given all this, I’d like to ask for your support by voting Yes on Measure A. A Yes vote on Measure A ensures that kids like me, who have gained so much from my local park, continue to have places to relax and enjoy nature. A Yes vote on Measure A will help keep funding for tomorrow’s fresh air, and will make sure we have clean, safe parks for years to come.
Janelle Zamora is a senior at Mark Keppel High School, where she also serves on the board of Promoting Youth Advocacy.