STOCKTON (CBS13) — Millions of dollars could be coming to Stockton for area parks if lawmakers can get a bond placed on the 2018 ballot.
Assembly Bill 18—which is also known as the parks bond—would fund local, regional and state parks, including improving several parks in disadvantaged areas like in Stockton’s south side.
City leaders say parks help create a safe space for families and investing in them could bring more of the crime down.
There are a lot of things Anthony Maldonado of Stockton would do to help improve the parks in the city’s south side.
“Maybe like the playground, you know, all the faulty equipment; a better basketball or and stuff like that,” he said.
Community leaders say many of the parks have been vandalized, bathrooms are locked, and lights are not working and some equipment has been stolen.
But there is hope with AB 18.
“All of us are realizing the importance of investment in places like south Stockton in particular with this parks measure, and this will ensure equity, equitable allocation of resources,” said Sammy Nunez of Fathers and Families of San Joaquin.
AB 18 is a $3 billion initiative that would bring financial support to parks in disadvantaged areas.
“I learned how to play baseball in the park, I learned how to swim in the park,” said Stockton Vice Mayor Elbert Holman.
He says the city needs these park resources to help reinvent itself. Last year, Stockton voters approved Measure M to improve city libraries and parks, but lawmakers argue that money would not be enough to help. They say AB18 would change that.
“It helps in a sense that people, communities get to know each other, it’s a gathering place where people get to know who you are and there is a sense. That’s developed by being together and socializing in a park,” he said.
There is no exact number on how much money Stockton gets if AB18 would be approved, but it could be at least $2 million.
“For the city of Stockton it is really important because of our financial situation that we have been battling for the last well nine years that I have been on the city council,” he said.
Several informational workshops are scheduled in the coming weeks to help educate voters about the plan.