On May 28, California State Parks officials confirmed what had been dreaded for days by millions of Californians who love the cultural, historical and recreational resources of the State Parks. It’s official – 220 State Parks will be closed unless the Legislature acts to amend or rescind Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget recommendations.
Among the parks slated to be closed is our beloved Angel Island State Park, home of the Immigration Station, a National Historic Landmark, which just reopened to the public on February 15, 2009 after a three and a half year, $15 million restoration . Over 1,600 attended the Grand Reopening.
Just two weeks ago, 235 people came to a poetry reading at the Immigration Station in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Thousands of people, many of them grade school students, have visited the site and tours are booked solid into the summer.
Now all that could come to a screeching halt unless you act immediately.
Join the Facebook page:
Send a letter to the Governor and your state legislators:
You can make a difference. Only a huge public outcry can reverse the decision and stop the closure of Angel Island State Park and all the other State Parks on the chopping block.
On Tuesday, June 2, the Budget Conference Committee will meet at the State Capitol in Room 4203 starting at 9:30 a.m. The public is invited to comment on the proposed cuts. AIISF will be testifying, and you too can add your voice both in the all-day meeting or outside on the Capitol steps. More details about a rally will be coming shortly.
If you can’t come to Sacramento on Tuesday, June 2, you can also make your voice heard by sending a letters to Governor Schwarzenegger and to your state representatives. We are working closely with the California State Parks Foundation, which is coordinating the state-wide advocacy effort.
Send a message today at http://www.calparks.org/stopclosures by using their automated form to generate a fax on your behalf directly to the Governor and your state representatives. Let us know that you have contacted your representatives by sending us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep you updated as this campaign unfolds.
You can also help the cause by writing letters to your local newspaper and blogs on TV station websites, community news sites, and to friends. We’ve posted some sample messages and a fact sheet developed by the California State Parks Foundation.
The hour is late and the stakes are high. If Angel Island State Park closes, the effort to restore and stabilize the crumbling Hospital, future home for more exhibition space, a genealogy center, and conference space, could grind to a halt. Thousands of school children and members of the public would be denied the opportunity to experience the haunting and moving poetry carved on the walls of the Detention Barracks. Our society would lose a lasting reminder of our nation’s complex immigration experience.
We have worked too long and come too far to turn back now. The Immigration Station and Angel Island State Park must remain open to the public. Join us in the fight to save the Immigration Station and stop the closure of the State Parks.