Working Californians deserve a day at the beach, too

As excerpted from Sacramento Bee

While many Californians cooled off at the beach this summer, that classic experience is out of reach for a lot of hardworking families.

Soaring real estate prices on the coast have driven many families further and further inland. The cost of a trip to the beach – gas, parking and food – quickly adds up. In a recent UCLA statewide poll, 90 percent said the condition of the coast is important to them personally and 62 percent said that limited public access to the coast is a problem.

That is why we are championing a package of bills for beach access for all. For decades, officials have worked to take down fences and gates. Now we must turn our attention to the equally important but less visible barriers posed by high costs and inadequate transportation.

Senate Bill 5 and Assembly Bill 18 both propose bonds to generate funds to build coastal access and recreation projects, as well as local and state parks, with an emphasis on serving working class communities and communities of color that lack access to nature that many of us take for granted.