Call Your Senators TODAY and Ask Them to Oppose the Coburn Amendment That Prohibits Funding for Community Parks!
Contact your Senators and ask them to vote against Senator Coburn�s amendment. Contact your Senator by phone via the Senate switchboard at 202.224.3121 (To find your Senator, go to www.senate.gov.)
On February 3, Senator Coburn (R-OK) submitted an amendment to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that would prohibit community parks from receiving money from programs funded by the bill. Specifically, this amendment would prohibit parks and recreation from receiving funding provided through various programs, including: CDBG funding, transportation infrastructure, special education services, childcare services, and community development block grant programs.
Mr. Coburn�s amendment specifically states:
�No funds provided by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, arts center, or highway beautification project, including renovation, remodeling, construction, salaries, furniture, zero-gravity chairs, big screen televisions, beautification, rotating pastel lights, and dry heat saunas.�
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Ask your Senator to vote against Senator Coburn�s amendment and request that funds in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act be used to support local and state park and recreation agencies.
We encourage you make these points with your Senator:
- State and local park and recreation agencies provide benefits to communities and should not be precluded from funding.
- State and local parks and recreational facilities are in disrepair in communities across America and have thousands of capital construction and capital maintenance projects that are �on-the-shelf� and ready to go.
- These projects such as new roofs for community centers, irrigation systems for sport fields, repairs to bring facilities into ADA compliance, and electrical upgrades to park and recreation facilities would allow communities to preserve, rehabilitate and maintain the already existing infrastructure that provides numerous recreational opportunities for citizens.
- Enhancing and restoring community parks and recreation resources increases quality of life, attracts new businesses and residents to communities, increases property values, and creates new employment opportunities.
Immediate Action Requested — Please help Parks & Recreation!
The Senate and House versions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act include funding for various programs which will benefit local parks and recreation agencies.
These programs, such as Community Development Block Grants, Highway Infrastructure Investment, CDC’s Health Communities, and Neighborhood Stabilization Programs, will provide funding for local park and recreation projects.
The Senate version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (section 1609) prohibits the use of funds provided by the act from being used for community parks. The bill specifically states: “None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project.”
The House includes identical language but does NOT specify community parks.
The House language does not specify community parks. Please ask leadership to include the House version of the language rather than the Senate version in the conferenced bill.
Park and recreation infrastructure across the country is in disrepair. Funding provided to programs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will fund park and recreation projects. As a result of these projects, park and recreation infrastructure will be repaired and rehabilitated thereby creating local jobs as well as safe communities.
Park and recreation agencies provide essential community services and significantly contribute to a community’s economic vitality.
Park and recreation agencies provide close-to-home recreation opportunities, are the largest public provider of after-school programs, enhance environmental conservation and education, and help curb obesity.
Local park and recreation agencies work collaboratively with military bases to provide therapeutic recreation services to rehabilitate our soldiers who have been wounded in battle; they improve the quality of life and the functionality of our children who have autism through numerous programs and services and provide many other essential community services.
Programs, such as Community Development Block Grants, Highway Infrastructure Investment, CDC’s Health Communities, and Neighborhood Stabilization Programs, are included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will provide funding for local park and recreation projects.
The funding park and recreation agencies could receive through these funded programs is vitally important to helping revitalize communities.
Please contact your state representatives today!