Swim Pasadena Coach Writes Petition to LA County Board of Supervisors About Opening Pools

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Swim Pasadena coach Terry Stoddard has started a petition to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (BOS) to open pools in the county.

“In an effort to Stop the potential of a ‘Ripple Effect’ on all pools in Southern California, I have taken it upon myself as a resident of the 5th District of LA County, Temple City, to create a petition to show support of LA County Opening their County Pools for the Summer of 2020,” Stoddard wrote. “Over the course of the last two weeks I have called and written all five BOS and although I have spoken with aids I have not successfully been able to get through to the BOS themselves, even Supervisor Kathyrn Barger who oversees my 5th District.”
The board is scheduled to meet about this on Monday night, June 29. Stoddard has had the petition up during the weekend and is hoping it will help.
Here is the breakdown of what Stoddard, also the Chairman of Southern California Swimming LSC, is hoping to accomplish with the petition, found here.
  • If after reading the petition you would be willing to sign it.
  • If you live in LA County reach out to your Board of Supervisor!
  • If you work at a pool in LA County, whether it be owned by LA County or not, be willing to reach out to your Board of Supervisor!
    • I have an easy to find link if you are interested.
    • I have contact information on all of them.
  • Just be wiling to help by
    • Signing the petition.
    • Be willing to reach out to any or all Five Board of Supervisors!

Here is the petition from Stoddard in full:

Support Wellness & Equity for All!
Stop Los Angeles County’s 100% Budget Cut to Pools & Aquatic Centers

Public pools and aquatic centers in every other County in the State of California are already open or slated to open this summer because swimming is one of the few recreational sports approved by the CDC, State and County Public Health officials. LA County wants to put a CLOSED FOR THE SUMMER sign on all LA County Pools – without any public input.

The 57 other counties in CA understand that while many other exercise and sports activities are limited due to COVID-19, lap swimming and other aquatic activities and swim lessons promote health and wellness and are SAFE and ALLOWED by public health officials. This is especially important when the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 already bear the burden of a lack of local access to safe recreation space.

Every local government in CA is faced with budget cuts, but LA is the ONLY county that has proposed a 100% cut to public pools and aquatic centers – denying its youth, adults, and seniors – many of whom live in the most underserved parts of our County –  the opportunity to swim safely this summer at any of its 30 pools. Refusing to open ANY pools this summer will put more Angelenos at risk of drowning.  And it will cost hundreds of jobs that are supported by our taxes and fees paid to County Parks and Recreation and to small businesses who operate at OUR pools.

The proposed LA County closures are DRASTIC, INEQUITABLE and UNPRECEDENTED. No such closure has taken place since World War 2.

Other Counties understand that the financial cost to open pools pales in comparison to the HUMAN COST of not opening pools to the tens of thousands of swimmers who use them and the ECONOMIC COST to the seasonal County employees who work at these pools and many SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS. These local employers provide swim programs and other aquatic activities at County pools to promote HEALTH EQUITY in Los Angeles.

We Support:

DIALOGUE with STAKEHOLDERS – The County took NO public input from the stakeholders impacted by this DRASTIC decision. Tens of thousands of pool users will be affected, with ZERO OUTREACH. There has also been no outreach to non-profit partners or the small businesses who operate programs at these pools. That is WRONG and INCONSISTENT with long standing practice for such drastic actions.

FAIRNESS – Budgets must be cut, we understand this, but why cut 100% of FUNDING FOR POOLS when lap swimming is one of the few activities permitted by Public Health Officials?  Meanwhile, the County has opened golf courses, shooting ranges, tennis courts and equestrian centers.

HEALTH EQUITY – Public Pools serve ALL communities, and County Public Pools are often the ONLY pools County residents with the greatest need are able to access. So. Cal. Swimming has worked for decades to expand access for all children, youth and adults across all racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds. This drastic closure will severely undermine these efforts. Pools and Aquatic facilities are centers of health and well-being in their communities. Therefore, County Parks & Recreation should be required to submit a Community Health Impact Report to the Board of Supervisors prior to ANY Aquatic Center Closure.

SAFETY – According to LA County Public Health, drownings are a leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 – 14; three children die every day as a result of drowning. 79% of kids from low-income communities are at risk from drowning according to a 2017 UNLV / Univ of Memphis Study.  Swim lessons are permitted under the Public Health Order.  Closures now will result in deaths later.

JOBS – Hundreds of jobs will but cut at the time they are needed the most, placing more pressure on our unemployment and social safety net resources. This makes no sense when swimming GENERATES REVENUE.

We Oppose LA County’s Decision to Close All County Pools.

We Want a Conversation between Stakeholders and the County of LA Leadership.

We Want to Open Pools Quickly, Support Safe Swimming Activities and Wellness and Restore Jobs.

More on opening pools here.

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