My love for Campbell parks began at a young age.I grew up playing soccer in the South Bay Youth Soccer League at John D. Morgan Park. This continues into the present day, with Campbell Park just around the corner from my home. I’ve been proud to host community events there, but more than anything, you’re apt to find me walking my dog, training for a race, or riding my bike there.
Many of these parks will be undergoing changes over the next couple of years, and with funding already secured and projects underway it’s important to have City leadership that understands the value that parks and other recreational services provide to our community. I was thrilled to participate, for example, in community input sessions for planned renovations to John D. Morgan Park which will make it all-inclusive. According to the project outlines, it will “provide design elements to address the needs of all, regardless of age and abilities. This may include people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Challenges, Visual and Auditory Impairments, Cognitive, Developmental and Physical Disabilities as well as medically fragile individuals.” It’s an exciting reimagined vision for the park, one which will be accessible to all members of our community — just the way our parks ought to be.
Our Parks and Recreation Department also has other important functions. The Campbell Historical Museum as well as the historical Ainsley House are supported by brilliant and hard-working staff from the Parks and Recreation Department. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of them through my leadership on the Board of Directors of the Campbell Museums Foundation. Unfortunately, in the wake of COVID-19, many of these jobs were threatened, and I’ve been proud to fight to support them through my advocacy and fundraising work with the Foundation.
Both John D. Morgan Park and Campbell Park are in the midst of important renovations which will occur in the next few years. John D. Morgan Park is being reimagined to include an all-inclusive playground, one that will be accessible to all our children. This is being done through a successful grant from the County of Santa Clara.
Campbell Park is also being renovated for safety reasons, with outdated equipment to be replaced and new surfacing installed for the playgrounds, as well as new bathrooms being installed.
I will continue to participate in planning sessions and help see this process through.
The Parks and Recreation Commission is a valuable resource for park planning projects and policymaking advice, as well as for supporting Parks and Recreation Department staff. I will engage with them and rely upon them for their expertise.
I will actively engage in the John D. Morgan Park and Campbell Park to monitor progress and share updates with the public, ensuring oversight, accountability, and transparency.
Especially important to me is making sure that project deadlines are met. Note that these projects are not currently projected to be impacted by COVID-19; John D. Morgan Park renovations are being done through a grant from the County of Santa Clara, while the Campbell Park renovations are important for safety reasons.
Nonetheless, I will monitor the impact of COVID-19 on these and other projects, particularly since safe spaces for exercise are more important than ever, and as regulations change day to day.
We have two important historical institutions right here in Campbell, both dedicated to preserving our local history and sharing it with the public, and both managed by the City Parks and Recreation Department.
I’m proud to serve our community on the Board of Directors of both the Campbell Historical Museum and Ainsley House Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 organization, fighting against cutbacks to museum programs and staff. As Councilmember, I’ll continue to do so as well as amplify the work of the museums throughout my term.
As our local economy and City revenues recover post-pandemic, and City hiring picks up again, I will prioritize first rehiring any and all City employees whose positions were cut as a result of the pandemic — particularly the Parks and Recreation employees who have been some of the most heavily impacted, with 19.80 full-time equivalents cut from their budget.