Written by Michael Palomba
In a recent memo sent to all police chiefs, it was revealed that Governor Newsom was planning to close all state parks and beaches effective May 1.
There was an immediate and fierce reaction from the public and many local leaders. Then, the plan abruptly changed and Newsom said he was never considering closing all parks and beaches. Instead, the new closures would be specifically targeted at Orange County. He cited large beach crowds over the weekend as his motivation.
While this was a disappointment to the many Orange County residents who have been following social distancing recommendations, other localities rejoiced.
In San Diego, local officials have been fighting hard to reopen businesses and recreational activities. Many of them tweeted excitedly after it was revealed that we would not be affected by the order.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer proclaimed that we don’t need “knee-jerk” policies in times of crisis, “we need to keep a steady hand.”
County Supervisor Gaspar was glad to see that “common sense prevailed.”
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, however, did not initially see a problem with the initially planned order. He felt we needed to “take a deep breath” and “wait to actually hear from the governor.”
After Newsom announced that the restrictions would only target Orange County, Fletcher tweeted this:
We should not have to wait to hear from the governor regarding an official memo. The memo was very clear in stating that “ALL beaches and all state parks in California will be closed, effective Friday, May 1st.” The word “all” was bolded and capitalized in the memo.
As diligent citizens, we have the right to react to actions like this, even if we haven’t heard directly from the governor or whoever may be making the decision. Either this memo contained inaccurate information, or Newsom abruptly changed course due to the immediate backlash. Either way, the people of California are not to blame here.
Supervisor Desmond, rather than blaming concerned citizens, exclaimed that “[Our] voices are being heard!” He and others sent letters to Newsom insisting that he reconsider the decision to close all beaches statewide.
Californians are starting to get frustrated with the stay-at-home order, and they aren’t afraid to show it. There have been “freedom rallies” and protests throughout the state. State and local officials are under extreme pressure to start rolling back restrictive measures and reopen businesses, parks, and beaches.
With that being said, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, County Supervisors Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond, along with many others are working hard to help us return to normalcy. They have persistently resisted Newsom’s restrictive orders and are among the leaders in the fight to reopen California.