This past week, Mike Bone presented on behalf of the California Coalition of Endurance Sports an Informational Hearing on the Safe and Equitable Reopening of Sports hosted by the State Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media.
The presentation was well-received. Overall, the Hearing confirmed the Coalition has strong allies on the committee including Committee Chair Sharon Quirk-Silva (D–Fullerton) and Vice-Chair Suzette Martinez Valladares (R–Santa Clarita). Both were supportive of our cause and emphasized the months-long planning cycle, thanks in part to pre-hearing meetings which helped them better understand our needs and challenges.
A few key takeaways (with video timeline):
- (43:00) Dr. Erica Pan, the State Epidemiologist for the CA Dept of Public Health (CDPH) and herself a triathlete, was asked about guidelines for endurance events—she said CDPH is aware of the need and that she expects those to be forthcoming soon after “indoor sports and other professional sports guidelines,” though no more explicit timeline was given.
- (44:00) Dr. Pan responded to a follow-up question from Vice Chair Martinez Valladares by saying CDPH is actively working also on guidelines for a Green Tier (i.e. 100% capacity) which would be forthcoming “in the very near future.”
- (2:24:45) As the former Executive Director of Autism Speaks in Southern CA, Vice-Chair Martinez Valladares stressed that their largest annual fundraiser, the Los Angeles Walk at the Rose Bowl, raises $1.5 million, so she is very interested to see mass participation events return, particularly in the nonprofit sector—Mike will reach out to her office with more information on the economic impact of nonprofits.
The take-home message from the Hearing was that guidelines for Endurance Sports are forthcoming, but aside from that acknowledgment, we have little visibility into when that will happen, what they will be or how they will work. So going forward, we urge everyone to contact your local public health offices and encourage them to include us in the process; emphasizing any charity angle with elected officials also adds a note of urgency.
You can watch the video of the hearing or review submitted testimony & supporting documents HERE (Mike’s presentation starts at 2:11:50).
Get Involved! Next Steps to Re-open Endurance Sports
Rather than taking a “wait and see” approach as we await next steps from CDPH and the Governor’s Office, here’s how you can help:
- Share our petition: Our Change.org petition is still going strong as we approach 10,000 signatures. THANK YOU to everyone who has shared it, and if you’ve not yet done so we’d urge you to consider sharing it with your email list, as this generates a much more robust response than social media. (We’d recommend an “If you agree, please sign & share” approach…)
- Reach out to elected officials: As evidenced by last week’s Hearing, we are making inroads with the state legislature. Now we need to make similar inroads with the Governor’s Office and CDPH, so if anyone has contacts they can call on at these offices or GO-Biz, please make an effort to reach out to them.
- Encourage City Managers & CVBs to join: John Donlevy, City Manager for Auburn, has offered to connect with like-minded colleagues to advocate on our behalf, and we’re happy to make those introductions.
- Consult on media strategy: We’re also speaking with lobbyists & PR (that’s Public Relations, not Personal Record ????) professionals to try to amplify our campaign; any insights/contacts on this front would be appreciated.