Original Propaganda For East Bay Parks

Since the East Bay Regional Park District celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, various historical artifacts are getting dusted off.  Until today, we had not noticed this great piece of propaganda – which encourages locals to vote for the creation of the parks.

Regional Park Proposal

When you look at the boosterism, it makes the East Bay look positively serene.  Except for that guy declaring “a job,” the Depression ills have been sidelined here.

According to the Park District, California Governor James Rolph authorized the district’s formation in 1933 subject to the approval of district residents.   This cartoon and other efforts helped mobilize voters from San Leandro to Albany, and the parks were approved by a landslide – 2.5 to 1 – on November 4, 1934.

Did the Park District deliver what it promised?  This campaign promised easier access, fishing, hiking, swimming, camping and a deer sighting or two.  The district delivered on those scores for sure.  Our prescient conservation efforts are remarkable, even though many of you (us) quibble with tree-cutting and trail policies today.

Alameda and Contra Costa voters still gives thumbs-up when additional ballot measures appear to support the parks – most recently last year.  Something must have worked out well, after all.

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