On August 19th, 120 representatives from California’s outdoor recreation industry and its supporting nonprofit partners convened at the state capitol for CORP’s largest and most impactful lobby day to date, Summit Sacramento. Brands, NGOs, and other organizations spent the day advocating issues affecting California’s recreation economy, including equitable access to the outdoors and economic development. Their biggest ask to legislators and staffers was to support AB1111, a bill that would establish a state office of outdoor recreation to provide ongoing support and ensure all current and future Californians will be able to get outside in the Golden State for years to come.
In the morning CORP and OIA (the Outdoor Industry Association) conducted a training and hosted notable legislators, including Assemblymember Laura Friedman, author of AB1111, Senator Henry Stern, a surfer from Malibu and Senator Brian Jones, an avid mountain biker from San Diego. In the afternoon, participants broke out into 14 lobby groups and collectively attended over 40 in-person meetings with other legislators and staffers in the Capitol.
In addition to a traditional lobby day, Summit Sacramento also included an expo on the lawn in front of the state capitol. Notable organizations in attendance included Clif Bar, Camelback, Sierra Business Council, Visit Santa Rosa, Yoots, and Sierra Nevada Brewery. For the first time, Sacramento truly got a taste of how broad and influential California’s outdoor industry is, thanks to the diverse organizations that showed up to voice their support of recreation. Legislators and staffers stopped by each booth as they came in and out of the Capitol.
“The Summit Sacramento Lobby & Advocacy Day last week was an amazing opportunity for us to bring a bit of our industry to the lawn at the capitol building as well as connect with so many of our legislators,” says Danica Carey, CORP board member and director of marketing and operations for Seirus, a southern California company that manufactures innovative cold weather gear. “It was great to see and experience consistent support for the benefits of outdoor recreation from so many of our California representatives. I am hopeful that we were able to create some more awareness and momentum for AB1111 as it ideally makes its way to the Governor’s desk in the next month.”
In a state that is as diverse geographically, economically and culturally as California, one of the major challenges in outdoor recreation advocacy has been in articulating the industry’s needs and values to legislators in Sacramento with one cohesive and unified voice. But the August 19th Sacramento Summit achieved just that, signifying California’s recreation advocates are serious about establishing a state office of outdoor recreation and representing the interests of the state’s $92 billion recreation economy.
“We’re bringing collective voices together not just to drive policies that impact recreation today, but so that future generations will continue to have access to and fall in love with outdoor recreation in California.” says Katie Hawkins, CORP’s membership development director. “We have the momentum. Throughout California, the outdoor recreation industry is answering CORP’s rallying call for issues like equitable access, resource protection, and economic development. That’s what Summit Sacramento was all about.”