Councilmember de León is a huge proponent of building new parks in neighborhoods that don’t have them. In 2008, while a member of the California State Assembly, he authored AB31 which established the guidelines and criteria for how $400 million in funding from Proposition 84 allocated to the State Department of Parks & Recreation should be spent. The criteria in AB31 prioritized putting parks in critically underserved neighborhoods across the state. The extremely popular York Park, located on Avenue 50 and York Boulevard in Highland Park, was one of the recipients of that funding.
More recently, while serving in the California State Senate, then Senate Pro Temp de León authored SB5, which was the legislation that created Proposition 68. Proposition 68, also called the Parks, Environment, and Water Bond Act of 2018, was approved by 57.6% of voters on June 5, 2018 and allocated $4 billion for parks and water infrastructure across the state, including $650 million in competitive funding for local parks. In February, two CD14 parks received Prop 68 funding: a new park at 318 N. Mathews Street in Boyle Heights, and the expansion of the popular El Sereno Arroyo Playground in El Sereno. Councilmember de Leon looks forward to working with CD14 stakeholders on building these parks and identifying other opportunities to improve the park system within CD14.