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For all you Parks & Recs fans out there will appreciate this.  If you didn't get a chance to watch last night's episode of Parks & Recs, Vice President Joe Biden (D) made a cameo appearance after Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) arranges for a surprise visit for his fiancé Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler).  Leslie was obviously starstruck to meet her hero/crush:

http://www.nbc.com/...

Before the episode, Senator Kay Hagan (D) tweeted Parks & Recs about getting Leslie Knope to get Biden behind her Parks Bill:


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The bill that Senator Hagan is referring to is The Community Parks Revitalization Act, S. 3583.  The bill is aimed to provide opportunities for communities to build new and rehabilitate existing parks and outdoor recreational spaces.  Hagan introduced the bill on September 24th:

http://www.asla.org/...


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“This legislation will not only provide for the rehabilitation of neglected recreation facilities and green spaces in our city centers, but it will also promote job creation and opportunities for safe and healthy activities in urban public sites,” Hagan said. “Investment in parks and recreation attracts business, promotes conservation in a non-regulatory fashion and enhances quality of life for hard-working North Carolinians and their families.” - American Society Of Landscape Architects, 9/24/12
Here's what the bill entails:
The Community Parks Revitalization Act (CPRA) would authorize matching federal grants to create new and rehabilitate existing parks and recreation infrastructure in communities across the country.  This measure will help revitalize neighborhoods, create jobs, enhance local and state economies, protect the health and well-being of our citizens, and contribute to a higher quality of life for hard-working Americans and their families. - American Society Of Landscape Architects, 9/24/12
The bill has some pretty strong support in North Carolina:

http://brevardnc.ning.com/...

Michelle Wells, Executive Director of the North Carolina Recreation & Park Association said, “North Carolina is excited to see Senator Hagan introduce this bill. Parks are great places for all of our citizens and offer a variety of benefits including improved physical and mental health, assist with providing clean air and water and offer a place in the community for socialization for all ages and backgrounds.” - Imagine Brevard, 9/25/12
I like, Senator Hagan and Leslie Knope, have always been a strong supporter of fixing up our parks.  Parks are wonderful public lands and play a great role in tourism and environmental issues and honestly, who doesn't love going to the park on a beautiful spring day.  Plus this bill is both good for business and job creation:
As our nation works to find solutions for growing our economy and creating jobs, we must continuously examine additional ways to help sustain long-term economic growth and put Americans back to work. Grants provided through the Community Parks Revitalization Act would provide such a solution.  Research demonstrates that investments in parks and recreation projects positively affect our economy through the creation of jobs.  For instance, the Political Economy and Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts estimates that 20 jobs are created for every $1 million invested in park projects, a higher rate than many other sectors.  Additionally, the Outdoor Industry Association estimates that outdoor recreational activities annually yield about $646 billion in spending, and supports 6.1 million jobs.

Parks and recreational spaces also attract businesses to communities, and help increase commercial and residential property values.  Supporting public parks and recreation infrastructure is a smart, efficient way to leverage limited resources and provide for economic development in communities throughout the nation. - American Society Of Landscape Architects, 9/24/12

Emphasis mine.

And just like Leslie Knope, Hagan is also dedicated to tackling obesity and this bill would be a big step in the right direction:

The Community Parks Revitalization Act will not only provide jobs and help grow our local economies, it would also help improve the health of our nation.  Chronic obesity has rapidly increased as Americans have become more sedentary.  Providing community parks and other recreation spaces encourage active living.  Studies have found that creating parks and recreational trails near where people live can lead to a 48% increase in physical activity. - American Society Of Landscape Architects, 9/24/12
I'm not sure what the status is of this bill but if this bill could pass, not only would it be good for our economy and the nation's health but could be the ticket to help seal Hagan's chances of re-election.  Like Mark Begich of Alaska, Hagan is going to be a top target of the 2014 mid term elections.  I have not always supported all of Hagan's votes but on this issue, I fully support her.  Hagan is the closest thing we are going to get to a Leslie Knope in the Senate and I for one will be fighting for her when the time comes.  The GOP may have control of the state house and the governor's mansion but we cannot let them, Karl Rove and any other outside group defeat Hagan.  Lets give her a head start so we can keep someone in the Senate who is serious about our parks, our health and job creation:


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Originally posted to pdc on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 05:30 PM PST.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE.

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