February 5, 2021
The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor of the State of California
State Capitol, First Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Newsom:
We write this letter to express our strong, bipartisan support for outdoor youth sports and urge the California Department of Public Health to issue new guidance that will permit outdoor youth sporting activities and competitions to resume immediately across the state, with increased safety protocols in place.
We believe strongly that California’s children are in dire need of the essential elements that youth sporting activities provide including sportsmanship, exercise, team identity, accountability and enjoyment during this very difficult time in their lives. As we know, the effects of pandemic isolation on children have resulted in mental health issues including anxiety, depression and increased rates of suicide. There is also an alarming equity disparity on children from low-income communities, as private schools and exclusive club teams continue to participate in sporting activities by traveling outside of California, which is against current guidelines.
Millions of children have been "benched" from playing sports since March 2020, and the current guidance from the California Department of Public Health will keep most youth sporting activities and competitions shut down in 2021. In looking at the other states across the nation, we believe it is possible to allow outdoor youth sporting activities to continue with increased safety protocols to limit COVID transmission.
We believe California coaches will work to follow local, county and state guidelines and create safe environments where youth athletes and coaches work together to keep COVID transmission rates low.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and again, we urge the Department of Public Health to issue new guidance to permit outdoor youth sporting activities to resume immediately with proper safety protocols to place.
Assemblymember, 9th District