Californians are accustomed to seeing changeable outdoor message signs run by Caltrans. They usually have public safety messages, Amber Alerts, and traffic directions. These Caltrans boards are an important service to the community and Californians have agreed this is the appropriate type of information that should be on our highway and freeway’s public spaces. Californians want to keep our public right-of-way space free from commercial advertising.
Instead of acknowledging the importance of the existing system, and the important relationship between advertisers and local government, state Assembly member Kevin Mullin has authored a bill that would steamroll over this successful approach that has been working for many years. AB 1405 leaves our public roads open to total commercialization and blight. Not only that, this bill also wrestles away local government control and completely ignores the public’s wishes regarding outdoor signage. It shifts critical local revenue out of the hands of local government and sends it straight to Sacramento.
While Mullins claims this bill will generate millions in revenue each year for the state of California, what he fails to mention is the enormous impact this would have on existing municipal governments and residents.
AB 1405, would completely destroy long-term, productive public-private partnerships that many local governments in our state enter into with outdoor signage companies. The economic benefits of billboards would be ripped from local county and city governments, as well as local businesses, and handed over to Caltrans in this power grab. The profits are presently shared between neighborhoods, residents, and local businesses. Municipal governments often negotiate billboard agreements that provide ongoing revenue to support public safety and other initiatives in exchange for the use of public property. Currently, the billboard industry supports local business and local government initiatives. AB1405 will eviscerate that business, instead giving the revenue to Sacramento. To learn more about this power grab, read this article. Most importantly, get involved before the vote.
Protect your highways! Keep public thoroughfares in California free and fair to the public!
What Can You Do?
You can directly affect the outcome of this vote! Raise your voice to stop this harmful bill. The vote is set to take place Tuesday, 6/26/18. Pick up the phone and call your State Representatives! PLEASE Call/Email/Write/Post on their Social Media that you oppose AB 1405:
- Senator Bob Wieckowski, California Senate District 10 – 916-651-4010 –phone is best!
- Senator Ben Allen, California Senate District 26 – 916-651-4026 – phone is best!
- Senator Ted Gaines, California Senate District 1 – 916-651-4001 – phone is best!