Friday, March 18, 2011


For Immediate Release March 18, 2011 Sacramento, California


Supervisor Phil Serna

The award was presented to Phil during the North Sacramento Chamber of Commerce luncheon March 17, 2011 at Enotria by ARPPS President Michael Rushford & Bob Slobe.

Phil is the Sacramento County Supervisor for District 1, elected with over 70% of the vote in his first elected office.

District 1 is the site of the most impacted area of the Parkway from illegal camping by the homeless, which for the past 25 years has caused great environmental destruction, a drastic lowering of public safety, and the virtual holding hostage of the residents of the adjacent neighborhoods to safely use their part of the Parkway.

Supervisor Serna has taken a clear stand to protect the Parkway from the corrosive impact of illegal camping while retaining a compassionate stand to help the homeless.

His voluntary charitable experience, as a member of the board of directors of Cottage Housing, which provides a clean and sober environment—enforced through drug testing—in the residential housing complexes it operates, amplifies his commitment.

In a February 23, 2011 article in the Sacramento Bee about the Parkway and the illegal camping he wrote:

“Much has been reported in recent days regarding the situation along the lower reach of the American River Parkway. Unfortunately, there's been a predictable attempt by some to hijack public attention to narrowly advocate their cause instead of acknowledging the complexities of the situation.

“Dealing with those complexities and seeking solutions is the responsibility of your local elected officials. As one of them, I've made every effort during the past three weeks to thoughtfully and compassionately address the issue of illegal camping, public safety, environmental impact and homelessness. Admittedly, it is not an easy thing to do 50 days into the job.

“Parkway users deserve a safe, clean environment free from harassment or other personal threat. They should not feel compelled to avoid the parkway for fear of their own safety, which is what a number of constituents have conveyed to my office in recent weeks. They deserve better; we all deserve better.

“The American River Parkway offers one of the best recreational opportunities anywhere in the country, but it will be enjoyed only if it is safe. To that end, local law enforcement, including Sacramento County park rangers, have established added presence along the lower reach of the parkway to enhance public safety and to encourage parkway users to return.

“Let's also remember that the parkway itself is a "constituent" here. Illegal camping has produced tons of trash and debris, some of which is hazardous biological waste. Illegal campgrounds, large and small, "self-governed" or not, contribute to this problem. Along the American River Parkway, refuse has collected in makeshift dumps, and what doesn't remain in these derelict collection sites oftentimes is spread by the wind, is scavenged by animals or ends up pooled along the riverbanks.”

We are very happy to award this level of commitment by Supervisor Phil Serna to one of the finest urban recreational areas in the country.

Organizational Leadership
American River Parkway Preservation Society
Sacramento, California
March 17, 2011

Contact Information

David H. Lukenbill, Senior Policy Director
American River Parkway Preservation Society
2267 University Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95825
P: 916-486-3856 E:
W: B: