Volume 8, Issue 45  |  June 6, 2023Subscribe

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Congressman Rouda responds to new beach stay-at-home order

Congressman Harley Rouda praised Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday for his concern in ordering the stay-at-home order regarding Orange County beaches. However, Congressman Rouda also said that closing the beaches is not the long-term answer.

“I applaud Governor Newsom and his team for successfully flattening the curve in a majority of California,” said Congressman Rouda. “However, we need to develop a common-sense plan that prioritizes local residents’ physical and mental health – not indefinitely shut down our beaches. The sacrifice and service of Orange County residents cannot continue endlessly; we must find safe and sustainable ways to adjust to a ‘new normal’ in the weeks and months to come.”

However, Congressman Rouda was in agreement that last week’s concerns were deserved.

Harley Rouda

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Courtesy of the Office of Harley Rouda

U.S. Congressman Harley Rouda, representing California 48th District

“Opening beaches to thousands of Southern Californians during a weekend heat wave without adequate social distancing protocols was a reckless action that put the families of California’s 48th District in harm’s way,” said Rouda. “Unfortunately, this discussion has become political and polarizing with two extremes defining the debate – reopen everything immediately or continue the lockdown without an end in sight. Orange County residents, regardless of their political party, want their neighborhoods to remain safe and accessible. Most Americans are between the 20-yard lines, and I firmly believe there is a way to use common sense to find common ground.” 

He then called on Orange County leadership to “emulate cities like Laguna Beach,” by developing plans that are rational and thoughtful in providing residents access to distanced recreation spaces.

“As we navigate the coronavirus crisis, the people of coastal Orange County deserve clear, concise and comprehensive plans that balance the protection of their physical, mental and economic health,” added Rouda.

He also called on local leaders to draft plans to safely and gradually relax stay-at-home orders, specifically citing that the “beaches and local economies cannot remain vacant and shuttered until a vaccine is developed.”

Congressman Rouda promised to work with Governor Newsom, the Orange County Board of Supervisors and other local leaders to “push for common-sense solutions that put Orange County working families and small businesses on the path to normalcy. At minimum, these plans must include clear time intervals and benchmarks in addition to the increased testing and contact tracing capabilities we finally see coming online in Orange County.”

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