WASHINGTON, LOS ANGELES, April 25, 2023 – Scenic America and Scenic Los Angeles, the top organizations dedicated to promoting the visual character of the United States, have issued a joint statement expressing their strong opposition to four bills put forth by the California State Assembly. These bills, AB-476, AB-1175, AB-1415, and AB-1673, could potentially undermine regulations put in place to preserve the state’s scenic beauty and have negative implications on securing federal funding.
“The State seems to be putting the cart before the horse here,” stated Scenic America President Mark Falzone. “Isn’t it presumptuous to pass this to try and usurp LA’s very popular billboard ban? The Assembly should take an opposing stance to these bills.” The state government’s move to push these bills through the legislature disregards the importance of public input and could adversely affect California’s stunning landscapes, which have long been a source of pride for its residents.
Assembly Bill 1415, in particular, is a “gut and replace” bill that has raised serious concerns because it would facilitate the creation of new digital billboards along the 10 and 101 freeways downtown. “Why are they doing it this way? Who is behind it? Why are they behind it?” asked Scenic Los Angeles Director Dustan Batton. “This bill proposes significant changes to current laws governing outdoor advertising and could potentially undo the progress that Los Angeles has made in regulating billboards and other signs.”
Both organizations believe that passing these bills without proper public consultation could set a dangerous precedent for other states that value their natural beauty. “We must not let these bills slip under the radar. They are a threat to our environment, our communities, and our identity,” added Scenic Los Angeles President Patrick Frank.
Scenic America and Scenic Los Angeles urge lawmakers to prioritize public input and seek a more collaborative approach to addressing any issues related to outdoor advertising. We must come together to protect our natural beauty and ensure that future generations can enjoy the same breathtaking landscapes that make California so unique.