Radke Championing Advocacy Award
The Radke Championing Advocacy Award is awarded by the Park District and the Regional Parks Foundation to an advocacy champion who advances state or federal support for the East Bay Regional Park District. It is named for the late Ted Radke, a member of the Park District Board of Directors who, at 36 years of service, was the longest-serving board member in the District’s 88-year history. Director Radke established the legislative committee of the Board and was doggedly committed to strengthening the District’s ties to Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
2023 - U.S. Representative Mark DeSaulnier
U.S. Representative DeSaulnier has been a long-time supporter and avid user of Park District parks and trails. In 2022, he was instrumental in securing $3 million in federal funding for the District’s planned visitor center at Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50.
Representative DeSaulnier is the first award recipient serving in Washington, D.C.
Representative Mark DeSaulnier is known for championing policies that promote sustainability, environmental protection, and mitigate the consequential effects of climate change. He led the effort to secure a $3 million Community Benefit Project application for a future Visitor Center at Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50. The visitor center is envisioned as a joint facility with the National Park Service (NPS) to provide outdoor recreational opportunities, connect the public with the natural and human history of the park, and serve as a welcoming center for NPS to share the history of events commemorated by the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial.
2022 - Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan
Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan was instrumental in securing $4 million in the 2019-20 State Budget for restoration at McCosker Creek in Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve and $3.5 million in the 2021-22 state budget for wildfire protection equipment. The McCosker Creek restoration is daylighting culverted sections of the intermittent stream channel and revegetating the banks with plants native to the site. These efforts will improve stream flow and water quality for downstream native rainbow trout currently found in Upper San Leandro Creek. The wildfire protection equipment funds will address tree mortality as a public safety emergency, as well as fire suppression. Funds were used for upgrades to replace the Park District’s aging helicopter which is relied upon as a primary tool to drop water on fires burning in inaccessible terrain. The ability to quickly drop water helps the District fight fires more effectively and efficiently. The Assemblymember also provided leadership to permanently preserve the Tesla Park property of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area in the 2021-22 state budget process. The property is rich in cultural, historical and natural resources and identified in the Park District’s 2013 Master Plan as a priority to preserve.
2021 - State Senator Nancy Skinner
In the 2021-22 budget State Senator Nancy Skinner secured $10 million to address tree mortality on East Bay Regional Park District lands, a public safety emergency with widespread impact. These critical funds will be used to remove dead and dying trees to keep communities and District parklands safe. Subsequently, Senator Skinner championed $36 million in the 2022-23 budget for acquisition and clean-up of Point Molate Regional Park in Richmond. This site is part of the Park District’s 2013 Master Plan. In 2023, a new extension of the San Francisco Bay Trail is expected to open and expand public access to Point Molate. As a former Board Member who served alongside Ted Radke, the Park District is grateful for the long history of support and thankful for the Senator’s commitment and leadership which recognizes the severity of the moment we are in.
2020 - General Manager Robert E. Doyle
During 47 years at the East Bay Regional Park District, including ten years at the helm as General Manager, Robert E. Doyle left a legacy of advocacy on behalf of the Park District, as well as leadership in the parks and trails space at both the state and Federal level. During his tenure as General Manager, the Park District enacted Measure FF by 85.6% of the vote extending a parcel tax for the northwestern portion of the Park District. General Manager Doyle played a leading role statewide in enacting the first true State Park Bond – Proposition 68 (2018) – in 16 years. Doyle also testified in Congress for the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s competitive grant program and full funding, both of which were implemented during his tenure as General Manager. During the Obama Administration, Doyle participated in the launch of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative in 2011 and the first-ever White House Water Summit in 2016.
2019 - State Senator Steve Glazer
Senator Glazer was instrumental in securing $5 million in the 2018-19 State Budget for improvements at Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore, including upgrades to the park’s aging water delivery system, which supplies water throughout the 4,395-acre park. Funds also supported modernization of the park’s visitor center. Subsequently, the Senator also provided leadership to permanently preserve the Tesla Park property of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area in the 2021-22 state budget process. The property is rich in cultural, historical and natural resources and identified in the Park District’s 2013 Master Plan as a priority to preserve.
2018 - Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia was honored for his leadership on Proposition 68 – the Parks and Water Bond Act of 2018. This proposition authorized the issuance of $4 billion statewide bonds to finance a drought, water, parks, climate, coastal protection and the Outdoor Access for All program. The Assemblymember’s leadership insured California’s first successful statewide park bond effort in 16 years, generating funding for every park agency in California.
2017 - State Senator Bob Wieckowski
Senator Bob Wieckowski has worked on various legislation to help ensure a safe future for all Californians and our natural environment. He was honored with the Radke Award for his work on Senate Bill 1020 (2016). That important legislation created a pathway for the East Bay Regional Park District to fulfill its natural resources mitigation responsibilities. The District holds budget reserves, combined with compliance and other specified factors, to ensure continued stewardship of mitigation lands without permanently setting aside General Fund monies in an endowment. Subsequent to receiving this award, Senator Wieckowski played a leading role, along with Senator Nancy Skinner, in securing a $10 million state budget to address tree mortality in East Bay parks which is a public emergency caused by drought and climate change.