The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is pushing for the California state legislature to convert Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch into a state park.
With the NAACP’s prompting, Democratic Assemblyman Mike Davis is putting the finishing touches on a proposal to order state parks officials to look into the possibility of honoring the late King of Pop by converting his 2,600 acre property into a public park.
Davis, who chairs of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media, told The Daily Caller that this will be a great way to commemorate and honor Michael Jackson.
“Michael Joseph Jackson was a world renowned musician, not unlike Elvis Presley,” Davis said. “Not only a gifted entertainer and talent, he was also a great humanitarian and as such deserves something such as this to honor his memory.”
Davis said the idea for the legislation came from Alice Huffman, President of the California NAACP.
“I think overall, the proposal the NAACP came up with is that this site will highlight the positive contributions that Michael Joseph Jackson gave to the world of music and to commemorate his gifts to humanity and finally have the state realize what a valuable revenue generating facility Neverland could be, in much the same way Graceland is.”
“I think Michael’s history is world history and I think it would become the number one attraction for the state parks if we could pull it off,” Huffman, who also serves on the state Parks Commission, told The Sacramento Bee.
Currently, the property is in the hands of Colony Capital LLC, a private equity firm. The firm has reportedly owned the ranch since Jackson’s foreclosure crisis in 2008. The company was not prepared to comment on speculations about the property’s state park potential.
Ronilee Clark, chief of the Southern Division California State Parks Department, told The Daily Caller that with the California budget situation, a state park for Michael Jackson was probably not the highest priority.
“The important first step here is money for the acquisition and California state parks have been suffering,” she said. “We barely have enough money to keep our current parks open, much less buy more, and the Jackson land would not be inexpensive. I have heard figures of around $100 million.”
The California state budget deficit is currently $19 billion.
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