A Disneyland cast member has started a petition to have California Governor Gavin Newsome give the park permission to reopen. The world-famous theme park has been closed since the middle of March. Meanwhile, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida has been open for weeks. Reopening of the theme parks has been somewhat controversial, but the Florida park has been seeing far less visitors than they expected, which will see them limit hours that the park is open this fall. In other words, social distancing has been rather easy at Walt Disney World.

Disneyland cast member Jose Martinez started the petition and wrote a lengthy statement to California Governor Gavin Newsome. This petition is the exact opposite of the one that union members started when the park was scheduled to reopen back in July. Martinez says, "Many of us heard the concerns of the community regarding reopening Disneyland, and the subsequent, successful request to push back its opening date." He continues, "As a Cast Member approaching my 3rd year of seniority, I want to voice an underrepresented population of the frontline Cast community."

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Jose Martinez goes on to detail why Disneyland should reopen, citing Disney World's success with reopening and not being the source of new cases. Martinez goes on to talk about Disney's dedication to keeping parks safe for visitors and employees, noting that the Florida park has been excelling at keeping things clean. He then states his case: "We Cast Members don't just want to work, we NEED to." Millions of people across the United States are jobless due to the public health crisis and unemployment benefits are running out. Congress took their summer vacation before coming to an agreement on unemployment compensation.

Jose Martinez's case continues and brings up the topic of the public health crisis and politics. "It doesn't need to be saving the economy versus lives, or Republicans versus Democrats," he says. "It's easy to classify choices as binary, but it doesn't have to be that way as Dr. Fauci told PBS earlier this month." As of this writing, Disneyland has no plans to reopen their doors, though some elementary schools in select counties have been given authority to open their doors for classes in a few weeks.

So far, Jose Martinez's petition to reopen Disneyland has 206 signatures. Some will understand Martinez's point of view and his current situation, but there are still a lot of people who believe opening the park would be a terrible idea for Southern California. Unlike the Florida park, the California park does not have to rely on people flying in from other states to stay afloat. The Anaheim park is centrally located to where people from all over California can easily get to it, and perhaps cause cases to sky rocket yet again. If you'd like to help out Jose Martinez's cause, you can head over to Change.org to sign his petition and try to get the attention of Gavin Newsome.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick