Sacramento California became a firestorm of angry voters voicing their concerns about the current state and national issues impacting the economy.
The protesters started to arrive at the capital steps around 8:00 in the morning by 10:00 the crowds had swelled to more than 1,000 people and noon saw the number increase to 6,000. Among them were 35 San Diego residents that made the grueling all-night drive to Sacramento.
Petitions circulating around included the California Taxpayers Protection Act of 2010, which will limit the benefits illegal immigrants can receive from the government for their American born children; the part-time legislature bill and the repeal of AB32, California’s version of cap-and-trade.
The diverse crowd carried home-made signs with slogans like “No cap and trade, our electricity is too high; fruit trees are dead, so are your political careers; and no hate…not all wee weed up!”
Lynn Miller of San Diego also made the trek to Sacramento to ask Governor Schwarzenegger to repeal AB32 as well as, “Turn the water back on and get the 40 percent of unemployed workers back to work in the field.” Gene Buel concurred and said, “Stop creating a desert in our central valley.”
The plight of many farmers in the central Californian region is daunting at best. Chester Andrews is a third-generation farmer who works a couple-hundred acre farm in Mendota. Along with his three sisters, Andrews’s family has toiled on the farm for more than 100 years.
“I’ve been targeted by environmentalists simply because we incorporated our farm to save precious tax dollars,” he said. “But we are a family-run farm.”
Their almond and pistachio trees are threatened by the lack of water and the only thing keeping them alive right now is the well water the farm procures. However, this year the level has dropped by 60 feet and Andrews fears his water will completely run out within a couple of years.
All this anguish is created by the Delta Smelt fish. Families are losing their livelihoods overnight – all for something they cannot eat and something that threatens the state’s bread basket’s very existence.
“They are killing us,” Andrews said about the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Patriots drove from all corners of the state to show their displeasure with the government. Christina Michas, of Palm Springs, said her most memorable moment so far was when she made a pit stop at Harris Ranch in Coalinga.
“The employees told us about all the hardship in the Central Valley and they all knew some affected by the current crisis. It was very, very sad.”
While Michas was dining and talking to the locals; California Senator Diane Feinstein walked in with her Secret Service entourage. “Let’s just say she isn’t very popular here.”
Earlier this year, Feinstein said she would make sure the food pantry’s received money and food to ease the crisis, yet simply turning on the water would solve the problem and allow the residents to earn a living and not take money from the government.
In an interview this week with the Fresno Bee Feinstein said, “There are 30 lawsuits on the biological opinions and two separate opinions, one for the Smelt and one for the Salmon. The rules need to be reconsidered.”
Do you think?
The rally begins. (Part Two)
For more stories; www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
This story could not have been written without the help of Leslie Eastman who has been my eyes and ears on this protest in Sacramento