The Whim of Nature and Conservatives
The recent floods exposed a problem that nobody seems to want to talk about: the fragility of communities where workers, immigrants and low-income families live. Pajaro in the Salinas Valley, and Planada and Allensworth in the San Joaquin Valley, suffered first the fury of the rains and then the mistakes of the bureaucracy.
Worse still, news reports indicate that at least one farmer diverted the flow of water so that it would not affect his crops resulting in the flooding of one of these towns.
Low-income workers and families are at the mercy not only of nature but also of those in power acting at will.
We see this daily with or without storms. For example, Fresno County’s supervisors still refuse to accept the name change for the unincorporated community now called Yokuts Valley and have sued the state to keep the old name, as the Community Alliance reported in its April issue.
This desperate, macho attitude will cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars. This expensive whim will not achieve its purpose nor will it change the course of the supervisors.
Conservatives talk about reducing government interference. For them, this means that they do not want laws and regulations that affect—however slightly—the operation of private entities. However, they want the reach of the government to impose their ideological whims and prevent the popular will, as is the case with the Fresno County supervisors.
In California, we see progress, albeit slower than expected, but progress at last. This is thanks to citizen participation, to the pressures and votes of the citizens.
We need this participation. We need it to grow and increase the pressure. We cannot let our state become Florida or Texas.
Until next month.