By David Strecker
Last month I asked all to pray for rain. Well our prayers have been answered. The south end of Roberts island received just over 3 inches of rain in 24 hours. Unfortunately, I do know of some walnuts still sitting on the ground and the day after the storm I drove around and was sad to see a lot of tomatoes that were not harvested yet. My mom always said a farmer wanted it to rain when it wasn’t and wanted it to stop once it did rain. When we are at the mercy of Mother Nature you can only take what you get.
Mother Nature always seems to come through, the problem we face in California is how bad Sacramento will foul up the water supply. Entering 2022, it is still the same problems. No new water storage built in a generation. Constant regulation added. Whether it is SGMA, unimpaired flows, nitrogen management or no new dams our water problems are not going to be fixed overnight. However, huge strides could be made if only Sacramento began using its brain rather than just filling its wallets.
The last two years has been an endless political game. Us farmers and ranchers have been in the front lines as pawns in a very competitive chess game. Pawns are typically stepped on and discarded rapidly. A lot can change and good things can happen when a line of pawns cannot be penetrated That is exactly why the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Farmers United PAC was created.
In 2020, The Farmers United PAC made a difference in two key votes. The first was endorsing Robert Rickman for county supervisor. Supervisor Rickman was endorsed because of his long history and involvement in our local community as well as his history of working alongside and knowing the importance of agricultural in our county. He has been a pleasure to work with this past year and is a positive contributor to our county and will support us into the future.
Secondly, we help lead a statewide campaign against Proposition 15. If Prop 15 had passed it would have been devastating to agriculture. A simple yes or no question was either going to be good or bad. Although we defeated Prop 15, we will hear of it or something similar in the future.
2022 will have several key races to watch. 2020 was obviously a very important election year and is now showing us why it was so important. Federally, California has one of its senator seats up for election. Alex Padilla is currently serving as the junior senator from California but was not elected to that position. He was named by Gov. Newsom. Simply put, if you do not agree with the governor, you probably don’t like Alex Padilla.
We will get back to Newsom, but federally, we will also have either one or two House of Representatives races. California lost a seat in the House of Representatives. This may or may not change who you can vote for as your congressional representative.
Most likely, the boundaries will have significant changes for San Joaquin County. Currently we are encompassed within the 9th and 10th Congressional Districts filled by Jerry McNerney and Josh Harder. You may jump from one district to the other or maybe San Joaquin County is only one congressional district, possibly we could be split up more. Time will tell but please stay tuned. Across the Nation, who serves in the House of Representatives and Senate will have huge implications over the next several years.
Back to California and Gov. Newsom. If I have not made myself clear in past articles, I’m not a fan! Not quite sure who is and why they would be. However, although he survived the recall election, next November we do get a say in who will lead California over the next four years. I do believe the recall election was a lot closer than the numbers say. I know that is easy to just say and may sound like an excuse but I have faith that something special can happen in California if we begin the fight now. State Assembly seats are two year terms. I assume the three incumbents will seek re-election. Carlos Villapadua, Heath Flora and Jim Cooper have all been helpful and supportive of agriculture in the past. I look forward to how these races shape up and that they can continue to compliment our industry and communities.
The 2022 election at the county level will be very important. Two of our supervisor positions will be terming out. Supervisor Katherine Miller in District 2 Supervisor Chuck Winn in District 4. San Joaquin County is also facing some district line changes. The Farmers United PAC will be looking at both of these races very closely. Also, San Joaquin Counties District Attorney position is up for election. All three of these positions not only have an impact on our agricultural businesses but our daily lives. Homelessness, drugs and crime are all too common. Most likely each of these have impacted our businesses and homes in some way if not directly.
This is exactly why Farmers United was created. We can have a huge impact on our local elections and have a tremendous influence outside of our county. I have asked you in the past and like before it is very important for you to participate in the Farmers United cause. If you are able to make a contribution now, please contact the San Joaquin Farm Bureau office at (209) 931-4931 to do so. Additionally, you may contribute by sending a check to Farmers United PAC at 3290 North Ad Art Road, Stockton, CA 95215, or electronically at www.sjfb.org on the Farmers United webpage.
We will be having many events as the New Year starts. Please look for flyers in your mail as well as any notices in this paper.
I was a bit discouraged personally after the failed recall election when I wrote my October article. However, I also asked for you all to pray for rain. Look what we did when we all came together. Let’s work together to fix our county, state and country as we enter the 2022 election. Finally, since we worked so well together on the rain, lets all pray for snow now. Not here!!! Up in the mountains so our reservoirs are full and can sustain us through the year.
May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!