The Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation and others gave voice to frustration over the delay of federal drought relief at a Tuesday morning news conference.
Representatives of the Downtown Business Hub, Fresno County Farm Bureau, California Farm Water Coalition, California Water Alliance and community members joined the chorus.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California pulled the plug last week on secret, high-stakes negotiations over a water bill for her drought-plagued state, saying she and fellow lawmakers will try again next year.
Feinstein’s unexpected move ends, for now, what had become an increasingly contentious fight over ambitious drought-fighting legislation whose details few people have seen.
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After Tuesday’s event, community volunteer María L. Gutiérrez put out a release saying, in part, that the delay is “particularly disappointing news to the Latino community because many jobs are dependent upon agriculture. These same communities are suffering from unemployment levels that far exceed state and national averages.
The release quotes Aubrey Bettencourt, executive director of the California Water Alliance: “It is our desire that by holding this event, we encourage Senator Feinstein and her colleagues to restart discussions that could bring relief to our Valley. We cannot ask people to hold out for another legislative session, another year, or another dream that will turn this situation around.”