by David Taub
Antonio Villaraigosa stopped by in Fresno to speak at a water forum with many of the area’s heavy hitters. Hosted at the Univision studios in north Fresno, the former mayor of Los Angeles met with the likes of Johnny Amaral from the Westlands Water District, Los Banos farmer Joe Del Bosque and Orange Cove Mayor Victor Lopez.
In between sessions, Villaraigosa spoke exclusively with GV Wire on his thoughts for solving the Central Valley’s water problems. “I’ve said for a long time in response to this notion that cities are at war with rural areas, that the coast is somehow at odds with agriculture, we all got to our part. There is too much finger pointing and not enough extending a hand of friendship and solutions.”
When asked whether Los Angelinos understand the plight of Central Valley farmers: “I don’t. I think most of us don’t understand the other. We live in our enclaves. This is a big state. If we are going to thrive as a state, we have to thrive together, to work together. I am an environmentalist. I believe we have to protect and preserve our environment for the next generation. But, I think we can do that in a way that is not at the expense of people who are suffering today.”
Photo credit: Roe Borunda