Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio is the only progressive in a crowded race for the Republican-held congressional seat in the Central Valley (CA-21). It's the most Democratic district in the country that is currently represented by a Republican (David Valadao). We asked Bryan to discuss what sets him apart from Valadao and his conservative Democratic primary opponents. In short, Bryan is running on a bold platform of change and we asked him to focus on the Climate crisis in central California.
This is the beginning of the final FEC quarter of 2021. So far the DCCC has kept out of the CA-21 primary and haven't leaned towards any of the conservative candidates. That's a good thing-- and Blue America wants to keep it that way. Bryan's grassroots support is strong but his opponents are all drinking from the hose of corporate corruption. We feel certain that as long as Bryan can show a strong last quarter-- that started this week-- the DCCC will do what they promised: hands off the primary. So please, consider contributing to Bryan's campaign by clicking on the Blue America 2022 thermometer above and donating what you can. In a grassroots campaign no amount is too small.
Climate Crisis In The Central Valley-- Change Takes Courage
-by Bryan Osorio
To say that climate change is one of the great challenges of our time would be a gross understatement. And while its devastating effects continue to be felt with continuously increasing severity throughout the United States, few places have been affected as gravely as the state of California. The Golden State currently faces a wide array of dire environmental issues: severe drought, heatwaves, toxic air pollution, raging wildfires, and more. Californians are tired of the weak, ineffective leadership which has failed to take the drastic measures required to address our climate problems. Now is the time for bold action to ensure that our future and our children’s future is healthy, sustainable, and prosperous.
As a lifelong resident of Delano in Kern County, California, I have seen firsthand how climate change affects the residents in my city, district, and the entire San Joaquin Valley. In an agricultural powerhouse producing a quarter of the nation’s food, the most pressing consequences of climate change in the Central Valley are the extreme heat waves and drought which threaten our crops and the public health of farmworkers. Farming is a way of life for so many residents here, but as water becomes more scarce the future of the agricultural industry becomes more uncertain, which could spell disaster for jobs and quality of life. As a district, state, and country, our elected leaders must adjust our climate policies or we will continue down a path of uncertainty for our families, economy, and way of life.
We must adjust our trajectory to invest more heavily in innovative water policy solutions that will adapt to climate change. The fight to address the drought will be done in conjunction with the state regulations and be inclusive of clean drinking water solutions. While we need to make sure we have water for agricultural production, our communities also need access to clean drinking water which is lacking across the Central Valley from the recurring water contamination-- which has been traced to many agricultural dischargers.
I would support solutions that will include investing in outdated and lacking water infrastructure, research and development of new conservation technology, equitable funding for disadvantaged communities, and improvements to governance structures. I would also advocate for reform policies that would include provisions to strengthen the Clean Water Act in ways that will better protect drinking water sources and ecosystems, promote accountability of man-made climate change factors like agricultural overpumping, and improve land use planning for recharging depleted groundwater systems.
Republican David Valadao, however, has a “more nuanced view on climate change” and doesn’t believe climate change is worsening the drought. This is not a surprise because in his prior terms as a congress member, Valadao earned a 5% lifetime score with the League of Conservation Voters for his votes against environmental protections and for his votes repealing environmental regulations. Valadao during the election seasons will campaign as a bi-partisan legislator but will continue enabling the climate-change-deniers in his party. He voted for the Keystone XL Pipeline and recently voted against mitigating the dangerous chemicals found in drinking water in the Central Valley, PFAS. Valadao is poised to vote against Biden’s Build Back Better bill which is set to invest in infrastructure, like that which would be conducive to clean drinking water. Ultimately, Valadao claims to our district’s constituents that he will advocate for clean drinking water, but he is, in reality, advocating for corporations to continue profiting at the expense of our communities’ right to clean water and infrastructure. He is siding with his party instead of the people of CA-21 who are suffering from climate change."