02 Oct DROUGHT RALLY DRAWS BIG CROWD IN MENDOTA

Locals desperately seeking relief from the drought renewed their call for action with a rally in a Mendota Park.

They demanded Governor Brown call for a special legislative session to deal with worsening drought problems.

A shanty town went up along Highway 33 in Mendota because farm laborers said they couldn’t find enough work because of the on-going drought.

Families have been living inside structures made of wood and cardboard.

But this hasn’t just been happening in Mendota.

Westside Elementary Principal Baldero Hernandez said, “People living in a cardboard box. It’s happening in Five Points. It’s happening all over and it’s happening to children.”

Laborers, lawmakers and others whose jobs rely on agriculture gathered at the “Taking Back Our Water” rally.

Mendota mayor Robert Silva told the crowd, “Sometimes I think this is our last water rally but you know what, things haven’t changed and it takes organizations like you to wake us up, to wake everybody up.”

Those who attended we’re all hoping change was in the air.

Los Banos farmer Cannon Michael said, “Right now things aren’t working for the fish and they’re not working for the people so something needs to be done and this is sort of a way to draw more attention to the issue.”

Attendees were asked to sign a letter asking the Governor to call for a special legislative session to find real solutions to the California drought.

Republican Assembly Member Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) said, “Let’s put on hold the big water grab for the environmentalists and decide we’re going to change policy.”

The letter which was passed out called on the Governor to relax environmental policies which organizers believed has hurt farmers and families.

Source: http://abc30.com/politics/drought-rally-draws-big-crowd-in-mendota/1014195/