Senator Melissa Hurtado and State Leaders Hold Community Discussion on Expanding Water Access to the Southern Central Valley

November 12, 2019

SELMA, CA – State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), representing the 14th Senate District in California, which includes cities in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties, hosted a water roundtable discussion with state and local leaders on Tuesday, November 12 in Selma, California. Attended by more than 65 partners, community members presented a southern Central Valley perspective on the impacts of limited access to clean drinking water and water supplies utilized for irrigation purposes.

“Today’s community roundtable discussion was a continuation of the conversation that the southern Central Valley has been holding for the last decades,” stated Senator Melissa Hurtado. “In 2019, the southern Central Valley was able to secure close to $145 million to address outdated water infrastructure systems and provide temporary relief for California’s most vulnerable families. The discussion today between community leaders was a unique opportunity to share our perspective of how we’ve been directly impacted. Although, as a community, we look forward to continue working with California’s leadership on this issue, we believe that there is still much more to be done because neglecting any water issue is neglecting the southern Central Valley region as a whole.”

“Our City is proud to host collaborative discussions on the issue of water insecurity; which is not only an issue in Selma but throughout the Central Valley. We welcome the discussion led by State Senator for Senate District-14, Melissa Hurtado, Chief Policy Advisor for Energy and Environment for Senate Pro Tem Atkins, Kip Lipper, State Water Resource Control Board Chairman Joaquin Esquivel and Legislative Secretary to Governor Newsom, Anthony Williams and look forward to hearing from our state leadership on how we can work better together for a better future” said Selma Mayor Scott Robertson.

“Since 2006, the Community of Arvin has been raising our voice about California’s rural communities and the need for more resources to address failing water systems,” said Raul Barraza, Jr, General Manager for Arvin Community Service District. “For the first time, we feel like California’s leaders are finally recognizing that those who are mostly impacted by limited access to water are families of color and communities under poverty. I look forward to continuing to have these open conversations and being an advocate for the southern Central Valley,” continued Barraza.

“Today our Southeast Asian farmers are faced with many challenges which includes representation, cultural and language barriers. In the last few years, we’ve searched for opportunities to include the Southeast Asian Community as part of the on-going conversations on access to clean water.  Being a part of these conversations is imperative to build changes in policy that reflect our needs” said ABIRC Executive Director, Blong Xiong.

“Senator Hurtado is one of the leaders in this state on water issues and was instrumental in securing safe and affordable drinking water funding in this year’s budget. Her dedication to clean water availability and protecting her constituents—who are acutely impacted by this issue—is commendable, and I look forward to continued discussions and collaboration,” said Senate President pro Tem Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego).

About Senator Melissa Hurtado

Senator Melissa Hurtado is an advocate for expanding access to health care and clean water, growing educational opportunities and creating more quality jobs. She represents the 14th Senate District in California, which includes cities in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties. Senator Hurtado was born in Fresno, California and was raised in the City of Sanger, where she still resides with her family.