Transcript of Gov. Schwarzenegger Speaking at California Latino Water Coalition Press Conference
LOS ANGELES (RUSHPRNEWS) AUGUST 14, 2008—GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER:Well, thank you very much, Ruben, for the wonderful introduction. And I also want to thank Mayor Autry for being here today, my very dear friend and Mayor Lopez, another great friend – where is Mayor Lopez? Right here. Come on out here, don’t stand back there. Mayor Lopez, he’s the man. Give these two guys a big hand here. Exactly. (Applause)
We have all kinds of other political leaders here and legislators. I don’t want to mention all the names, because otherwise we are going to be here for an hour. But it is great to get this kind of great support from everybody. And, of course, I want to thank all of you for being here today. It’s fantastic to see so many people here today, standing up for water, for the water future of California. Each and every one of us knows how important water is for everything that we do in California, if it is for the farms, if it is for our jobs, if it is for our families, our environment and our future.
But we have failed so far. The farm workers of this state are working very hard to feed this state, to feed this country and to feed the world and they are raising their families. But our water system has stopped working for you. It’s out of date. We all know that it was designed in the ’60s when we had a population that was only half of what we have today.
Photo of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addressing the need for comprehensive water reform. (Photo by William Foster, Office of Governor Schwarzenegger).
With two dry winters now and a court restriction on Delta pumping we now have a full-blown crisis; a full-blown crisis is there. And one of our reservoirs – as a matter of fact, many of our reservoirs – are now half empty and we have to change that. Farmers are already cutting back and letting fields sit empty because they can’t guarantee adequate water.
I have been working on a comprehensive water package and a water plan for more than two years now, because letting California run out of water is simply no option. Failure in this case is no option. (Applause)
And I know that we all agree this is not a political issue, that it doesn’t matter. Democrats love clean water, Republicans like clean water. That’s why Senator Feinstein and I have put together a bond proposal, a bond proposal that should be on the November ballot and could give California the water that it needs to keep our economy strong and to keep our people working. But our water negotiations are bogged down with the budget stalemate and the clock is ticking to get both our budget reform and our water plan on the November ballot.
So I need your help and California needs your help. Visit your legislators. Call them. And if you can’t them on the phone leave a message, send them an email. Make your voices be heard after you leave here today. Let your legislators know that we have no time to waste and you want action, not partisan gridlock.
We need a budget and we need safe, clean and reliable water for California that California actually depends on. I know with your help and with your energy we can get the job done and we will have water for the future. So thank you very much for being here today. Thank you. Let your voices be heard. Thank you very much. (Applause)
And now I would like to bring out my very good friend, Mayor Autry, to say a few words. Please, Mayor. (Applause)
You know, about five years ago – no, we don’t hasta la vista. We want him here. You know, about five years ago we sat here. When the Governor was inaugurated he made a promise. He made a promise to move this state forward and leave no one behind in the process. And he said something very, very important. He said as strong as he is, he can’t do the lifting by himself. He needed you, us, the people, to do the heavy lifting.
Now, we’ve watched for four decades the place where we come from, the place we call home, be left behind to catastrophic consequences. This man to my right made a commitment that day and he has not waivered from that one bit, from that commitment. He would rather be kicked out of office than forsake the people he made those promises to.
Now, let me tell you, he made a promise that you can’t move California forward if you leave a portion of the state that’s larger than 22 states in the union behind. Now, I’ve seen him over the five years get threatened, tens of millions of dollars spent against him to try to get him to forsake that promise. I’ve seen them bring bills before him – that, in the small print that we don’t see, that has killed us – seen him say, “No, I will not sign this bill, because it leaves the San Joaquin Valley behind.” For that Governor, thank you for being the leader you are. Thank you for being a man of your word. (Applause)
Now, with that, this Governor didn’t send a representative. There are very high-level meetings going on right now that you have been instrumental in creating. He took the time. A lesser person, a person that didn’t love you as much as he does, would have sent a representative here. They’re waiting on him back there, very important discussions on water.
So, Governor, we know that your heart – you will be leaving to go back to those discussions but your heart and your soul will be here with us. So, on behalf of the folks here, we say go back and keep serving us like you have.
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