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Senator Kamala Harris met with growers while touring Valley fruit packing house

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While the wet winter means an abundant supply this year, the long term outlook remains sketchy. (KFSN)

California's Junior Senator got an up close look at a grape vineyard, and a packing house, before sitting down with a room full of Valley growers and elected officials. All were in agreement-- their number one concern is the Valley's future water supply.

"I've seen how our communities have deteriorated because of the instability and unreliability of water," said Sal Parra, San Joaquin.

While the wet winter means an abundant supply this year, the long term outlook remains sketchy and most here want the senator to help get the proposed Temperance Flat Dam built on the San Joaquin River.

At a press briefing Harris only agreed that finding a way to assure a stable water supply was her goal.

"Is it going to be about the building of dams or is it about looking at other options also, looking at other sources of renewable and sustainable and reliable sources of water."

Most of the agricultural leaders who met with Harris, who's a Democrat, are conservative and Republican, still they welcomed the meeting.

"Anytime we can open the door to a US Senators Office obviously is important," said Ryan Jacobsen, Fresno County farm Bureau.

On other issues, Harris expressed hope that during this holiday break, her Republican Senate colleagues are hearing how damaging their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act will be.

"Because what I suspect is that happening is that everyone is having the experience I'm having, speaking with people regardless of their party affiliation who are saying this will be harmful and we have to stop playing politics with people's public health."

On North Korea's latest missile launch, Harris said it was important for the US not to go it alone in dealing with the threat.

"We must be firm, we must recognize that there is a real connection in terms of the work and responsibility that China and Japan can take through partnership with this, and we should be welcoming those conversations."

Immigration was another issue growers are concerned about. Harris noted she is working with Senator Diane Feinstein on the Agricultural Workers Protection Act, legislation that would allow undocumented farmworkers to become legal, and work toward citizenship.

Related Topics:
politicsagriculturekamala harrisfresno countywaterFowler
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