The Rural Platform, RT66 and Desert Water
California draws strength from our diversity, both culturally and geographically. While Ruth agrees with the California Democratic Party's stand that "the economy of California is built on the combination of the robust commercial and industrial enterprise of our urban areas and the abundant natural resources of our rural areas," the statement falls short of the truth about rural. Rural includes agricultural, mining and military industries--the ROBUST top three economic booms in California's history.
Ruth agrees with the goals established by the California Democratic Party for its first Rural Platform but recognizes that the list falls pathetically short when it comes to rural desert values. No where does the list include protections of the underground Mojave desert aquifer that is naturally protected from evaporation while it drains into the Colorado River OR the faltering tourism industry being experienced in the desert due to the closure of Route 66 between Needles and Barstow that comprises the leg home on the "Golden Triangle" between the LA airport, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and back to Santa Monica.
The special challenges that the Democratic Party mentions that they have in developing policies and programs that work in rural communities is in part due to the obvious fact that the Rural Caucus is run by northern Californians who have plentiful surface water that does not evaporate as rapidly as the surface water in southern California's deserts. Therefore, Ruth has added a few words in CAPITALS to the Rural Platform offered by the Democratic Party.
- Encourage elected officials to consider the effect of any new policies or programs on ALL rural California, by asking, “Is it fair and will it work in YOUR UNIQUE CORNER OF rural California communities?”;
- Support legislation that provides funding for equal services to all communities, in order to enhance the vibrant culture and economy of rural areas;
- Ensure that rural residents FARM ANIMALS AND WILDLIFE have reliable, clean, safe, WATER AND RESIDENTS AND SMALL RURAL BUSINESSES HAVE affordable water (ON SITE USE ONLY) and waste disposal.
- OUTLAW WHOLE SALE PRIVATIZATION OF DESERT GROUND WATER. DO NOT ALLOW CORPORATIONS TO PIPE OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORT EAST MOJAVE DESERT GROUND WATER OFF SITE;
- Support equitable distribution of state resources, programs, and tax dollars based on need, not population;
- Support policies that allow lawful and responsible gun ownership for hunting and self-protection, compliant with California’s gun safety and background check laws and regulations; NO WEAPONS SHALL BE TOLERATED IN OUR SCHOOLS except in the case of lawful on a case-by-case basis, delegated law enforcement presence.
- Maintain a lasting and respectful relationship with Tribal Nations and oppose all attempts to diminish tribal sovereignty, tribal culture, land and natural resources, and the general welfare of tribes; PROMOTE AND SUPPORT THE CURATION OF ORPHANED COLLECTIONS AND PRESERVATION OF PREHISTORIC CULTURAL MATERIALS AND SITES. SUPPORT THE CALIFORNIA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM.
- Build a stronger rural and agricultural economy, with sound conservation practices and environmentally sustainable business and agriculture; SUPPORT CA PARKS AND RECREATION'S ACQUISITION AND MAINTENANCE OF RT66 BETWEEN BARSTOW AND NEEDLES.
- Support stronger agricultural worker protections, including regulation of work hours and worker safety, elimination of child labor, adequate housing for migrant workers, and sanitary facilities in the field;
- Promote collaborative stewardship of our finite natural resources, including land, water, wilderness, forests, and other resources, by providing assistance to producers who conserve and improve natural resources on their land;
- Support strengthening rural broadband infrastructure in order to make rural businesses more competitive;
- Create a rural economic development plan for all rural communities regardless of county population; and,
- Encourage SENSIBLE, PLANNED NON SPRAWLING rural COMMUNITY business growth and development of infrastructure, such as water, sewer, power, Internet, and transportation, FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES. [in order to retain and create job]