Call to action: Valley’s contaminated water is like ‘third world country’

If we truly want California to shine as an example of progressive leadership, then we cannot allow people living in the Valley to be treated like second-class citizens, without access to clean drinking water.
These families deserve clean water that is safe to use and safe to drink.
I recently went to the San Joaquin Valley and visited with families who unfortunately live with deadly contaminants in their drinking water.
Here are the facts: • As many as 1 in 4 schools in the Valley have been impacted by unsafe drinking water.
• As many as 1 million Californians are exposed to unsafe drinking water each year.
In this past year, I became the co-author of Senate Bill 623 by Sen. Bill Monning, which was introduced in order to create a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.
The fund was the result of an historic agreement between the agricultural industry and environmental activist groups, who both agreed to contribute to the fund in order to help ensure that every California household has access to clean water.
After meeting with the hard-working families of the Valley, I couldn’t help but think of my own family – my mother and father and the struggles they faced as they raised a family in the working-class city of La Puente.
We have a strong, fair proposal for a real, sustainable solution to the problem that will provide relief for California families without overburdening the rest of the state.
Our neighbors’ struggle is our shared struggle, and we must all ensure that every Californian can access their right to safe and affordable drinking water.

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