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Valley Eagerly Awaits Presidential Visit

The White House has confirmed that President Obama's trip to the Fresno Area on Friday is to assess the severe drought situation.
President Obama has not been to Fresno since taking office in 2009.  He's heard lots of outcries from the west about our water woes and now growers and city leaders hope seeing is believing.

Water is what fuels business in the city of Mendota.

92% percent of our workforce is ag related.  From packing sheds to driving a tractor to field work," said Mendota Mayor Robert Silva.

Mendota Mayor, Robert Silva, was excited to hear President Barack Obama is traveling to the Fresno area on Friday.

"It's a great thing that he's doing.  He needs to come out here and look at the situation we have in California," said Silva.
     
We were in a similar situation back in 2009.  Protestors marched as farmers on the westside were given federal water allocations of 0% and the unemployment rate in Mendota shot up to 45%.  Silva wrote a letter to the president asking him to come see the awful circumstances.

"We did get a response saying he can't make it at this particular time," said Silva.
     
So two months ago, he wrote another invitation to Obama.  The president did not personally accept it, but either way he is coming and silva will take it.

"I don't know what's on his mind, but any plan he has and it benefits the whole valley, I'm for it," said Silva.

Fernando Magana supports it as well.  He's a field worker.

"We trim almond trees and pickup cantaloupes," said Fernando Magana, a field worker.

The drought has severly impacted Magana.  He hasn't worked in five months and worries he'll have to revisit the food giveaway lines of 2009.

"We were kind of embarrassed too because we mostly don't do that, but we had no choice," said Magana.

If Magana could speak to the president for just a minute, he would ask him one thing.

"Just turn on the water so we can get more water and more work," said Magana.

In other related news, the Senate still needs to vote on a water bill that the House passed last week which would reallocate water from the Delta down to the Central Valley.

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