Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa made a second trip to the Valley Friday.
This time not to tour high speed rail sites, but to talk about increasing economic opportunities for the Valley.
Villaraigosa is trailing in the polls against his main opponent Gavin Newsom and the Valley could be the game changer Villaraigosa needs.
He says the Central Valley has never had its fair share of representation at the table in Sacramento and if he becomes Governor he’ll make sure the Valley does.
He says he understands how important the agriculture industry is to the state, and supports building Temperance Flat Dam and recharging the aquifers.
Villaraigosa also wants to implement a housing trust fund for cities making an effort to build affordable housing.
“The state has got to partner with cities that are putting up their own money to address homeless and affordable housing,” says Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa also addressed Assemblyman Jim Patterson’s demand that high speed rail needs to be audited.
“I don’t have a problem with an audit,” says Villaraigosa. “We should always be supportive of transparency and I have no problem and i’ve supported high speed rail for 20-some-odd years.”
He also talked about his stance on the controversial gas tax, saying he supports it under one condition.
“We can’t spend it on other things when times are bad, its got to be used to repair our roads, bridges and highways,” says Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa’s stop to Fresno is the first of many: he is also going to Kerman, Merced, Modesto and Firebaugh.