FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno leaders are reacting to the death of California Senator Diane Feinstein.
“I think she’s the gold standard for what a politician should be,” Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said.
Smittcamp recalled the very first time she worked with Senator Feinstein in 2017.
“I was amazed by how smart she was, how on the ball she was, and how in tune she was with what we were doing,” Smittcamp said.
Feinstein traveled to Fresno to help further legislation concerning human trafficking. Legislation that Smittcamp says is still protecting victims today.
“She really wanted to learn from us, so she could go back to Washington, and talk about things. You know a highlight for me was when she stood on the Senate floor of the United States Senate and said ‘Fresno, California is the model for how law enforcement agencies should combat human trafficking,'” Smittcamp said.
And it’s not just law enforcement, Feinstein impacted the agriculture industry in the Central Valley too. Our news archives detail a visit to Coalinga in 2009. At the time she was supporting the adoption of water bonds to help farmers in the drought.
“We have met, talked, the time has come for action,” Feinstein said during the visit.
Valley grower Joe Del Bosque said he remembers Senator Feinstein working with him to help fight for water allocations in 2010.
“Senator Feinstein has been a friend to the Central Valley, whenever we’ve needed to talk about issues related to farming, she would listen. And she would come here,” he said.
Del Bosque says she was always very involved when he needed help. He says she tried to find ways to work things out herself administratively, rather than relying on the rest of Congress to act.
“What she did for the Central Valley helped all of us. Not just farmers, farm workers, communities, you know small businesses in the valley that depend on agriculture. We will miss her,” he added.
Smittcamp says she had always been very inspired by Feinstein as a woman in politics. She says she also believes she will be remembered for breaking glass ceilings.