California Citrus Mutual (CCM) has recently been ramping up its political efforts on behalf of California citrus growers. The association has been advocating and engaging political leaders on a multitude of topics including trade, labor, and water.
“Since last fall, we went through an exercise at Citrus Mutual to try to determine how we can be more impactful in creating a better economic environment for our industry, which also means for agriculture,” said CCM President Joel Nelsen, “we decided that we had to have a higher profile in certain key areas.”
The association recently endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa for California Governor, meeting with him in Clovis to ask questions related to the biggest concerns facing the citrus industry. “We wanted to talk to an individual that understood what needed to be done to change the climate, to better appreciate where we are on a multitude of areas and we think Antonio Villaraigosa is that individual,” said Nelsen.
In other political efforts, CCM also made a presentation at the recent State Board of Food and Agriculture hearing on the challenges that the Chinese tariffs present for the citrus industry. Executive Vice President Casey Creamer noted the association’s support of the corrective actions being taken by the Administration.
On the subject of water, CCM will be taking a higher profile role with the California Water Commission in its support of Prop 72 which allows property owners to establish a system to capture rainwater without affecting property taxes. “We’re going to support efforts that create water…we’re going to help create water for the state. The administration needs to figure out how to do the same thing and this water commission doesn’t seem to get the message,” Nelsen stated.
Nelsen also noted that the association will be endorsing Senator Dianne Feinstein. “We know on the U.S. Senate that Senator Feinstein has been a great friend for California citrus industry, on our Huanglongbing-ACP issues she’s been right there…so we’re going to stick close to Senator Feinstein, we think she is an individual you can trust.”