California’s long-struggling rural communities are looking for less talk and more action from a state Legislature dominated by big-city Democrats with few connections to the very different problems of those living outside the state’s coastal megalopolises.
“Rural California is still fighting for the basics, and that’s unacceptable,” said state Sen. Mike McGuire of Healdsburg, whose district stretches up the coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border and includes Lake and Trinity counties. Those areas “have a different way to live, and we haven’t always been able to make that clear.”
But politics is a numbers game, and that’s a battle the lightly populated counties of the state’s far north, as well as the Sierra and much of the Central Valley, are never going to win.
The Rural County Representatives of California, an advocacy group, says includes 35 of the state’s 58 counties, half the land and less than 9 percent of the state’s 39.1 million residents.
That lack of rural clout is nothing new. Since Eureka Rep. James Gillette was elected in 1906, California hasn’t had a governor who didn’t hail from either the Bay Area or the metropolitan areas of Southern California.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle