Garamendi Works on Water, Education, Quality of Life Issues in Lake County
CLEARLAKE OAKS, CA - On Friday, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) held a series of meetings and site visits in Lake County. The meetings focused on Lake County’s unique water needs, the value of nonprofits in the community, and issues of importance to seniors, students, and educators.
“Lake County is a gem in the 3rd District. It’s a dynamic community with much potential, but pollution and the risk of invasive species in Clear Lake and the watersheds hold this region back,” Garamendi said. “Our meetings on water issues were productive, and it was good to hear from students and seniors about the issues that they care about. I look forward to bringing the issues we discussed to Washington.”
The morning began with a conversation at Marymount College on water resource issues facing Lake County, including the impact of invasive species, water quality, and the need for federal and state partnerships to improve water conditions, particularly in Clear Lake. Following this conversation, Garamendi, a former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Interior Department, joined several local officials and experts for a site tour of the Middle Creek Restoration Project, which would reconnect reclaimed lands to their natural wetland state thereby improving the watershed’s health and Clear Lake’s water quality. The conversation included Lake County Supervisor Anthony Farrington, Lake County Supervisor Jim Steele, Lake County Special Districts Administrator Mark Dellinger, Lake County Public Works Director Scott De Leon, Lake County Community Development Department Director Richard Coel, Lake County Administrative Officer H. Matt Perry, and Lake County Senior Administrative Analyst Jill Ruzicka.
After the site tour, Garamendi visited a homeowner in Lucerne whose roof was damaged during a major storm. After she reached out to Garamendi’s office, a Garamendi staffer connected her to Hammers for Hope, a non-profit program organized by CalPine. They subsequently repaired the roof. Garamendi talked about the importance of preserving funding for federal grants to help worthy non-profits that are transforming lives for the better.
Garamendi then returned to Marymount College to meet with college representatives and student leaders from several regional institutions of higher learning, including Marymount, the Clear Lake Campus of Yuba College, and the Lakeport Campus of Mendocino College. They emphasized the importance of career development and opportunities available to them to pursue four year degrees. One representative described the regional schools as “education for people that life happened to,” pointing out that many local college students have worked in the private sector for years before deciding to resume their education. Garamendi pledged to continue supporting education funding and financial aid in Congress.
The Lake County work day ended at the Live Oak Senior Center in Clearlake Oaks. There, Garamendi met with more than 50 seniors and community members for an hour long conversation on issues important to them. Topics addressed included the state of America’s shipping industry, investments in water improvements and roads, the cleanliness of Clear Lake, ways to address poverty and homelessness, Lucerne’s privately owned water system, the need to close Guantanamo Bay, the latest on the Affordable Care Act, the need for war authorization, and the security threat posed by ISIL.