As with any election, we saw surprising upsets in some races, and in others the outcome was very predictable. Ultimately, California Citrus Mutual is a nonpartisan association. Our job is to work with the individuals who California voters elect to office. Our members farm and do business in a progressively liberal state and this election is further proof of that. The mission of CCM is to advocate on behalf of citrus growers and to pursue policies that promote the sustainability and success of our industry. That means building relationships and finding commonalities with legislators on both sides of the aisle.
There are a lot of questions about what kind of Governor Gavin Newsom will be for California agriculture. He will certainly have a policy agenda and our job is to find a way for our priorities to fit into that agenda.
Looking ahead to the new year, our priority will be to work with our colleagues in the industry to identify and recommend individuals for appointments in key regulatory agencies – Cal EPA, California Water Resources Control Board, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, to name a few.
Voters did not approve Proposition 3, the Water Bond, which is honestly an incredible disappointment to agriculture, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, and to rural communities statewide. The bond would have provided the necessary funding for repairs on the Friant-Kern Canal as well as for clean drinking water projects in impacted communities.
At this time, the Insurance Commissioner race has not been called. That is one office that has considerable impact on agriculture businesses. We will certainly be watching closely to see how that race unfolds.
There will certainly be a lot of changes in the next year, and California Citrus Mutual will be prepared to navigate those changes in a manner that creates the best outcome for our members.