President Trump Visits Bakersfield

Emily Bishop

On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, President Donald Trump visited Bakersfield to speak with local farmers about California water issues. He appeared on the ground at 3:30 pm, arriving with Representative Kevin McCarthy on Air Force One. Trump spent time at a building at the Meadow’s Field (Bill Thomas) airport speaking to thousands of people. Kern County residents were fortunate enough to receive this visit due to the need to discuss and take action in controlling and better usage of California’s water. Californians have been dealing with the backlash of the of water decisions that have drastically limited water supplies to the valley.

Many people went to see President Trump during his visit, and the crowd of spectators were proudly filled with patriotism and pride for the nation and their president. Students, families, and farmers joined together for hours, waiting anxiously for his arrival just to get one glimpse and hear the words of this national leader. The building was filled with hundreds to thousands of Trump supporters who were waving banners, blasting music and honking horns from their passing cars in their united support for Trump.  

Along with Trump’s many supporters in Bakersfield, there were also opponents to the visit.  Groups protesting Trump were dwarfed by numbers of supporters, but made their presence known regarding their opposition to Trump’s decision to increase water supplies to Central Valley farmers.  The Golden State Salmon Association released a public statement that the decision would threaten tens of thousands of Californians who work in the salmon industry. 

Trump signed a declaration for delivering more Northern California water to Central Valley farmers. President Donald Trump, who spoke to the cheering crowd, moved forward with a controversial plan intended to give Central Valley farmers more water from the environmentally sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta east of San Francisco. Trump signed a presidential memorandum that along with finalization of a federal “record of decision” is intended to bring new flexibility to the operation of two main conduits bringing water south from Northern California, the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project, according to reports in The Bakersfield Californian. The president’s action was largely expected and some said the event’s bigger value was as a political stop to one of California’s more conservative regions to shore up additional support for Republican candidates who are running for other offices through out the state.