What JFK said to the Valley

As mentioned in Wednesday’s column, President John F. Kennedy visited the Valley on Aug. 18, 1962, to dedicate the San Luis Reservoir.

You might not expect a reservoir dedication to merit much of a speech. But I, for one, find Kennedy’s speech inspiring. His words are a reminder of how the Valley, indeed how the entire country, should operate: subordinating regional interests to the greater good of all.

He is right that the Delta region share its water – surplus, wet-year water left over after the needs of the estuary and Delta constituents are satisfied — with our fellow Valley residents to the south. Our bitter fights reflect poorly on us.

But it is the south-Valley exporters who broke the covenant. Again and again they try to elbow our region aside and grab water for themselves without regard for our economy and natural resources. That was not Kennedy’s vision.


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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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