BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) A coalition of community based organizations in Kern County held a virtual press conference Thursday, announcing they have filed paperwork to qualify a term limits ballot measure for the County Board of Supervisors.
Three community leaders from the coalition, Dolores Huerta Foundation, SEIU Local 521, and UDW AFSCME Local 3930, filed as proponents of the petition; Sonja Benett of Bakersfield, Maria Teresa Hererra of Bakersfield, and Sandy Moreno of California City.
Community advocates, caregivers, county workers and retirees pushing for term limits believe all Kern residents should have access to clean air and water, safer neighborhoods, a fair shot in the justice system and access to quality government services.
The impacts of negligent county management on Kern’s families and communities were raised during the group’s virtual press conference Thursday.
“We have a governing board who have added nearly a billion dollars to the county’s financial balance sheet while the quality of life for Kern County residents continues to deteriorate,” said Sonja Bennett of Bakersfield.
“A board should not slash or leave programs and resources wheezing on shoestring budgets, or ignore pleas and cries at public meetings, nor dismiss policies that are proven to help families thrive in safe and healthy environments.”
“The neglect is very visible to me in California City,” said Sandy Moreno.
“The library and parks are not adequately funded. Trees aren’t watered. Public spaces look run-down and forgotten. They don’t really have to tell us that they don’t care about us. We can observe it.”
Bennett says, if the paperwork is approved, their members will then go out and attempt to get the more than 2,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot next year.