About 1,500 to 2,000 people showed up for the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday afternoon, where a six-hour discussion about the oil industry took place.
Hours before the meeting started, it was already standing room outside the chambers.
Seventy overflow seats were set up, yet the crowd still spilled outside the building where speakers broadcast the meeting.
Kern County produces about 75 percent of the state’s oil.
The industry employs about 23,000 people in the county.
The Board of Supervisors encouraged industry workers and supports to show up en masse. Their mission was to send a message to Governor Gavin Newsom that cuts to the oil industry could hurt revenue for public safety.
“(Oil) is the lifeblood of our families. This is how we feed them. This is how we clothe them. This is how we pay the bills,” said Pros Incorporated worker Daniel Cazarez.
On the other side, there were a few dozen in opposition to oil, also in attendance.
Many from the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment encourage a move away from oil and gas dependency.
“We are in a public health crisis,” Central Valley Air Quality Coalition executive director, Genevieve Gale. “Today we are here to say our economy matters, and community health matters too.”