Debbie Bacigalupi, a highly sought after speaker throughout the west, will discuss political, economic, and environmental issues that impact Californians at 6:30 p.m., July 15, at the Best Western Yosemite Restaurant, 40530 Highway 41.
Hosted by the Oakhurst/Coarsegold Tea Party, organizers feel regardless of party affiliation, these issues have crossed party lines where a growing movement of diverse citizens concur something is not quite right in California,
"California is experiencing many crises at the top of many list is water, food, and private property," Bacigalupi said.
She has strong feelings about water shortage and the removal of some dams in the state.
"It is shocking to see major rivers like the Klamath River, the Sacramento River, and the American River flowing to or near capacity and reservoir and storage lakes at devastating low levels so early in the year," Bacigalupi said. "Billions of acre feet of fresh water we need now is being wasted out to a salty sea, a sea some claim is rising due to global warming and climate change. At record numbers, dams are being destroyed or are being considered for removal even if those dams are clean green renewable energy dams, like those on the Klamath River. Why? Our government is predicting catastrophic wildfires this year don't we need more stored water and not less ... especially as livelihoods and the environment are both at stake."
Bacigalupi said droughts, extreme heat, and the need for more water are not new issues. She remembers growing up in Sacramento in the 1970s and 80s and playing soccer in 100+ degree weather. She remembers summers where people could only water every couple of days.
"There is nothing new under the sun and the changes in weather we have experienced over the last 100 years should have provided our government with enough experience to know that in order to combat drought, fire, flood, and famine, is by storing water saving water for those times in need," Bacigalupi said. "Our government has been reckless when it comes to water storage and aquifer recharge... releasing water from dams and destroying dams to save 'native' fish."
She calls California's history extraordinary and again points to the water situation and politics. She said California is the bread basket of the world and once the world's fifth largest economy (now ranked ninth), and as a result of the state's ability to manage water and grow food, more people moved to California.
"Agriculture is responsible for the building of other California mega economies including Hollywood, hi-tech, bio-tech, tourism, wine, and timber... multi-billion dollar industries that help create a better world for people and the planet," Bacigalupi said. "We created the bread basket of the world and we did so while preserving much of its beauty and nature. To take a semi-arid state with rich soil, where early settlers figured out how to move water via canals, reservoirs, and diversions to create a state of extraordinary agriculture mixed with nature and human settlement. Then we try to implement an agenda that's goals are to aggressively 'return' millions of acres 'back to the wild' where a non-native, disease carrying predator like the Canadian Gray Wolf has more protection in California than a sixth generation farmer who provides people with food and cares for the environment this is head shaking."
Bacigalupi, who ran unsuccessfully for the US House of Representatives in District 14 in 2012 against incumbent Jackie Speier, said on average, five businesses, on average, leave California weekly due to high taxes, over-regulation , and an unfriendly business environment.
She has attended conferences such as the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the Navigating the American Carbon World on Cap-N-Trade, the Western Governors Association CHAT Conference, and attends many California Fish and Wildlife meetings and hearings concerning the Endangered Species Act.
About her bid for Congress, Bacigalupi feels everyone should run for something whether for cemetery board, school board, city council, or Congress.
"At first I ran on a typical party platform (jobs, economy, and education) at the insistence of the 'establishment.' When I changed my platform to what I'm most passionate about the truth about "environmentalism," and the threat to our farmers, ranchers, and quality of life, I finally started having fun and enjoyed running. What a blast to meet people of all sorts of political persuasion and once they heard what I'm all about they were so encouraging even in an area where incumbents 'rule.'"
The sixth generation Californian and daughter of ranchers and farmers in Siskiyou County, Bacigalupi is known for her lively and interactive presentations on a number of topics. She will show a brief preview of a documentary she is co-director of that focuses on Fresno and the water crisis in San Joaquin Valley called, "No water, no farmer, no food."
Bacigalupi holds a bachelor's of science degree in business and a masters in business administration from Notre Dame de Namur University, is a Certified Wine Sommelier, a Certified Meeting Professional, a biotech consultant, and an entrepreneur in the anti-aging skin care industry.
Her mother's family owned the first grocery stores in Oakhland and her father's family opened the Bank of Italy, a Bay Area bank that helped immigrant businesses.
A self-described passionate researcher, Bacigalupi says her No. 1 goal is to get the truth out.
"Knowledge is power and when the public regains the key to their own future by being informed, holding their elected officials accountable, or running for office themselves, they will be living in a world where we can be Americans again. What government and politicians fear, as history shows, is the truth exposing the corruption followed by the public coming together to overturn government. My goal is to return our country to where career politicians are a thing of the past." Details: (408) 893-8348.