Tuesday, June 23, 2009

San Joaquin's a real disaster

Remember when I wrote that those who call the San Joaquin Valley home shouldn't succumb to all the bad news close to home? Dennis Cardoza, the Congressman from Merced, would respectfully disagree.

Cardoza on Friday in Washington, D.C., made his pitch to have the Central Valley declared an economic disaster area.

The statistics he trotted out before the Financial Services Committee were impressive — in a despair-inducing, cloud-of-doom sort of way:

• Three communities in the region are among the bottom 10 "weakest performing" metro areas in the country
• The Central Valley receives only about half the nationwide average in federal spending
• 13 percent of all mortgages in his district (the fighting 18th) are in foreclosure
• Housing prices have dropped nearly 70 percent the past three years in Merced and Stockton
• The unemployment rate of the three biggest cities in his district are in the top 11 cities nationwide

I could go on, but hopefully, you get the idea.

It's hard to say whether this will bring the help our area needs to rebuild itself for a better, brighter future. But at least someone's speaking up about it.

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