President Barack Obama finally came to the San Joaquin Valley on Monday to dedicate the César Chávez National Monument, honoring the founder of the United Farm Workers of America. The trip to UFW headquarters in Keene in Kern County rightfully acknowledged the important contributions of Chávez.
However, we continue to be critical of the president's lack of engagement with the San Joaquin Valley. Even though the valley has seen some of the worst unemployment and highest home foreclosure rates in the nation while Obama has been in office, the president has ignored our region.
Supporters say the president is in a close election race with Republican Mitt Romney and must spend his time in the swing states. To that argument, we can only say he has had three other years of his presidency to visit the valley and meet residents who have deeply felt the economic downturn.