Rudy Salas visits Bakersfield College to encourage local change by voting


Jacqueline Gutierrez

Assembly member, Rudy Salas, speaks about the importance of voting, animal overpopulation, bullying in schools, the effects of social media on students, and the PG&E power shutoffs during the BCSGA Power lunch in the Levan Center on Oct. 21.

Jacqueline Gutierrez, Reporter

Assemblymember Rudy Salas from the 32nd Assembly District visited Bakersfield College on Oct. 21 and spoke about local issues and his journey as an assemblyman. 

Salas is a democratic assemblyman that represents a region of Bakersfield in Sacramento and he sits on the agriculture, governmental organization, and water, parks, and wildlife committees, according to his website.

Salas explained his journey to the state’s capital and explained how he worked in the fields during the summer and after high school, he managed two jobs and college. 

During the power lunch, Salas talked about local issues and how citizens can resolve those issues on a local level. The local issues that Salas spoke about included: how elected officials solve issues, the PG&E power shutoffs, animal overpopulation, and air pollution. 

“Here’s the policy on this. We had all of these wildfires you guys remember everything was burning and they said oh it was because the sparks came from PG&E power lines. So if I lost my house who am I blaming? Now PG&E is out a million dollars,” Salas said.

Although California is primarily a democratic state Salas explained different assembly members have different perspectives on issues. 

“We vote on 2,000 different things. Now whether we agree on 2,000 things is going to be very hard. If we put 2,000 different issues right here would you guys be 100 percent in alignment with each other. I tell people this is what it’s like being an elected official,” Salas said. 

When Salas spoke about less controversial topics he explained how citizens can prevent these issues on a local and personal level. 

“If there is a difference you want to see in your neighborhood or you want more services show up [to city council meetings]. As big as you think the city is, do you know how many people actually come up for public comment, less than a dozen,” Salas said. 

On more personal situations, such as school bullying, Salas explained all that is needed of community members is to “see something, say something, and do something.”  

Audience members brought up important issues to Salas’s attention which included air pollution. 

“We have put millions of dollars towards air pollution, but there is always more to be done. But the thing is what can you guys do?” asked Salas. 

Salas stated that the most influential way to inform the local representatives is to voice opinions and attend local council meetings.