June 23, 2000
SAN FRANCISCO - Today's announcement by Vice President Al Gore and USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, declaring an agricultural emergency in California and providing $22.3 million in federal assistance, underscores the unprecedented governmental mobilization, at every level, to the glassy-winged sharpshooter. The serious threat posed to California agriculture by this destructive pest has galvanized all government - local, state and federal - on a scale and manner rarely witnessed in modern times.
What is most impressive is the bipartisan cooperation displayed by every public official, Democrat and Republican, urban and rural, elected and administrative, who has recognized the importance of the grape and wine industry, and other agricultural sectors, to our state economy. Our state representatives, the Administration of Governor Gray Davis, our Congressional and Senatorial leaders, The White House and USDA head Dan Glickman have moved rapidly and responsibly for the larger public good in California. What we are viewing is the best of our government in action.
On our part, we in the private sector will contribute our proportionate and fair share to the research efforts to attack and overcome Pierce's disease. The total effort, we trust, will become a continuing and future model for addressing all biological threats to our fields and vineyards.