The Archuleta road kill bill

Photo by Alex Dominguez

Photo by Alex Dominguez

Roadkill! Is it that big of a priority for the people of Downey, Pico Rivera, Whittier, Norwalk or Cerritos? Will it help feed California’s homeless, or help make California’s housing affordable for struggling families?

Well, our newest state elected official, State Senator Bob Archuleta, thinks it will. He introduced legislation (Senate Bill 395) to allow drivers of vehicles that kill an animal to pick it up, take it home and eat it.

If the animal is severely injured but not dead, you still would be allowed to pick it up, take it home and kill it, as long as it’s all done “in a safe, legal and humane manner.”

What is the reasoning behind this kind of bill? Here is what Archuleta says: “This translates into hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy meat that could be utilized to feed those in need.”

So is this the Senate’s new homeless or anti-poverty program, eat road kill?

To be fair, the legislation limits it to a person who “unintentionally strikes and kills a deer, elk, antelope, or wild pig on a roadway in California with a vehicle.” But when was the last time you heard of Downey residents complaining to the city council about all those wild pigs, elk or antelopes crossing through the city? Is their even a deer crossing anywhere in Downey?

There are a lot of real problems facing our local communities such as housing, school debt, traffic, homeless, drug addiction, etc. I’m sorry, but I don’t think “Road kill” isn’t even on the list.

About the only thing lying dead on the streets in Downey, Pico, Cerritos or Norwalk are squirrels, pigeons and pets.

It is time for our State Senator to get serious about the issues impacting the communities he represents and leave the road kill for someone else.

Raul Riesgo is a commentator who has been featured on Spanish language news outlets Telemundo and Mundo Fox News discussing both political and Latino community issues. He has written a book on the development of the city of Pico Rivera, that was featured on CNN’s “Latino’s in America” series. Follow him on Twitter @rariesgo.

OpinionRaul Riesgo