Happy July! I hope you were able to have a great Independence Day celebration! Summer is in full swing; want to know how I can tell? For one, this year’s incredible snowpack is melting and California’s overrun water infrastructure hasn’t been able to keep up, leading to numerous areas throughout the state and Central Valley vulnerable to flooding. As summer continues, let us all be sure to keep in mind not only those who have been evacuated, but those who are fighting to keep our families and state safe.
I would like to take a moment to let you know about one of the big issues we are fighting up in Sacramento. In 2006, the legislature passed AB 32, better known as, “Cap and Trade.” Over the past 11 years, Cap and Trade has raised both gas and electricity prices – with a large sum of those funds going to subsidize Governor Brown’s pet train… High-Speed Rail. Cap and Trade is set to expire in three years, and now Governor Brown wants to extend the program. Remember back in April, when the legislature passed a bill that will raise gas taxes by 12 cents per gallon? Many of the hard-working citizens in the Central Valley and across the state were not very happy. Well, extending the Cap and Trade program is estimated to raise the price of gas by at least ANOTHER 45 cents per gallon. You can bet that once again, a large sum of your hard-earned cash will be going to the not-so High-Speed Rail.
I will be sure to keep you updated and let you know how this fight turns out. In the meantime, enjoy your summer, stay cool, and keep both those in danger and those working to protect us from floods and fires in your prayers.
Members of Andy’s staff will be holding Mobile District Office Hours in the following communities during July:
Tues., July 11
8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Porterville Farmers Market
Porterville Chamber of Commerce Booth
281 N. Main St., Porterville
Tues., July 11
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Orange Cove Branch Library, Small Meeting Room
815 Park Blvd., Orange Cove
Tues., July 11
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Pond School District Office
29585 Pond Rd., Wasco
Wed., July 19
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Arriaga Community Center
3582 S. Winery Ave., Fresno
Tues., July 25
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
116 Buttonwillow Dr., Buttonwillow
Fri., July 28
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Lemoore Chamber of Commerce
300 E St., Lemoore
Mobile District Office hours are an opportunity for Senate District 14 residents to meet locally with a Team Vidak representative to hear more about Andy’s work in Sacramento and the Central Valley, have their questions answered or get help with specific state-related issues, including:
- unemployment benefits;
- issues with state agencies, such as the DMV and Franchise Tax Board;
- small business assistance;
- worker’s compensation;
- state legislation; and
- other state-related matters.
For more information, please contact Team Vidak’s Claudia Salinas (559) 264-3070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brenna Leigh Nancarrow has re-joined Team Vidak as an Intern in Andy’s Capitol Office. Born and raised in California, Brenna Leigh is a senior at CK McClatchy High School in Sacramento. Brenna Leigh interned in Andy’s Capitol Office last summer and was previously an intern for Assemblywoman Gonzalez-Fletcher. She wants to be a criminal prosecutor and hopefully later a state Legislator.
“It is great to be back in Senator Vidak’s office,” said Brenna Leigh. “I cannot wait to see what this year has in store!”
“We loved having Brenna Leigh join Team Vidak last summer,” said Andy. “I am thrilled that she has decided to come back and put her talents to work on behalf of the people of the Central Valley.”
Congratulations to all of our high school graduates! Graduating from high school can be one of the most stressful, exciting, and scary times for a teenager. The time has come to decide what the rest of your future will hold. Whether it is going to college or finding a job, come late May and early June, high school seniors are embarking on the next step of their lives. Organizations and individuals from all over the nation, state, and Central Valley raise and donate money to help students attend and pay for higher education. Two of which reached out to celebrate their scholarship recipients.
The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Foundation awards $30,000 each year in college scholarships to 10 students whose parent or guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower.
This year the CAWG received nearly 90 scholarship applications and three of the ten students selected to receive CAWG scholarships are from Senate District 14:
Damaso Anaya graduated from Parlier High School and is planning to attend Reedley College in the fall. Damaso hopes to transfer to a 4-year university where he can pursue a career as a Spanish Teacher and give back to his community. Damaso received a $2,000 scholarship.
Carolina Ramirez Moreno graduated from Arvin High School and will be attending UC Santa Barbara this fall. Carolina hopes to double major in Spanish and International Relations, with a minor in Chicano/a Studies. Carolina hopes to one day obtain a doctoral degree and move back to Arvin and start a nonprofit to work with and help migrant students. Carolina received a $2,000 scholarship.
Guadalupe Hernandez graduated from Porterville High School and is hoping to attend Fresno State in the fall. Guadalupe plans to major in Liberal Studies or English with hopes on one day becoming a teacher and share the message that attending school is one of the first stepping stones towards building a better future. Guadalupe received an $8,000 scholarship.
Earlier this month the Westlands Water District also announced their 2017 scholarship recipients. The Westlands Water District offers $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors under a program that recognizes exceptional academic achievement and leadership. This is the twelfth year that Westlands has provided scholarships and this year six local students received these awards:
Katelyn Pedersen graduated from Lemoore High School and plans on attending Cal Poly to pursue a degree in Agriculture Communications.
Yasmin Olvera graduated from Riverdale High School and plans on attending UCLA to pursue a degree in Business, Economics and Accounting.
Nicole Quezada is a graduate of Coalinga High School and plans on attending UC Davis to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering.
Jasmin Valdez graduated from Tranquility High School and plans on attending Fresno State to pursue a degree in Computer Science.
Fatima Escobar is a graduate of Mendota High School and plans on attending UC Berkeley to pursue a degree in Biological Sciences.
Paola Gonzalez graduated from Firebaugh High School and plans on attending Cal Poly to pursue a degree in Agronomy and Sociology.
You can view the Westlands Water District’s press release here.
On June 19, the California Employment Development department announced $2 million in Disability Employment Accelerator grants that are being allocated to 13 counties to assist people with disabilities obtain skills needed for employment in industries such as manufacturing, clean energy, transportation, and healthcare.
Employers’ Training Resource (ETR) is located in Kern County and provides services to local businesses and job seekers in Kern, Inyo, and Mono Counties. ETR is one of seven organizations that will receive grant funds, all of which will use “earn-and-learn” strategies that empower people with disabilities to earn incomes while learning new skills that will help them progress into high-growth industries. ETR received a grant of $275,000.
Congratulations and a big thanks to everyone who is involved with ETR and all of the great work you do to ensure that people in our communities can learn valuable skills and transition into the workforce!
If you are interested in learning more or need help, visit the Employers’ Training Resource website.
The Employment Development Department press release can be viewed here.
The Youth Soccer and Recreation Development (YS) Program provides one-time financial assistance to areas trying to expand development of youth sports such as soccer, baseball, softball, and basketball. We are happy to say that three organizations in Senate District 14 have been selected to receive grant funds:
City of Fresno, PARCS Department is receiving a grant of $563,360 to construct an outdoor multipurpose court, field lighting and irrigation for a natural turf soccer field, restroom and minor improvements at Hinton Park.
City of Bakersfield, Parks and Recreation is receiving a grant of $350,000 to renovate and expand basketball courts and to construct minor improvements at Jefferson Park.
City of Fresno, PARCS Department is receiving another grant of $65,000 to construct a multi-purpose court with lighting and minor improvements at Romain Park.
Congratulations to our PARCS and Parks and Recreation Departments on being chosen to receive these competitive grants!
Click on the photos below to read more about what’s happening in our Communities.
Luigi’s Recognized as 2017 Small Business of the Year
New Catholic Church in Delano Breaks Ground
Fresno Center of New Americans Open House Ceremony
2017 Central Valley Almond Day
Art in the Heart of Hanford
Fresno Women’s Network Celebrates 30 Years
Lemoore Night at Chukchansi Park
Kings River Winery Mobile Office Hours
Roosevelt and McLane High School Students Visit Hanford District Office
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Volunteer Recognition Luncheon
Resources for Independence Central Valley
7/5 Senate Education Committee Hearing – State Capitol
7/6 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
7/10 Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee Hearing – State Capitol
7/10 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
7/11 Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee Hearing – State Capitol
7/11 Senate Governmental Organization Committee Hearing – State Capitol
7/11 Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Hearing – State Capitol
7/12 Senate Education Committee Hearing – State Capitol
7/13 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
7/17 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
7/18 Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Hearing – State Capitol
7/20 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
7/21 Last day for Senate Policy Committees to Hear Assembly Bills and Report to Senate Fiscal
7/21 Summer Recess Begins