Vidak's News & Views: November 2017

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Howdy Folks —

Thank you for your service graphic

Honoring Veterans on Veterans Day and Year Round

Veterans Day is a day to honor all Americans who have served our nation. We honor them for their service. We shouldn’t recognize veterans for their service on just one day of the year. All year long, California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) works with employers and veterans through its “Veterans, Ready for the Workforce” outreach campaign to help our military men and women make the transition to employment in civilian life.

The EDD website has information and services for employers to quickly connect with job-seeking veterans who possess the skills and experience they need in their workplace:

  • CalJOBS — California’s online job matching system, connects employers to job seekers throughout the state.
  • Local America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) — veteran employment representatives at statewide offices provide customized job search assistance to veterans and help link them with employers
  • “Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet” job and resource fairs — a long-running series of fairs held across the state that directly connect employers with job openings with veterans.
  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit — provides federal tax credit incentives for employers who hire qualifying veterans.

The EDD believes that veterans are proven, tested, and true. When employers hire a veteran, they’re gaining employees with a wide range of professional skills acquired in the military. Equally important are personal qualities veterans have developed in service to our nation: leadership, discipline, dedication to their jobs, and the ability to work well under pressure as a team member.

If you are an employer interested in hiring a veteran or if you are a veteran seeking employment assistance, please contact your local AJCC.

I’d like to wish a Happy Veterans Day to all the men and woman who have served this wonderful country and thank you for your service!

Sincerely,
Senator Andy Vidak's signature
Andy

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Financial Aid Workshops

Cash for College graphic

Helping California Students Find Ways to Pay for College

What Are Cash For College Workshops?

Cash For College is a statewide program that brings together local schools, college financial aid experts, and community organizations to provide college-bound high school seniors and their families hands-on help applying for financial aid. Parents and students complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at these workshops to start the process of qualifying for financial aid.

Workshops are held throughout the state between October 1, 2017 and March 2, 2018, which is the deadline to apply for most state-funded financial aid. Cash For College events are usually held at local high schools or colleges on evenings or weekends.

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the most important part of the financial aid qualification process. It is used to determine the amount of money a family is expected to contribute toward the cost of attending a college, community college, technical, or vocational school, and whether a student qualifies for financial assistance through grants, loans, or work study programs.

To be eligible for any federal and state grants, loans, or work study programs, a student must submit a FAFSA. Many private colleges and other organizations that grant private scholarships or other forms of financial aid also require students to submit a FAFSA.

Where can you find a Cash For College Workshop?

Click on this link to find Cash For College workshops near you. New workshops are added daily.

Find out more about applying for state and federal financial aid on these websites:

  • California Student Aid Commission — Learn about major state financial aid programs, including Cal Grants and scholarships.
  • Office of Federal Student Aid — Learn about grants, loans, and work study options, AmeriCorps awards, military tuition benefits, and vouchers for current and former foster children sponsored by the federal government.
  • The College Board — Use online tools for college planning and find ways to pay for college.

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ATTENTION TEACHERS!
California State Policy Fellowship

The California Teaching Policy Fellowship is a highly selective leadership opportunity for outstanding teachers looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that affect students and the teaching profession.

The Fellowship offers you the opportunity to expand your influence without leaving the classroom, starting in January 2018 and concluding on or before September 2019. You will receive a $1,500 stipend for your commitment and will meet in monthly sessions — either in person or virtually — that offer trainings in:

  • Education policy as a lever for student success
  • Advocacy, including op-ed writing, testifying, and speaking with elected officials and members of the media
  • Current and relevant issues in education policy
  • Teachers as political leaders

How does it work?

Teach Plus recruits and selects California Teaching Policy Fellows from across the state to participate in a selective cohort experience. You will work with outstanding peers to develop policy recommendations at the state or district level while learning how to mobilize your peers around critical issues impacting students and the teaching profession. In addition, you will have a positive impact at your school through a school-based campaign that you will lead. In order to promote your work, Teach Plus will work to bridge the gap between you and key stakeholders and policymakers in California.

Qualifications

  • Current teacher of record or serve an instructional role in a school with at least one year of teaching experience by August 2017.
  • Track record of success teaching students in California.
  • Ready to dedicate your time and passion to learning about policy and advocating on behalf of changes that impact your students.

CLICK HERE TO BEGIN YOUR APPLICATION.

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November Mobile District Office Hours

Members of Andy’s staff will be holding Mobile District Office Hours in the following communities during November:

Hanford
Saturday, November 11
10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Kings County Fairgrounds
801 S. 10th Avenue
Hanford, CA 93230

Sanger
Monday, November 20
5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
HOPE Sanger Center/Motel
502 L Street
Sanger, CA 93657

Shafter
Thursday, November 30
10:00 a.m. until Noon
Covenant Coffee Shafter
1100 E. Lerdo Hwy
Shafter, CA 93263

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;
  • licensing;
  • Medi-Cal;
  • small business assistance;
  • worker’s compensation;
  • state legislation; and
  • other state-related matters.

Mobile Office Hours are held each month in various locations throughout our District to better serve our constituents. If you would like to invite Team Vidak to host a Mobile Office Hours event, please contact Felisa Hannah at (559) 264-3070 or email Felisa.Hannah@sen.ca.gov.

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ICYMI: KMPH FOX 26 TOWN HALL

CKMPH FOX 26 TOWN HALL graphic

On Monday, October 23, Andy participated in a televised town hall event hosted by KMPH FOX-26 at Peoples Church in Fresno. The purpose of the town hall was to discuss the lack of water storage in the Central Valley and give residents an opportunity to ask questions of the discussion panel.

The town hall was hosted by KMPH reporter Rich Rodriguez and the panelists were Andy, Mario Santoyo (Executive Director of the Temperance Flats Water Project), Tim Quinn (Executive Director at the Association of California Water Agencies), State Assemblyman Adam Gray, and State Assemblyman Jim Patterson.

To watch the town hall in its entirety, click here.

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Team Vidak in the Community

HOLE IN THE WALL TATTOO STUDIO

HOLE IN THE WALL TATTOO STUDIO

October 5 — Hole In The Wall Tattoo Studio Owners Jeremy and Adrienne Looney, joined by their children, are presented with a Gold Senate Certificate of Recognition by Team Vidak District Representative Claudia Salinas in honor of their third anniversary in downtown Fresno.

LAOTIAN COMMUNITY BANQUET

LAOTIAN COMMUNITY BANQUET

October 7 — Scholarship recipients and community leaders gather for a group photo after receiving awards for their academic success and dedication towards serving the community.

CENTRAL VALLEY HONOR FLIGHT

CENTRAL VALLEY HONOR FLIGHT

October 9 - Team Vidak was in attendance at the 14th Central Valley Honor Flight. The team helped check in Veterans, which included taking souvenir portraits.

CEDAR COURTS READING EVENT

CEDAR COURTS READING EVENT

October 11 — Andy participated in an after-school reading event at the Cedar Courts public housing complex in Fresno. The event was sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and the Fresno Housing Authority.

KINGS CANYON EXPRESSWAY SEGMENT 3 GROUNDBREAKING

KINGS CANYON EXPRESSWAY SEGMENT 3 GROUNDBREAKING

October 12 — Team Vidak attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the third segment of State Route 180, which is being expanded in eastern Fresno County.

2017-2018 BULLDOG PRIDE FUND SCHOLARS RECEPTION

BULLDOG PRIDE FUND SCHOLARS RECEPTION

October 13 — The 2017-2018 Bulldog Pride Fund Scholars were recognized at the Smittcamp Alumni House at Fresno State.

TULARE COUNTY SHERIFF MIKE BOUDREAUX RECOGNIZED

TULARE COUNTY SHERIFF MIKE BOUDREAUX RECOGNIZED

October 17 — Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Sequoia Council, Boy Scouts of America. Andy attended the banquet and presented Sheriff Boudreaux with a Senate Resolution recognizing him for his service to the residents of Tulare County (Photo credit: Tulare County Sheriff’s Office)

CENTRAL VALLEY HIGHER EDUCATION CONSORTIUM LEGISLATION AND POLICY SUMMIT

CENTRAL VALLEY HIGHER EDUCATION CONSORTIUM LEGISLATION AND POLICY SUMMIT

October 18 — Team Vidak District Director Paula Vinzant with Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro at the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Legislation and Policy Summit. CVHEC is a non-profit organization consisting of the chancellors, presidents, and leaders of more than 25 public and independent colleges and universities in California’s Central Valley who are committed to increasing higher education participation in the region.

FULTON STREET REOPENS IN FRESNO

FULTON STREET REOPENS IN FRESNO

October 21 — Team Vidak District Representative Felisa Hannah attended the reopening of Fulton Street in downtown Fresno. She presented Mayor Lee Brand with a Senate Resolution in front of several thousand residents who attended the ceremony.

KMPH FOX 26 TOWN HALL

KMPH  FOX 26 TOWN HALL

October 23 — Andy spoke with a number of residents, business owners, and stakeholders at the KMPH FOX 26 Town Hall on Central Valley water storage.

JAVENCE PIZZERIA — THIRD ANNIVERSARY

JAVENCE PIZZERIA THIRD ANNIVERSARY

October 23 — Javence Pizzeria owners Eddie and Veronica Cruz were recognized by Team Vidak as the Fresno restaurant celebrated its third anniversary.

ARTIST RECOGNITION — FRESNO CONSULATE OF MEXICO

ARTIST RECOGNITION and FRESNO CONSULATE OF MEXICO

October 26 — Team Vidak District Representative Claudia Salinas attended a presentation at the Consulate of Mexico. In the photo on the right, Fresno’s Consul of Mexico David Preciado (right) presents artist Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio (left) with a certificate recognizing his showcased artwork on display.

PORTERVILLE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT — PATHWAYS PROGRAM

PORTERVILLE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT PATHWAYS PROGRAM

October 30 — Andy took a tour of several Porterville area schools, including Granite Hills High School, Harmony Magnet Academy and Strathmore High School. The purpose of the tour was to highlight Porterville Unified School District’s Pathways program, which aims to revolutionize the way students are prepared for life after high school. Read more about Andy’s tour and the Pathways program in the Porterville Recorder.

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Legislative Calendar Highlights

California Senate Seal

The Legislature is in Recess until December. Following are important upcoming legislative dates:

2018
1/1  Statues enacted in 2017 take effect
1/3  Legislature Reconvenes

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