Let’s not sugar-coat it folks – 2014 could be another rough year for our Valley. Water – the lifeblood of our economy and way of life – is in dismally short supply.
That is why a bipartisan coalition of Valley Legislators asked Governor Brown to declare a drought. We need to light a fire under state and federal bureaucrats to do something about our water crisis NOW.To read the letter, click here.
It’s also deeply concerning to me that so many in our Valley do not have access to clean drinking water and must rely on bottled water. That’s just plain wrong, so I sent a letter to the Director of the California Department of Public Health asking for a status report on the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. We want to know how these federal dollars are being spent and what’s currently in the pipeline.
Approximately 30 percent of the communities identified in the 15 counties with the greatest number of water systems that lack access to a clean groundwater drinking source are in the district I serve. Let’s make sure money is flowing to those communities. To read the entire letter, click here.
We must have a water bond on the November 2014 ballot that fully funds water storage, period. I will fight any and all efforts to postpone the vote or to put forth another waterless water bond.
Lack of a clean and reliable water supply isn’t the only threat to our Valley. Even with recent court rulings, the High-Speed Rail Authority is arrogantly on a fast track to seize private property and slam spikes into the heart of our agriculture and business communities.
Among the legislation I plan to introduce this year to help our Valley is a package of bills intended to stop the so-called bullet train, including a measure to allow Californians to re-vote on High-Speed Rail.
Water will grow jobs. High-Speed Rail will kill jobs, hopes and dreams. It’s time Sacramento got its priorities straight.
P.S. If you haven’t already done so, please let me know if you think the people of California should be allowed to re-vote on High-Speed Rail. To take the quick, one-question survey, click here.
Over 200 constituents attended Team Vidak’s Holiday Open House at the Bakersfield
District Office. Folks munched on sweet delights that Mama Vidak (far left) baked for
School Kids Made the Holiday Celebration Extra Festive!
(Left) This beautiful ornament, decorated by students at Redwood Elementary School in Shafter, is
one of 30 unique ornaments from schools around the district. (Right) Andy with the
student-decorated Christmas Tree.
“It’s so cool that kids from around the district decorated ornaments for the Christmas tree at our Holiday Open House in Bakersfield,” said Andy.
|Stella Hills Elementary–Bakersfield||Shafter Youth Center–Shafter|
|Casa Loma Elementary–Bakersfield||Allensworth Elementary–Allensworth|
|Frank West Elementary–Bakersfield||Pixley Middle School–Pixley|
|Lamont Elementary School–Lamont||Pixley Elementary–Pixley|
|Vineland Elementary School–Lamont||Woodville Elementary–Woodville|
|Sunset Middle School–Lamont||CVC High School–Visalia|
|South High Junior ROTC–Bakersfield||McFarland High School–McFarland|
|Mira Monte High School–Bakersfield||Tulare Union High School–Tulare|
|Nueva Continuation High School–Lamont||Tulare Western High School–Tulare|
|Casa de La Paloma Blanca Apartments-Arvin||Tipton Elementary–Tipton|
|Mayor Hall–Bakersfield||St. Aloysius School–Tulare|
|Ducor Elementary–Ducor||McFarland Middle School–McFarland|
|Myrtle Avenue School-Lamont||Kern Avenue Elementary–McFarland|
|Earlimart Middle School–Earlimart||Browning Elementary–McFarland|
Andy is pictured with Bakersfield City School District Superintendent Rob Arias
(middle) Grimmway Academy Principal Jose Salas (right.)
“Thanks to the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce for helping host last month’s Education Community Coffee, to our esteemed panelists that shared the recent changes in education policy surrounding local school funding and curriculum and to all the folks that attended,“ said Andy.
The panel members (listed below) discussed how they are responding to recent changes and their efforts to ensure that educational resources are used effectively and efficiently to enhance student academic achievement:
- Bakersfield City School District, Superintendent Rob Arias
- Grimmway Academy Principal Jose Salas
- Fairfax School District Superintendent Michael Coleman
- Lamont School District Superintendent Ricardo Robles
Andy earned a 100 percent ranking on the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce’s annual scorecard for supporting jobs and business legislation during the 2013 legislative session.
“You scored a 100% rating on the scorecard, a great score, voting with the chamber every time. Thank you, again, for your work in representing the Valley,” Chamber President Cynthia Pollard wrote in a letter to Senator Vidak.
Every year the Chamber issues a Voter Scorecard that measures the performance of its legislators against issues important to business. The chamber says the scorecard reflects local legislators’ attitudes toward private enterprise, fiscal responsibility and the business climate.
“The average unemployment rate in the district I represent is 19 percent, and in some communities we have 30 to 40 percent of our folks out of work,” said Vidak. “The job the Greater Bakersfield Chamber does is crucial to the future vitality of our Valley and I look forward to working hand-in-hand with the business community to help create much-needed jobs here.”
Whistle-Stop at Holt Distributing in Fresno
Andy met with Holt Distributing owner Jesse Holt (right) as part of his “Whistle-Stop-the-High-Speed
Rail tour. High-Speed Rail will plow right through and wipe out Jesse’s business, which has been
in the same location in Fresno since 1978. “Another important reason to stop the runaway
train,” said Andy.
Sanger Senior Christmas Luncheon
Andy helps volunteers serve seniors a special Christmas supper
Andy had a great time helping out at the Rotary’s “35th Annual Jim McCaig Memorial Senior Christmas Luncheon.”
“The Sanger Rotary Club does a super job every year serving over 200 of our seniors a special holiday meal,” said Andy.
Bravo to Brave Delano Law Enforcement Officers!
From right to left: Officer Anthony Puente, Police Chief Mark DeRosia and Sergeant Jerry Nicholson
To honor their life-saving bravery in the line of duty, Team Vidak district representative Janie Sustaita (not pictured) presented Sergeant Jerry Nicholson and Officer Anthony Puente of the Delano Police Department with a Senate/Assembly Resolution. Sergeant Nicholson saved a baby’s life on May 10, 2013 by clearing the child’s airway and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Officer Puente incapacitated an armed attacker on March 30, 2013 and saved a domestic violence victim from what would have been a fatal attack.
Congratulations to Fred Ruiz – ‘Leader for America’ Award Winner
Fred Ruiz is pictured at Criscom Company’s “Leader for America” award ceremony in Corcoran.
Fred Ruiz received a Senate Resolution from Andy recognizing him as the winner of the prestigious “Leader for America” award.
“The contributions Fred Ruiz and Ruiz Foods have made to the improvement of the community have been invaluable, and he has served as a worthy model for all public-spirited people of the State,” Vidak’s Senate Resolution reads in part.
Mr. Ruiz serves on numerous boards and advisory councils, including serving on the University of California’s Board of Regents.
The CrisCom Company established the “Leader for America” award in 2007 to honor and recognize “those extraordinary leaders who have made a tremendous impact benefiting our nation in a positive way.”
“Fred Ruiz’s unending dedication and commitment to youth in our community is commendable,“ said Vidak.
Andy Honors Parents Involved in Education
Team Vidak Representative Nathan Alonzo presents Senate Certificates of Recognition to 45 parents who graduated from the PIQE (Parent Institute for Quality Education) Parent Training Program in Fresno. “I commend these involved parents for their efforts to help their children achieve a brighter future through educational opportunities,” said Andy. PIQE creates partnerships between parents, students and educators to further students’ academic success.
Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) is pleased to announce that Senate Fellow Rogelio Caudillo has joined Team Vidak in the Capitol Office. The Senate Fellows program provides college graduates an opportunity to become full-time Senate staff members in Sacramento for 11 months.
“We are very proud to have Rogelio, who is from our district, as part of our team,” said Vidak. “Rogelio is a powerful addition to our efforts to serve the people of Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties.”
Born in Delano and raised in Earlimart, Caudillo is a first-generation university graduate from a rural community. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University, Bakersfield. It was during his undergraduate studies that he became especially passionate about politics. His passion led to leadership positions in various campus organizations, attending an academic seminar from The Washington Center in our nation’s capital, and receiving an award of recognition from the Center for Kern Political Education.
“It is my hope that my achievements, both on and off campus, were a sign of me making a difference, and it is my plan to continue on that path,” said Caudillo. “I am very excited to learn the process of serving the people of California by directly working for my district in Senator Vidak’s office. As a native of the Central Valley, I am thankful to the Senate Fellows Program for granting me this opportunity.”
Senate Fellows are assigned to the personal or committee staff of a senator and also participate in academic seminars with senators, senior staff, journalists, lobbyists and state government officials. Fellows experience a broad range of activities including researching public policy issues, developing legislative proposals, analyzing and staffing legislation, assisting with constituent services and participating in meetings as the senator’s representative.
Fellows are paid a stipend of $1,972 per month, plus health, vision and dental benefits. They also earn six units of graduate credit from Sacramento State for the academic portion of the program. For more information and to apply for 2014-2015 California Senate Fellows program visit www.csus.edu/calst/senate. The deadline to apply is Feb. 10, 2014.
“Former Senate Fellows include current members of Congress and the California Legislature, judges and numerous other elected officials and community leaders,” said Vidak. “If you have a passion to make a difference and give back to our Valley, like Rogelio, I encourage you to apply for the upcoming program.”
To R.S.V.P. online for the Town Hall, click here.
Connecting people looking for a job with people who have jobs to fill is one of the Andy’s top priorities. That’s why Andy is co-hosting more than 70 local employers with immediate openings at a Career and Resource Expo. Many job opportunities do not require college degrees and include vocational careers in the agriculture and oil industries, the military and military related services, just to name a few.
WHEN: Thursday, January 16, 2014, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Tachi Palace, 17225 Jersey Ave, Lemoore, CA 93245
“If you have been searching for a job, I encourage you to attend,” said Andy, who will provide a legislative update and be available to answer your questions.
For questions contact Daniel Medina our Hanford district office at (559) 585-7161.
Following are some highlights of Andy’s whereabouts in January:
1/6 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/9 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/10 Bakerfield Town Hall – St. John’s Manor
1/13 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/14 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing – State Capitol
1/16 Job Fair – Hanford
1/17 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/21 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/23 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/27 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/30 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
Follow Andy’s Senate page on Facebook to see photos and to get updates of Andy’s activities.
For the latest news, visit Andy’s Senate Website at www.senate.ca.gov/vidak.