Vidak's News and Views: July 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014
No Fracking Moratorium!
‘NO’ Vote on the HSR Budget Deal
Welcome Michael Bowers, Ana Orozco and Jaron Brandon to Team Vidak
Drought Housing Rent Relief Available
Andy Co-Hosts Free Vision Care Clinics
Snoopy Plates Support Museums
Andy’s Activities
How to Get Appointed to Boards and Commissions
Team Vidak in the Community
Tara “The Hero Cat”

Howdy Friends –

Fracking Moratorium Defeated!

Finally some good news coming out of Sacramento – We were able to defeat Senate Bill 1132, the proposed moratorium on fracking!

Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) has been used in California for decades to enhance the recovery of the state’s prolific oil and natural gas resources. It’s is a proven and safe practice that helps keep the state a major energy producer.

California is the 3rd largest oil producer in the U.S. at 580,000 barrels per day, 75 percent of California oil is produced in the Central Valley and 70 percent of that is from Kern County. I represent a chunk of Kern County, so I am actively involved with protecting the jobs of the dedicated men and women who work in the oil industry.

Senate SB 1132 was a job-killer that would have threatened the future of California’s energy industry and some 468,000 jobs. Imposing a moratorium would have sent a signal that California does care about California’s energy independence.

With over 1.5 million Californians out of work, development of the vast oil reserves found within the Central Valley could create thousands of new jobs and help families who are struggling to get back on their feet.

We need good paying jobs in the Central Valley and California needs energy independence from foreign countries. Fracking is a safe and productive pathway to do both.

Water Bond Update

Senate Bill 848, a water bond proposal authored by Senator Lois Wolk, a Democrat from Davis, did not get enough votes to pass out of the Senate. The vote was 22-9, five votes shy of the two-thirds needed to pass. I was one of the nine senators who voted against it.

The Wolk water bond would leave the Valley behind by eliminating critical authority necessary to convey water. It’s pointless to store additional water if you can’t move it to where it’s needed. If a water bond proposal doesn’t create, clean AND convey water, it’s a non-starter.

HSR Gets Outrageous Budget Deal

I voted “NO” on the 2014 – 15 Budget bill (SB 852).

This budget will outrageously rip off millions of dollars in cap-and-trade funds to build High-Speed Rail, throwing good money after bad, and it will recklessly strip the local control districts should have over their rainy day funds.

Prior to the budget vote, a coalition of legislators joined me to denounce the use of cap-and-trade funds to build the High-Speed Rail project, which is being proposed in the majority party’s 2014 State Budget.

Instead, our coalition believes cap-and-trade funds should be used to invest in current transportation infrastructure to create jobs, improve statewide and regional transportation networks and help the environment.

To read the letter we sent to the chairs of the Senate and Assembly budget committees, click here.


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No Fracking Moratorium!

Video of Senator Vidak speaking in opposition to SB 1132.
Click on the photo above to watch Andy’s
Senate Floor Speech in opposition to SB 1132.

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‘NO’ Vote on the HSR Budget Deal

Video of Senator Vidak speaking in opposition to the High-Speed Rail Budget deal.
Click on the photo above to watch Andy’s Senate Floor
speech in opposition to the High-Speed Rail Budget deal.

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Welcome Michael Bowers, Ana Orozco and Jaron Brandon to Team Vidak

Three photos of new SD16 office staff.

Michael Bowers

Michael has been hired as a senior field representative in Andy’s Bakersfield district office.

Michael most recently worked as a senior field representative for Congressman David Valadao (R-Hanford), where he managed the Bakersfield district office and worked with the legislative staff in Washington D.C. on complex federal issues related to the oil and gas industry.

He attended Bakersfield High School and Texas Southern University in Houston, and is currently active in the community, serving as a member of Kern County’s Stop the Violence Committee, the American Cancer Society’s Capital Campaign Committee and is a board member of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Bakersfield Life magazine recently named Michael one of Bakersfield’s top “20 Under 40” leaders and he is featured in the publication’s July 2014 issue.

“Michael’s experience and enthusiasm are a powerful contribution to Team Vidak and the people we serve,” said Vidak.

Ana Orozco

Ana has been hired as a field representative in Andy’s Hanford district office.

She most recently worked as a legal administrative assistant for Law Firm Arroyo Romero in Madrid, Spain, while studying abroad at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.

Prior to that, Ana represented the Maddy Institute in the office of Congressman Jeff Denham in Modesto and was a representative for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as an intern in the office of Congressman Joe Baca in Washington, D.C.

Ana graduated with honors from CSU Stanislaus with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Spanish and was the Student Commencement Speaker this year. She is the founder of the CSU Stanislaus Pre-Law Society and is the Community Service Chair for the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán.

Active in the community, she volunteered hundreds of hours and helped raise funds for numerous organizations and causes, including the St. Thomas Retirement Center, We C.A.R.E., Relay for Life, Modesto’s Annual Autism Walk and So Others Might Eat. She also volunteers as an English tutor for Spanish-language children.

“Ana is a perfect match for Team Vidak with her strong background and spirit of giving,” said Vidak.

Jaron Brandon

Jaron, who hails from Sonora, is our new Capitol summer intern through the Maddy Institute. Currently in his fourth year at UC Merced, Jaron is a first generation college student majoring in political science and looking to make a difference in his community.

He has been active in UC Merced’s continued development and served three years in the Associated Student government, including this past year as president. Jaron has also interned for former Congressman Dennis Cardoza and Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) in their district offices. After graduating, he is considering joining the armed forces and working on a career in either government or University administration.

“I strongly believe that progress and change stem from community engagement, and being able to intern in Sacramento for State Senator Vidak is a great opportunity to learn from California’s civic leaders. I’ve met so many friendly and supportive people, and I’m looking forward to more to come,” said Jaron.

“Jaron’s energy and dedication are an asset our Capitol team,” said Andy.

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Drought Housing Rent Relief Available

The drought has resulted in massive job losses in the Central Valley, particularly in the agricultural industry. Now there is help for those impacted by the drought who can’t afford their rent and utility bills.

The Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced that the Drought Housing Rental Relief Subsidies Program is now available to qualified residents living drought-stricken areas, including Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties.

Applicants requesting assistance due to the drought disaster must either:

  1. be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; and
  2. be unemployed or underemployed; or
  3. have suffered economic hardship or loss.

If you live in Fresno, Kings or Tulare County, contact Proteus at 1-888-776-9998.

If you live in Kern County, contact Employers’ Training Resource at (661) 325-4473.

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Andy Co-Hosts Free Vision Care Clinics

Andy has teamed up with Clinica Sierra Vista and VSP to bring Mobile Eyes to the Valley. Mobile Eyes features deluxe mobile eyecare clinics on wheels, outfitted with state-of-the-art exam rooms and dispensaries. Patients that qualify for the program receive a comprehensive eye exam and, if needed, glasses. Patients are able to select from a top quality assortment of frames. Patients receive their new glasses immediately after their eye exam.

VSP Mobile

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
McFarland Veteran’s Community Center
103 W. Sherwood Avenue, McFarland
Thursday, August 14, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Clinica Sierra Vista Facility
2790 S. Elm Avenue, Fresno

IMPORTANT! In order to receive a free eye exam and free eyeglasses you must be pre-qualified and have an appointment!

To find out if you qualify and make an appointment for the McFarland clinic, contact:
Gustavo Dias de Leon at 661.635.3050.

To find out if you qualify and to make an appointment for the Fresno clinic, contact:
Virgie Armenta at (559) 457-5800.

Team Vidak will be on hand to provide information on other state services available to constituents.
For more information, contact Daniel Medina in Senator Vidak’s district office at (559) 585-7161.

Any information, materials, or services provided at these events are the sole responsibility of the provider of the information, materials, or services and do not constitute services or medical advice from the California State Senate.

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Snoopy Plates Support Museums

Image of a California Snoopy license plate

California Museums are a great resource for the preservation and celebration of our shared history. They provide educational tools, preserve historic artifacts, and have a positive impact in our communities.

If you would like to help support the continued educational impact of Museums in our communities, you can now purchase a Snoopy License Plate with proceeds going to support museum operations.

Each plate will feature a reproduction of an original Snoopy drawing by PEANUTS creator Charles M. Schulz. Snoopy will be doing his happy dance, probably in anticipation of a visit to a museum!

Sequential plates are just $50 and personalized plates are $98. DMV production will begin once 7,500 applications have been received. For more information, visit

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Andy’s Activities

Click on the photos below to see some of what Andy’s been up to at the Capitol and in the district.

Community Breakfast Menudo Cook-Off Small Business of the Year
Image of Senator Vidak at breakfast Image of Senator Vidak serving menudo Image of Senator Vidak with the Small Business of the Year recipient
Citrus Mutual News Conference Leaders and Achievers
Image Senator Vidak with citrus growers at a press conference. Image of Senator Vidak at Comcast’s 7th Annual Capitol “Leaders & Achievers Scholarship” Ceremony
State-Scholar Athlete Salute to Dairy
Image Senator Vidak with Jenna Van Fossen. Image of Senator Vidak speaking at Tulare Chamber of Commerce’s 2014
Resources for Independence “The Golden Boy”
Image Senator Vidak with representatives from Resources for Independence Central Valley. Image of Senator Vidak with Olympic gold medalist and world champion Boxer Oscar De La Hoya.

Peach Cobbler Bake-Off Winners
Peach Cobbler Bake-Off Winners

The winners of the Peach Cobbler Bake-Off at Hanford's 1st Annual Gospel Fest & Safety Fair (from left to right) are Trisha Medina – 1st Place, Vernon Costa – 2nd Place and A. Renee Faber – 3rd Place.  "Congratulations to the winners who baked their bundts off!" said Andy.

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How to Get Appointed to Boards and Commissions

Ever considered getting involved in your community as an appointee to a board or commission? Want to know more about how the process works? How do you access the application? Where to find vacancies? How do you navigate the process? Who can help?

Please join Andy and California Women Lead for an appointments training to learn the process that one should take to be appointed to a board/commission/committee at the local and state level.

Speakers include:

  • Andy
  • Mona Pasquil, Secretary of Appointments,Office of Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
  • Fiona Ma, Board President, California Women Lead
  • Dora Westerlund, 21st District Agricultural Association, Big Fresno Fair Board of Directors
  • Rachel Michelin, Executive Director/CEO, California Women Lead

WHEN: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation Business Hub, 1444 Fulton Street, Fresno, CA 93721

FREE for California Women Lead members | $10 for non-members
No admittance without prior RSVP by Sunday, September 7, 2014.

Tickets are available at

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Team Vidak in the Community

Click on the photos below to see what Team Vidak’s been up to in the district.

Traffic Management Selma Marine Corps JROTC
Image of Team Vidak at Fresno Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony. Image of team Vidak with Students who participated in the Selma Marine Corps JROTC troop.
Kings County K-9 Unit Kern Business Mixer
Image of Kings County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit. Image of Team Vidak Representative Michael Bowers and Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Nick Hill.
Save a Life Saturday Taking Care of Constituents
Image of Bakersfield Police Department’s McGruff  and Team Vidak’s Tomeka Powell. Image of Team Vidak District Director Paula Vinzant with Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard.
Buttonwillow Library Central Valley Honor Flight
Image of the Buttonwillow Branch of the Kern County Library celebration. Image of 70 World War II veterans ready for Central Valley Honor Flight.

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Tara “The Hero Cat”

Image of a Jeremy, Tara (cat) with parents and Senator Fuller and Vidak's legislative staff.

Jeremy – the boy saved from a vicious dog attack by his cat Tara “The Hero Cat” - was presented with a Senate Certificate of Recognition for his courage by Team Vidak’s Tomeka Powell in Bakersfield. Pictured in the group photo are Roger Triantafilo (father) holding Tara Triantafilo (cat), Pam Rose (Senator Jean Fuller representative), Tomeka Powell (Team Vidak representative) Erica Triantafilo (mother), and Jeremy Triantafilo (son). “Jeremy and Tara are blessed to have each other,” said Andy.

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Like Andy!

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

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