Vidak's News and Views: October 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Andy Urges Governor to Veto Bill that Hurts the Valley
Team Vidak Out & About
Valley Community Colleges Rank 1 & 2 in NorCal
Free Vision Care Clinics
Dia de Los Muertos Valleywide
Women’s Empowerment Day – Bakersfield
Save the Date!
Upcoming Legislative Dates of Note

Howdy Friends –

Fire Heroes

The 150,000-acre Rough fire wasn’t burning in Senate District 14, but the good folks here rushed to help – from families donating food, water, clothing and other necessities for evacuees, to businesses setting up donation drop-off centers, to people providing shelters for lost pets and transporting horses (even in the back of a pick up!), to local fire and law enforcement support.

Local firefighting units from Senate District 14 were called to help on the numerous fires burning throughout the state, including the Rough, Lake and Butte fires. I visited firefighters at the Rough fire command center in Orange Cove, and on my way to Squaw Valley to visit with firefighters there, I saw this sign:

thank you firefighters sign

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. The generosity of the folks here in the Valley is moving and inspiring. You are all heroes!

A Victory for the Valley

During the final days of the Legislative Session, which ended September 11, a devastating provision was stripped from Senate Bill 350. The measure was authored by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles.

The provision which would have forced Californians to arbitrarily reduce their petroleum use in cars and trucks by 50 percent by 2030, with absolutely no detail on how that was to be accomplished. The provision would have given an unelected board of bureaucrats (the California Air Resources Board) the power to force folks to stop driving their vehicles as much, not matter what the reason.

The governor, coastal-elite legislators and the radical environmentalists, who want to push people out of gas-powered cars don’t understand or simply don’t care that most folks in the Valley can’t afford to buy expensive Teslas or other electric vehicles.

I’m proud that this ridiculous mandate was dropped, due in large part by strong bipartisan opposition of Central Valley legislators. SB 350 is still a bad bill that should be vetoed, but it would have been a lot worse if Valley representatives hadn’t stood strong to stop the mean-spirited petroleum reduction mandate.


Andy's signature


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Andy Urges Governor to Veto Bill that Hurts the Valley

Andy sent the following letter to the governor respectively requesting a veto of Senate Bill 350:

Senator Andy Vidak's letter to the governor

The governor has until October 11 to sign or veto the measure.

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Team Vidak Out & About

Click on the photos to read more about what Team Vidak is doing in our communities and at the Capitol.


Lemoore Student of the Month
Lemoore Student of the Month
Lindsay Community Services
Photo of Lindsay Healthy Start Family Resource Center Director Linda Ledesma and Team Vidak District Director Paula Vinzant
Tulare 4-H Youth Achievers
Tulare 4H Youth Achievers
Delano Girls/Boys State
Delano American Legion Annual Girls and Boys State
Tulare Educator of the Year
Photo of Krystal Polka, Educator of the Year
Tulare-Kings Ambassador
Photo of Monique Manzanares, Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (TKHCC) Ambassador of the Month
Bakersfield/Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico Sister City Project
Bakersfield/Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico Sister City Project
Fresno State Partners with Mexico
Fresno State Partners with Mexico
San Joaquin Community Hospital Tour
San Joaquin Community Hospital Tour
Hanford’s 9-11 Tribute
Hanford's 9/11 Tribute
Avenal City Council
Avenal City Council

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Valley Community Colleges Rank 1 & 2 in NorCal

Two Senate District 14 community colleges are the best in Northern California.
Pictured from left to right: Frank Gornick, Chancellor, West Hills Community College District; Don Warkentin, President, West Hills College Lemoore; Team Vidak District Representative Rogelio Caudillo; Casandra Ramirez Sanchez, Student Body President, West Hills College Lemoore; and Mark McKean, President, West Hills Community College District Board of Trustees.

Two Senate District 14 community colleges are the best in Northern California. West Hills College Lemoore was recently ranked the top Community College in Northern California by USA Today. Porterville College was ranked #2 by the national newspaper.

Best Northern California community colleges:

  • West Hill C ollege Lemoore
  • Porterville College
  • San Jose City College
  • Mendocino College
  • Hartnell College
  • College of Marin
  • Contra Costa College
  • College of San Mateo
  • Cañada College
  • Feather River Community College

The ranking was based on student-teacher ratio, the university transfer rate, distance education (online courses) and affordability.

“Access to education is critical for our rural communities,” said Andy. “This is a major achievement for the colleges and a blessing for our Valley.”

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Free Vision Care Clinics

Free Vision Care Clinics banner

Andy is co-hosting free Vision Care Clinics in November in Kings and Tulare Counties.

“Thanks to Vision Service Plan (VSP), Kings Community Action Organization and Tulare County Office of Education for making this important community service available to low-income families, who otherwise might not have access to vision care and eyeglasses,” said Andy.

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 usually receive their new glasses immediately after their eye exam.

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

November 17, 2015 • 9 am - 5 pm KCAO (Coe Park) • 543 S. Douty, Hanford
To find out if you qualify and to make an appointment, contact Victoria Priggett at559.584.5723 (between 8 am and 5 pm).

November 19, 2015 • 9 am - 5 pm Lindsay Wellness Center • 860 Sequoia Ave., Lindsay
To find out if you qualify and to make an appointment, contact Anita Solis, RN, at 559.651.0130 x 3711.

Team Vidak staff will be on hand to provide information on other state services available to constituents. For more information, please contact Claudia Salinas in the District Office at 559.585.7161.

Last year, Andy’s commitment to eye care for the underserved was demonstrated through his passion to bring two free mobile vision eye clinics to the Kern and Fresno county areas through a partnership with VSP.

The Kern and Fresno “Mobile Eyes” clinics resulted in 57 people receiving a free comprehensive eye exam and, if needed, glasses. The fifty-two people who needed glasses were able to select from a top quality assortment of frames. Most patients received their new glasses immediately after their eye exam. Another 80 people who couldn’t be served on the days of the clinics (because of time limitations) received vouchers to get a free eye exam and a pair of glasses from local optometrists at a later date.

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Dia de Los Muertos Valleywide

arteamericas logo

The California Arts Council has awarded Fresno-based Arte Américas an $8,000 grant through the Local Impact Program. Artes Américas’ mission is “to make Central California a flourishing place for Latino arts.”

The DIA DE LOS MUERTOS VALLEYWIDE grant will help the nonprofit organization expand its exhibits and programs around El Dia de Los Muertos, an ancient, indigenous holiday. The program features diverse works and eclectic artists from San Diego to Sacramento, with full-scale installation alters, paintings, murals, metalworks and more. It is expected to reach several thousand people in the Valley’s rural communities, with events in several cities, including Armona, Sanger and Selma.

Annually, Artes Américas provides 20 gallery exhibits, over 25 outdoor concerts and numerous other cultural programs through the Valley. Over 30,000 people visit Artes Americas’ center annually to support the Valley artists.

Artes Americas Flyer

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Women’s Empowerment Day – Bakersfield

California Women Lead and AERA (logo) Andy is partnering with California Women Lead and Aera to bring a one-day conference to Bakersfield that provides women the skills and tools to be empowered leaders.

Monday, Oct. 26 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Aera Energy | Conference Center 50
10000 Ming Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93311 map

Interested in gaining the skills and tools needed to be an empowered leader in your community? Join a Andy and a powerful line up of women leaders for California Women Lead’s first Women’s Empowerment Day in Bakersfield, designed to empower women. Speakers include:

  • State Senator Andy Vidak
  • Fiona Ma, Member, State Board of Equalization; former Assembly Speaker Pro Tem; andPresident, California Women Lead
  • Connie Conway, Former Assembly Minority Leader; Appointee, California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Member, California Women Lead
  • Christina Sistrunk, President and CEO, Aera Energy LLC
  • Cassandra Pye, President, 3.14 Communications and Vice President, CA Women Lead
  • Lynne Johnson Carrithers, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Aera Energy LLC
  • Cynthia Pollard, Director of Public Affairs, Aera Energy LLC
  • Shirley Gordon, Vice President of Operations, State Farm Insurance
  • Melissa Poole, Regulatory Affairs Manager, Paramount Farming Company
  • Connie Perez, Commissioner, California State Lottery
  • Janelle Capra, Principal, Capra PR
  • Michele Bresso, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor, Kern Community College District
  • Mari Perez-Dowling, Director, Community Relations, Univision
  • Rachel Michelin, CEO, California Women Lead and Gubernatorial Appointee, California Board of Optometry

For more information and to register, click here.

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Save the Date!

Holiday Open House banner

Team Vidak invites folks to a Holiday Legislative Open House in Bakersfield, so please save the date:


Thursday, December 10, 2015, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Andy’s Bakersfield District Office
1201 E. California Avenue, Bakersfield 93307

“Folks are cordially invited to a Holiday Legislative Open House at our Bakersfield district office for a legislative update, and for an opportunity to share with us state issues that are important to you and your family,” said Andy.

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Upcoming Legislative Dates of Note

California State Senate sealThe Legislature is currently in Interim Study Recess, which means legislators are back in their districts meeting with constituents and developing legislative packages for 2016.

October 11, 2015
Last day for the governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature on or before September 11 and in the governor’s possession after September 11

January 1, 2016
Statues (new laws) take effect

January 4, 2016
Legislature reconvenes

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