Vidak's News & Views: April 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014
In this Issue:
Note from Andy
ICYMI – Andy on ‘Local Edition’
Donate Life
Team Vidak in the Community
Vidak Fights to Protect Water Rights
Andy’s Activities
Appointments Training In Bakersfield
Andy’s April Calendar Highlights

Hello Friends –

Team Vidak’s efforts to get a water bond before voters this November and to stop High-Speed Rail will be tested in Senate policy committee hearings this month.

Water Bond Legislation
On April 8, the water bond bill I co-authored with Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) will be heard in the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Senate Bill 927 would put a water bond on the November 2014 ballot that prioritizes creating water storage, water conveyance, and clean drinking water.

To read more about SB 927, click here.

High-Speed Rail Legislation
On April 22, the package of bills I authored to stop High-Speed Rail (HSR) will be heard in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. Senate Bill 901 – the center piece of the package – would allow Californians a revote on HSR. High-Speed Rail will kill jobs, hopes and dreams. The people of California are demanding and deserve a re-vote on this out-of-control train wreck.

To read more about the Stop-the-High-Speed-Rail legislation, click here.

If you would like to testify in Sacramento in support of any of these bills, please contact Rogelio Caudillo in our Capitol Office at 916-651-4016 or email

To watch a live stream of the hearings, visit

Pray for rain and stop the train!


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ICYMI – Andy on ‘Local Edition’

In case you missed it, you can watch Andy’s 5-minute interview on Time Warner Cable’s “Local Edition” where he discusses the devastating drought and stopping High-Speed Rail. Click on the photo below.

A video of Andy's 5-minute interview on Time Warner Cable’s Local Edition

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Donate Life

Image of Donate Life symbolApril is National Donate Life Month – a time set aside to commemorate those who have received or continue to wait for a life-saving transplant. Currently, more than 120,000 are on the national transplant waiting list. Nationwide, approximately 18 people die each day awaiting life-saving organ transplants, and a new name is added to the national waiting list every 10 minutes. With these numbers in mind, it is also important to know that one organ donor can save up to eight lives and one tissue donor can improve the lives of up to 50 others.

Signing up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor is easy, and in doing so, you give hope to those waiting for a transplant. Simply visit to join the Donate Life California state-authorized organ, eye and tissue donor registry. You can also register by checking “YES! I want to be an organ and tissue donor” when you renew or apply for your driver license or ID card through the DMV.

JePahl White of Fresno was once one of the thousands of Californians waiting for a kidney transplant. In his senior year in high school, JePahl decided to join the military. The standard physical turned up a surprising hereditary kidney problem. At age 21, JePahl started dialysis three times per week, for four hours each treatment. Being placed on the kidney transplant waiting list gave him hope. It wasn’t until eight years later, in June 2004, that JePahl received a kidney transplant.

When JePahl asked LaKishia to marry him, he had no idea that she would actually end up saving his life. In January 2009, JePahl began to feel ill and a visit to the emergency room revealed that his transplanted kidney was in full rejection. JePahl started back on dialysis. Soon thereafter, LaKishia approached him about becoming his donor, but tests showed she was not a biological match for JePahl. Undeterred, LaKishia researched paired kidney exchange programs across the country. It was through a paired exchange program that on September 27, 2010, JePahl received a kidney from a Sacramento woman who donated on behalf of her mother, who in turn received a life-saving kidney from another donor as part of a chain of transplants. LaKishia’s donated kidney was flown to a recipient in Pennsylvania.

This experience has enriched JePahl greatly.

“I believe the gift of life crosses all color lines, genders, and ethnicities; it is a beautiful way to honor the uniqueness of all human beings,– said JePahl.

Today, he works as a community organizer in Fresno. His gift of life allows him to give back, and to him that is what life is all about.

In Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare Counties that make up Senate District 16, there are 1,704 waiting for an organ transplant. These are our neighbors and community members. By registering to be a potential organ, eye and tissue donor, you will give them hope.

“If you are already registered to be an organ donor, thank you for taking this important step,” said Andy. “If you are not a registered donor, I encourage you to do so at You have the power to Donate Life.”

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Team Vidak in the Community

Team Vidak members participated in numerous community events and celebrations, including Beautification Day (SW Fresno), Kings County Farm Day (Hanford), Miss Fresno County Pageant, CSU Bakersfield’s College Making it Happen, Cancer 101 (Fresno) and National Boys and Girls Club Week (Bakersfield). Click on the pictures below for details.

Image of people at Beautification Day in Southwest Fresno.  Image of people at Kings County Farm Day in Hanford.  Image of Team Vidak representative Nathan Alonzo at Miss Fresno County Pageant  Image of  Team Vidak's Nathan Alonzo with  Executive Director Sharon Johnson at the Susan G Komen Cancer 101 event in Fresno.

Image of Tomeka Powell helping out at College Making It Happen  Image of Team Vidak's Janie Sustaita at Kern County  National Boys & Girls Club Week.


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Vidak Fights to Protect Water Rights

On March 7, Andy sent a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation and State Water Resources Control Board requesting that they honor long-time water rights.

Dear Acting Commissioner Pimley and Chair Marcus,

I write today regarding concerns raised by my constituents about the possibility of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the Bureau of Reclamation reducing water allocations to members of the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors (Exchange Contractors) below their guaranteed 75% allocation. While I understand that no decision has been made on this issue of yet, it would be unconscionable for your agencies to not honor the agreed upon water allocations.

To read the letter in full, click here.

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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 in March.

His activities included: Ag Community Tele-Town Hall (Sacramento), Fire OPS 101 (Capitol), Ag Day FFA Rally (Capitol), Leadership Northern Tulare County (Capitol), Valley Alzheimer's Association (Capitol), National Surveyors Week (Capitol), Sequoia Kennel Club (Hanford), Baker Hughes (Shafter), Community Food Giveaway (Fresno), ID Theft Prevention Town Hall (Fresno), CALTRANS SR180 Braided Ramps Project Ribbon Cutting (Fresno).

Image of Andy with Senator Cannella, Equalization Member George Runner and the California Farm Bureau for telephone town hall  Image of Andy with a California Professional Firefighter  Image of Andy at rally for Future Farmers of America


Image of Andy with 2014 Class of Leadership Northern Tulare County at the Capitol  Image of  Valley representatives from the Alzheimer's Association and Andy  Image of California Land Surveyors Association President Rolland Van De Valk,  Andy and Pat Tami, a professional land surveyor


Image of Andy with 2014 Class of Leadership Northern Tulare County at the Capitol  Image of  Valley representatives from the Alzheimer's Association and Andy


Image of food bank volunteers Image of Andy and a constituent at a Fresno Town Hall

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Appointments Training In Bakersfield

Appointments Training in Bakersfield flyer


Ever considered getting involved in your local 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 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. With the number of women in local government decreasing, we want to empower women to apply for appointments to reach gender equality on boards and commissions. Women and men are both welcome to join us and be part of the movement. Speakers include:

  • Andy Vidak, Senator, State of California
  • Mona Pasquil, Appointments Secretary, Office of Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
  • Fiona Ma, Assemblymember (ret.), State of California
  • Rachel Michelin, Executive Director/CEO, California Women Lead


Tickets FREE for California Women Lead members & Bakersfield Chamber members.

  • California Women Lead members, click here to register.
  • Bakersfield Chamber Members (4 digit membership number required), click here to register
  • $10 for non-members. Non-members, click here to register. Refreshments will be served.

The deadline to R.S.V.P. is April 8, 2014. No admittance at the door without prior RSVP

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Andy’s April Calendar Highlights

4/1    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
4/1    Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/2    Senate Governance and Finance Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/3    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
4/4    Kings County Middle School – Fresno
4/4    El Monte Middle School – Orosi
4/4    United Health Centers – Parlier 
4/5    Relay for Life – Dinuba
4/7    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
4/8    Governmental Organization Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/8    SB927 (Water Bond) hearing in Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee – State Capitol
4/9    Senate Governance and Finance Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/9    Senate Insurance Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/9    Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/10    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
4/10    Legislature’s Spring Recess begins upon adjournment of Session
4/10    CA Women Lead Appointments Training – Bakersfield
4/12    Farming and Ranching
4/21    Legislature reconvenes after Spring Recess
4/21    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
4/22    SB 901, 902, 903, 904 (High-Speed Rail) hearing in 
            Senate Transportation and Housing Committee – State Capitol
4/22    Governmental Organization Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/22    Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/23    Senate Governance and Finance Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/24    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
4/25    Grimmway Academy – Arvin 
4/28    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
4/29    SB 957 (Realignment Sentencing) hearing in Senate Public Safety Committee – State Capitol
4/29    Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/30    Senate Governance and Finance Committee Hearing – State Capitol
4/30    Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee Hearing – State Capitol

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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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