Vidak's News & Views: January 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

Howdy Friends --

Happy New Year and Heartfelt Thanks!

Mobile Eyes Clinics

Reflecting on this past season of giving makes my heart swell with gratitude for all the folks who made it possible for nearly 300 people to get free eye exams and glasses, if needed. 

My office teamed up with Vision Service Plan (VSP), the Californian Optometric Association, Adventist Health, Kings County Action Organization (KCAO) and the Tulare County Office of Education to bring VSP’s free “Mobile Eyes” to the Valley. 

Many of our communities suffer from extreme poverty and some of the highest unemployment in the state and country. Some of the people coming to the ’Mobile Eyes’ clinic have never been to an eye doctor before and haven’t had the ability to purchase glasses for their children or themselves. Getting a pair of glasses for the first time can be life changing. 

This amazing service would not be made possible without the generous contribution of time, talent and resources from VSP, Adventist Health, KCAO, the Tulare County Office of Education and our volunteer optometrists, Dr. Jeffrey Garcia of Lemoore and Dr. Garrick Petersen from Lindsay. Heartfelt thanks for their commitment to serving our communities. 

To view highlights of this year’s Mobile Eye Clinics, click on the photo below:

Watch the Mobile Eyes Clinics Highlights

New Legislative Session

I’m not going to sugar coat it – 2017 might bring challenges to our Valley’s rural way of life.

California now has a Legislature that is controlled by a Democrat super-majority in both houses, as well as a Democrat in the Governor’s Office. That means tax hikes can be passed and signed into law without any Republican input or votes. 

It also makes it very easy for liberal Democrats to pass radical environmental laws that threaten Valley jobs in our two biggest employment sectors – agriculture and energy – as well as pass policies and regulations that decimate small businesses and hurt hardworking families. 

While the governor took an overall prudent approach with his proposed budget, he stubbornly continues to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on his pet High-Speed Rail project, despite a vigorous backlash of public opposition to the boondoggle. Instead we should be fixing our dilapidated roads and highways and building much-needed water storage. 

Coastal elites are enjoying a rebounding economy from policies that create high-tech jobs there, while driving hardworking folks in inland communities further into poverty. 

Thank you for the honor to be your loud and proud voice in Sacramento. I will continue to fight the good fight to bring water and jobs to the Valley, and to keep education for our kids affordable and our communities safe. 

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the California Senate. 

Senator Andy Vidak's signature


Andy’s Policy Committee Assignments

The Senate Rules Committee has appointed Andy to the following Senate committees:

  • Banking and Financial Institutions (vice chair)
  • Education
  • Energy, Utilities and Communications
  • Governmental Organization
  • Natural Resources and Water

The only change to Andy’s committee assignments from the last Legislative Session is being assigned to the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications. 

“It’s important to have a strong voice for the Central Valley on the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, and I am honored to be that voice,” said Andy.

Team Vidak Out & About

Click on the photos below to read more about what is happening in our communities.

Christmas in Orange Cove

Photos from the Orange Cove Christmas Celebration

Centro 18’s One-Year Anniversary

Photos from Centro 18's One-Year Anniversary

Owens Valley Career Development Center’s Culture and Resource Fair

Photos from Owens Valley Career Development Center's Culture and Resource Fair

Free ’Mobile Eyes’ Clinics in Avenal and Dinuba

Phots from the Mobile Eyes Clinics in Avenal and Dinuba

Delano Kidney Center Open House

Photos from the Delano Kidney Center Open House


Save the Date: Career Expo on Jan. 26!

Team Vidak has partnered with U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao, Tachi Palace and San Joaquin Valley College for the Central Valley Career & Resource Expo on January 26 in Lemoore.

With high unemployment in the Valley, connecting people looking for a job with people who have jobs to fill is a top priority. 

Career and Resource Expo - In Collaboration with Tachi Palace

What makes this Expo different is that all booth participants have current job openings. Serious job applicants come to the Expo because they know their chances of landing a job at this event is much higher than regular job fairs. Last year’s Expo featured over 80 employers, and over 300 job applicants attended.


January 26, 2017
9 a.m. to 1 p.m


Tachi Palace Bingo Hall
17225 Jersey Ave, Lemoore

In addition to employers with jobs to fill, San Joaquin Valley College (SJVC) will be providing job-seekers with free career development workshops at the Expo.

SJVC Career College Logo“We are thrilled to be a part of this event,” said SJVC Career Services Specialist Jennifer Hillan. “Preparing people for their next job and providing opportunities for employment is an amazing feat.”

The comprehensive series of live workshops to help job-seekers develop a successful job-search strategy and get tools to land a job include:

  • Job interviewing/role playing
  • Resume Review/writing it, posting it and employers perspective
  • Social networking/job search strategy
  • Dress for Success
  • Lasting impression at Job Fairs/follow up

If you are a job-seeker, this Expo is the place to be!

For more information about the Expo, please contact Claudia Salinas in Andy’s Hanford district office at 559-585-7161 or


Andy Earns 100 Percent on Greater Fresno Chamber Report Card

Fresno Chamber of Commerce LogoSacramento – Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) scored 100 percent on the Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Legislative Report Card for his pro-jobs voting record.

The Chamber’s Government Affairs Council (GAC) reviews and takes positions on legislation important to business throughout the year, and then issues a report card on the voting record of local, state and federal elected officials representing the Fresno region. 

“The Fresno Chamber is proud to recognize Senator Andy Vidak’s Legislative Scorecard Record. Once again, Senator Vidak has shown that he is a champion for business and jobs in the greater-Fresno region,” said Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Nathan Ahle. “As a small-business owner and valley native he understands the challenges that our members face, and he has taken our concerns and fight to the halls of our state’s Capitol.” 

In 2016, GAC scored 17 pieces of legislation. Vidak voted in alignment with the Chamber’s position on all 17 bills. 

“The small business sector part of the economic engine that helps drive a thriving economy, so it’s vital we have an environment where they can grow and create jobs,” said Vidak. “Thanks to the Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce for being a champion small business and the prosperity it brings to our Valley.” 

To view the Chamber’s Report Card, click here.


January Mobile District Office Hours

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

Tues., Jan. 17
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Arvin City Hall
200 Campus Dr., Arvin

Tues., Jan. 17
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Shafter City Hall
336 Pacific Ave., Shafter

Thurs., Jan. 19
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
The Station Depot Office
1099 Otis Ave., Corcoran

Fri., Jan. 20
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
McDermont Field
358 N. Sweetbriar Ave., Lindsay

Mon., Jan. 23
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
West Fresno Branch Library, Room 102
188 E. California Ave., Fresno

Thurs., Jan. 26
10 a.m. – Noon
Tachi Palace Bingo Hall
17225 Jersey Ave., Lemoore

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.

For more information, please contact Team Vidak’s Claudia Salinas (559) 585-7161 or email


Team Vidak’s Michael Bowers Honored with ‘Hero’ Award

Picture of Senator Andy Vidak with Michael Bowers and Gloria Williams
Pictured from left to right are Andy, Michael Bowers and Gloria Williams.

Team Vidak Sr. District Representative Michael Bowers was recently honored as one of California Resources Corporation (CRC) 2016 Community Heroes.

Every year, CRC partners with Rabobank to recognize outstanding community citizens for their exemplary dedication to making a positive difference in our community. These individuals generously support Kern County through personal acts of leadership, advocacy, volunteerism, or any form of heroism to enhance the quality of life in Kern County. 

“Michael Bowers wears all of those hats well. Michael is active in the community, serving as a member of Kern County’s ’Stop the Violence’ Committee, board member for the Alzheimer’s Association of Kern County, and board chairman for the Housing and Opportunity Foundation of Kern. Michael can be seen throughout Kern County advocating for citizens who need a ’voice’ in our community,” said CRC Community Outreach Advisor Gloria Williams.” 

Michael was also recently named one of Bakersfield’s top "20 Under 40" leaders by Bakersfield Life Magazine. 

“This definitely is well-earned recognition,” said Andy. “Mike embodies the spirit of giving back to his community.”


Lyndsay Mitchell Joins Team Vidak at the Capitol

Picture of Legislative Director Lyndsay MitchellLyndsay Mitchell has been hired as the legislative director in Andy’s Capitol office starting today. 

She has extensive experience at the Capitol. Most recently, she worked as the legislative director for Assemblymember David Hadley where she managed his legislative package and staffed committees and Assembly Floor votes, among other duties. Prior to that, she was the legislative director for Assemblymember Rocky Chavez. 

She has Bachelor of Arts Degree from Gettysburg College with a double major in Political Science and Globalization Studies. Lyndsay replaces Scott Seekatz, who was recently hired as a policy and fiscal consultant with the Senate Republican Caucus. 

“Lyndsay comes with a wealth of legislative knowledge and experience that will be an asset to Team Vidak’s commitment to serving the people of the Valley,” said Andy.


January Legislative Calendar Highlights

California Senate Seal

1/13         Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/16         Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
1/16         Andy to attend MLK Community Breakfast -- Bakersfield
1/17         Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/19         Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/20         Last day to submit bill requests to the Office of Legislative Counsel
1/23         Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
1/26         Andy to attend 3rd Annual Central Valley Career and Resource Expo – Lemoore
1/30         Senate Floor Session – State Capitol