September is here and the Legislature is in the process of wrapping up the 2017 legislative session. As session winds down, I wanted to take a moment to let you know about one of my top priorities.
For far too long many poor families throughout the state, particularly in the Central Valley, have suffered because they do not have access to a safe water supply. In an effort to right this wrong, over the last several months I have been in discussions with Senator Bill Monning, a colleague of mine from the Central Coast, regarding his Senate Bill 623.
SB 623 is a bi-partisan effort to help provide safe and reliable drinking water to residents in disadvantaged communities throughout California.
Specifically SB 623 aims to do two things:
1) Clean-up contaminated water sources in hundreds of disadvantaged communities - many of which are in the Central Valley;
2) Assist over 300 small water systems upgrade their water facilities to provide safe and reliable drinking water for their residents. Over 100 of these small water systems serve disadvantaged residents in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties.
SB 623 is supported by a diverse coalition including community health, environmental, and agricultural groups who are coming together to make short and long-term drinking water solutions available to more than 1 million low-income Californians who do not have access to safe and affordable drinking water.
Funding for SB 623 will come from agreed upon fees on some sectors in the agriculture industry as well as a 95 cent increase in water fees. Low income residents are exempt from the fee.
I am a coauthor of SB 623 and believe it will have an incredibly positive impact on the lives of thousands who don’t have access to safe, clean water.
16 years ago on September 11, 2001, the unthinkable happened. The United States was attacked by terrorists, destroying the World Trade Center, damaging the Pentagon, and killing thousands. The images of first responders and ordinary people risking their lives to save others are constant reminders of American resolve and heroism in the face of great danger. On this day each year, we remember those who were killed and injured and the multitude of lives that were forever scarred by the tragic events of 9/11.
Two official events honor the victims and survivors – National Day of Service and Remembrance and Patriot Day.
In 2009 Congress designated September 11 as the annual day to remember the victims, survivors and those who responded to the attacks. This day was started by the families of those lost in the tragedy who sought to remember the occasion through positive actions.
Each year the President of the United States issues a proclamation asking that the American flag be flown at half-mast on all government buildings and other organizations. Americans are also asked to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EST, in memory of the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Americans are also encouraged to remember the fallen, survivors and first responders by volunteering with a service organization.
We will never forget!
Members of Andy’s staff will be holding Mobile District Office Hours in the following communities during August:
Thurs., September 14
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Carl Smith Middle School Library
23825 Ave. 92, Terra Bella
Fri., September 15
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Covenant Coffee Shafter
1100 E. Lerdo Hwy, Shafter
Sat., September 23
12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Raisin Harvest Festival
Rose Ann Vuich Park
855 E. El Monte Way, Dinuba
Wed., September 27
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Arvin City Hall
200 Campus Dr., Arvin
Wed., September 20
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Parlier Cold Storage
13908 E. Parlier Ave., Parlier
Tues., September 26
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Woodlake High School
400 W. Whitney Ave., Woodlake
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;
- small business assistance;
- worker’s compensation;
- state legislation; and
- other state-related matters.
For more information, please contact Team Vidak’s Felisa Hannah at (559) 264-3070 or email Felisa.Hannah@sen.ca.gov.
Senator Andy Vidak is excited to announce that Cory Burkarth will be coming on board as the Communications Director in Vidak’s Capitol office starting on October 2.
Burkarth has an extensive background in media relations, public relations, and public information. He currently serves as a Public Information Officer for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in Fresno and Kings Counties.
From 2009-2016, Burkarth served as the Assistant Director of Media Relations and Digital Media for the University of South Carolina athletics department. While at South Carolina, his duties included serving as the game day media contact for then-head football coach Steve Spurrier and later for then-interim head football coach Shawn Elliott. Burkarth also served as the media relations contact for the Gamecocks women’s equestrian team, which won the National Championship in 2015 and back-to-back Southeastern Conference Championships in 2013 and 2014. He was named Employee of the Year in the athletics department in 2012.
Burkarth earned a Master of Mass Communications Degree and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Broadcast Journalism, both from the University of South Carolina.
“Cory has a positive, can-do, team oriented approach well suited to help represent the hard working families and communities of the Central Valley,” said Vidak. “He will be a great asset to our already strong team.”
Congratulations to Reedley College for being named as one of 65 colleges within the California Community College system to earn a spot among the ranks of ‘Strong Workforce Stars’ for their successes in helping students increase their earning power and social mobility.
The ‘Strong Workforce Stars’ is an annual commendation for career technical education (CTE) programs, within California’s 114 community colleges whose students show significant gains in factors important for advancing social mobility - a substantial increase in earnings, attainment of a living wage, and/or employment in a job closely matched with the student’s field of study.
Reedley College’s Criminal Justice program has proven to advance its students’ social mobility through increasing student earnings by 100%. The Criminal Justice program at Reedley College is tailored to fit every student’s need. Each student can choose the learning path that is suited for them, picking from a variety of different issue topics such as Medical and Physical Law Enforcement or Corrections to Drug/Narcotics Law Enforcement.
Students that complete the program often find jobs in the criminal justice field such as in law, probation, forensic criminology, and criminal research.
The California Community College Chancellor’s Office press release can be viewed here.
Click on the photos below to read more about what’s happening in our Communities.
43rd Annual Philippine Weekend
Richard Sepulveda Named 2017 Sanger Chamber Educator of the Year
National Night Out in Sanger
National Night Out in Hanford
Centerpointe Project Launch in McFarland
Fresno County Jail Tour
World Lion Day
Aerial Tour of California Water Systems
Fresno City College Students Get Free Bus Passes
Dr. Joseph Jones Welcomed as Fresno Pacific University President
Conoce a Kate
Fresno Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Center Celebrates 25 Years
Dia de la Familia
Community Water Center Visits Hanford District Office
8th Annual Central California Open Chess Tournament
Parlier City Council Meeting
Backpack Give-A-Way Day
Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability
Community Life Garden Tour
9/4 Labor Day
9/5 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
9/6 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
9/7 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
9/8 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
9/11 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
9/12 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
9/13 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
9/14 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
9/15 Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
9/15 Last Day for Senate and Assembly to pass bills
9/15 Interim Study Recess begins upon adjournment
*September 5 – 15 Floor Session only. No committees may meet for any purpose.
Important dates occurring during Interim Study Recess
10/15 Last day for the Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before Sept. 15 and in the Governor’s possession on or after Sept. 15
1/1 Statues enacted in 2017 take effect
1/3 Legislature Reconvenes