Howdy Friends —
Team Vidak hopes that your Thanksgiving was filled with family, friends, food and fun, and that you had time to reflect on and count the many blessings we have here in the Valley and our great nation. I give thanks for the privilege of serving you in the State Senate and am blessed that you put your trust in me.
On December 5, the California State Senate convened to swear in newly-elected or re-elected members of the upper house of our Legislature. Welcome to my new colleagues:
- Senator Toni Atkins (D- San Diego)
- Senator Steven Bradford (D- Gardena)
- Senator Bill Dodd (D- Napa)
- Senator Josh Newman (D- Fullerton)
- Senator Anthony Portantino (D- La Cañada Flintridge)
- Senator Nancy Skinner (D- Berkeley)
- Senator Henry Stern (D- Canoga Park)
- Senator Scott Wiener (D- San Francisco)
- Senator Scott Wilk (R- Santa Clarita)
The Legislature will reconvene on January 4, the beginning of a new two-year legislative session. As always, my priorities includes building water storage, creating jobs, stopping High-Speed Rail, educating our children, increasing health care access and keeping our communities safe.
I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion to help ensure our state has a reliable and affordable source of water and a reliable and affordable source of energy. With both, we can keep jobs, grow jobs and bring prosperity and abundance back to our great state.
Warm wishes to you and yours this Holiday Season!
Andy listens to a Senate Floor debate on Dec. 5 at the Capitol in Sacramento
Andy has introduced Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 1, urging Congress and the president to work together to create a comprehensive and workable approach to reform the nation’s immigration system.
SJR 1 is an identical measure to Andy’s SJR 2 from last session, which unanimously passed the Senate, and passed the Assembly 65-1.
“SJR 1 is a truly bi-partisan message to the president and Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform,” said Andy.
Here is an excerpt from SJR 1:
California has the largest share of immigrants in the country. These immigrants are a vital and productive part of our state’s economy and are active in a variety of industries, including technology, biotech, hospitality, agriculture, construction, services, transportation, and textiles.
They also represent a large share of our new small business owners and create economic prosperity and needed jobs for everyone.
Keeping these families, business owners, and hard workers in the shadows of society serves no one.
Our state, for economic, social, health, security, and prosperity reasons, must support policies that allow individuals to become legal and enfranchised participants in our society and economy.
Comprehensive immigration reform should include a reasonable and timely path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are already living and working in the United States.
Immigration reform should also include comprehensive background checks, require demonstrated proficiency in English and payment of all current and back taxes, and have the flexibility to respond to emerging business trends.
Andy has teamed up with U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao and Tachi Palace for the Third Annual Central Valley Career and Resource Expo on January 26, 2017 in Lemoore.
With high unemployment in the Valley, connecting people looking for a job with people who have jobs is a top priority. If you are an employer with jobs to fill, you are invited to participate in the Expo.
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 are probably much higher than some other job fairs. Last year’s Expo featured over 80 employers, and over 300 job applicants attended.
Thursday, January 26, 2017, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tachi Palace Bingo Hall
17225 Jersey Ave., Lemoore
If you are a business with job openings and would like to be part of the Expo, or if you would like more information about the Expo, please contact Claudia Salinas in my Hanford district office at 559-585-7161 or Claudia.Salinas@sen.ca.gov.
“If you have a job to fill or are looking for a job, you won’t want to miss this career expo,” said Andy.
Click on the photos below to read more about what is happening in our communities.
Porterville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet
14th Annual National Adoption Day in Bakersfield
Student Council Advisory Board
Citizens Assisting Local Veterans In Need
CHP Memorial Freeway Dedication in Kings County
U.S Marine Corps’ 241st Birthday Celebration in Bakersfield
South Valley Battle of the Badges
Team Vidak’s Lemoore Mobile Office Hours
Gimme Some Sugar 10th Anniversary
Bakersfield AIDS Project
California is home to nearly two million veterans, which is more than any other state.
Military careers equip veterans with enhanced skills, leadership experience and advanced training in everything from information technology to logistics and medical fields. The U.S. Department of Labor has found that the skills veterans acquire typically meet or exceed the requirements of the civilian workforce.
The California Employment Development Department has a long history of success in helping veterans of all ages find jobs and training. In commemoration of Veterans Day, the EDD has launched a special “Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet” web page designed to help connect employers in need of good workers with qualified veterans. This site highlights new data about veteran employment and services available for both employers and veterans including:
- “CalJOBSSM” - California’s online resource to help job seekers and employers navigate the state’s workforce services, with directions on how employers can access a specialized CalJOBSSM link making the résumés of 160,000 veterans available within seconds.
- “Heroes at Work” - presents inspiring stories of employers who have hired qualified veterans and recognize the benefits veterans bring to the workplace.
- “California Veteran: A Smart Hire” - lists the enhanced training, education, and skills that veterans bring with them from their military careers.
- A list of services available for both employers and employees at America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM locations throughout the state. Veteran representatives at these offices help veterans find jobs and training, and assist employers in finding and preparing veterans for jobs.
For further information about EDD, please visit http://www.edd.ca.gov/.
The Wonderful Company has earned the prestigious U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizens Award for Best Community Improvement Program.
The award is a reflection of The Wonderful Company’s commitment to the community and residents of Lost Hills. A large percentage of the people that live in Lost Hills work at the Wonderful Pistachios plant there.
The Wonderful Company has invested over $15 million in the community, including paved roads, sidewalks, community centers, sports fields, affordable housing and numerous other infrastructure and revitalization projects.
“Congratulations to The Wonderful Company, and heartfelt thanks for going above and beyond the call to help the communities in which you do business thrive,” said Andy. “It’s no wonder The Wonderful Company won this global competition.”
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has announced that it will be temporarily closing its Delano Field Office located at 631 Jefferson Street to make improvements, such as new interior paint, duct work and parking lot repairs.
The office will close Friday, January 6 at noon, and is expected to reopen Monday, January 30 at 8:00 a.m. The four nearest DMV field offices for in-person visits are:
- Shafter Field Office - 548 Walker Street, Shafter, CA 93263
- Porterville Field Office - 329 East Olive Avenue, Porterville, CA 93257
- Bakersfield Field Office - 3130 F Street, Bakersfield, CA 93313
- Tulare Field Office - 274 East Cross Avenue, Tulare, CA 93274
The DMV offers many online services at www.dmv.ca.gov, which can help save a trip to a field office. A few of the convenient options include renewing your vehicle registration and driver license, completing a change of address, requesting a driver record and making an appointment.
Andy excited to welcome Senate Fellow Benjamin “Ben” Granholm to Team Vidak in his Capitol Office. The Senate Fellows program provides college graduates an opportunity to become full-time Senate staff members in Sacramento for 11 months.
“We are so excited to welcome Ben to Team Vidak,” said Andy. “Ben’s education in agriculture and rural upbringing strengthen our ability to serve the people of Senate District 14.”
Born and raised in Grass Valley, Granholm’s northern California roots provided him an opportunity to get involved with the local 4-H and FFA Programs. Through these programs, he developed a passion for the agriculture industry.
That passion led him to attend California State University, Fresno where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Education with an emphasis in Agriculture Business. Granholm spent a semester in D.C., working for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council as a public policy intern working on behalf of producers across the United States.
“Attending Fresno State gave me an incredible opportunity to continue learning and developing my passion in the heart of the agriculture industry,” said Ben. “As a Senate Fellow, the chance to be part of Senator Vidak’s team and work on behalf of the constituents of the Central Valley is a true honor. I can’t wait to gain a deeper understanding of the legislative process and work to improve our great state.”
Senate Fellows are assigned to the personal or committee staff of a senator and also participate in academic seminars with senators, senior staff, journalists, lobbyists and state government officials. Fellows experience a broad range of activities including researching public policy issues, developing legislative proposals, analyzing and staffing legislation, assisting with constituent services and participating in meetings as the senator’s representative.
Fellows are paid a stipend of $2,627 per month, plus health, vision and dental benefits. They also earn six units of graduate credit from Sacramento State for the academic portion of the program. The deadline to apply for the 2017-18 Program is February 13, 2017. For more information, please visit www.csus.edu/calst/programs.
Former Senate Fellows include current members of Congress and the California Legislature, judges and numerous other elected officials and community leaders.
“If you have a passion for public service and a commitment to making a difference, like Ben, I encourage you to apply for the upcoming program,” said Andy.
Hayden Johnson is interning this fall in Vidak’s Bakersfield office. She was born and raised in Bakersfield and graduated from North High School in 2012. She currently attends California State University, Bakersfield and is part of the Maddy Institute Internship Program.
After finishing her Team Vidak internship, she will be graduating and receiving her B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations.
She says she’s enjoying her time with our Bakersfield office and is glad she had the opportunity to meet elected officials, business owners and residents of the community.
“Interning with Andy Vidak’s office has expanded my interest in local and state politics, and allowed me to develop office-related and community skills, which will help me move forward as I decide the next step in my career,“ said Hayden.
“We are blessed to have Hayden on Team Vidak and greatly appreciate her volunteering her time and talent to serve the folks in the 14th Senate District,” said Andy.
The governor and first lady hosted the 85th Annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the West Steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento on December 5.
The beautiful 60-foot tall white fir from a state forest in Shasta County is decorated with 10,000 lights and 900 hand-crafted ornaments that children and adults with developmental disabilities made.
Jan. 1 New laws take effect
Jan. 4 Legislature reconvenes - State Capitol
Jan. 10 Budget must be submitted by the governor
Jan. 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observed
Jan. 20 Last day to submit bill requests to the Office of Legislative Counsel