Wednesday, April 18, 2018

For Immediate Release: April 18, 2018
Contact: Taylor Giroux – (916) 319-2021


New Democrats Introduce Fiscally Responsible Savings Account


SACRAMENTO – Today, the California New Democrats introduced landmark legislation to create a new, more flexible state savings account to weather the state’s boom-and-bust revenue cycle and insulate Californians from the drastic cuts made during recessions. The measure, Assembly Bill 1740, will establish a complementary account to the state’s existing “Rainy Day Fund.” This proposal is consistent with the Assembly Democrats’ “Blueprint for a Responsible Budget,” released in January.

“If we don’t save during the good times, we will inevitability be forced to make cuts to critical services during the bad. Education, public safety, and other important government services will all be on the chopping block without sufficient reserves to weather us through the next recession,” the New Democrats said in a statement.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

For Immediate Release: April 10, 2018
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021


Gray Demands Action After State Water Board Loses in Court


SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D – Merced) renewed calls today to fix the state’s broken water rights management system following a court ruling that condemned the State Water Resources Control Board’s broken enforcement process.


In a case between the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) and the State Water Board, a judge ruled this month that the Board lacks the authority to issue curtailment notices to pre-1914 and riparian water right holders. The judge ruled that the Board violated BBID’s due process rights by ordering immediate cessation of diversions and threatening the district with large fines without first providing the district its right to due process.


“The ruling reaffirms what we have known for some time,” Gray said. “We need to reform the State Water Board’s coercive enforcement process to guarantee water rights holders a fair hearing and due process. The Judge’s decision makes that clearer than ever.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Bonita Elementary School Visits Assembly Floor
Monday, March 26, 2018

As published in: Westside Connect

Never apologize for being a farmer

Posted: Monday, March 26, 2018 11:09 am


As someone who was born and raised in the Valley, the economic and social values of agriculture are part of who I am. Accountability for our actions is part of our way of life. If you don’t work hard, you don’t get paid. It’s as simple as that.

Unfortunately, folks in Sacramento don’t always remember the rules of the game. They demonize successful farmers as “Big Ag.” They claim we waste water, forgetting that irrigation is what puts food on their tables. That’s not waste – it’s hard work.

They want us to make sacrifices they would never ask of other industries, and they want us to make them without any of the help they provide to other industries. When Hollywood started filming more of its movies outside of California, the Legislature provided hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of incentives to bring them back.

I once asked if we could do something similar for the dairy industry, which is being forced to either consolidate or leave the state. My proposal went nowhere.

Farmers in the Valley know the truth, but even we are guilty of sometimes buying into Sacramento’s untrue narrative. When now-Senator Kamala Harris was running for office, she came to Modesto to meet and discuss agricultural issues at a round-table forum. As local farmers introduced themselves, each one qualified their success by referring to their operations as “small, family farms” even though many were large operations.

When it was my turn, I felt compelled to share an observation with the Senator: Valley farmers feel the need to apologize for their success. Surely, major companies in the Bay Area are not referring to themselves as “small, family tech firms.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

As excerpted from: The Los Angeles Times

Californians appointed to state posts could soon be barred from writing checks to lawmakers who vote on their nomination

Last year, [Lucy] Dunn, the president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, was confirmed for a third term on the influential transportation panel. Three months later she contributed to a political campaign for the current Senate leader, Kevin De León.

Dunn's contributions are allowed by state law, but some believe such payments undermine public confidence in the appointment process. That concern is behind a new proposal by Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) to outlaw contributions to senators by political appointees for up to a year between the time they are chosen by the governor until their required confirmation by the Senate.

"The state Legislature should safeguard the public's confidence in our government institutions," said Gray, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization.

"We have adopted a number of limitations and transparency measures in other areas, but the contribution activities of political appointees — who have a personal financial interest at stake — to state senators during the confirmation process remains almost entirely opaque," Gray added.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Pictured – Assemblymember Brian Dahle, Assemblymember Adam Gray, Connie Roberts on behalf of her mother, Lillian Roberts, Assemblymember Susan Eggman, Speaker Anthony Rendon

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2018
Contact: Megan Belair
Phone: (916)319-2021


SACRAMENTO –On Monday, March 12,  Ms. Lillian Roberts of Merced was honored as the Woman of the Year from the 21st Assembly District by the California State Assembly during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Assemblymember Adam Gray nominated Roberts, who has been a local leader in the area of education and civil rights for half a century or more. She was instrumental in accomplishing the desegregation of schools in Merced County, serving as the first African-American teacher.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

As excerpted from: The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County leaders OK low-barrier shelter, plus a bold plan to help the homeless


February 27, 2018 04:05 PM

County supervisors discussed a broader plan Tuesday developed by representatives of business, nonprofit groups, the faith community, local government and a consulting firm that's donating time to the initiative.

The county will begin a process of finding a location for a 60-bed permanent access center for the homeless, offering services such as case management, substance abuse and mental health services and assistance with legal issues, employment training and job search. In the cold winter months, the center will also direct the homeless to available beds in local shelters.

The permanent center will replace the temporary low-barrier shelter, which would be operated under a three-year nonrenewable lease.

Supervisors gave approval to distribute $2.5 million in state funding secured by Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, to the United Way for operating the low-barrier shelter for three years. The Stanislaus Community Foundation has pledged $1 million for building the shelter.

Local groups participating in the permanent access center will need a financing plan for operation and maintenance. Funding could come from private donors, grants and other sources.

David Crotty, senior vice president of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, the Bay Area design firm providing pro bono services to the county, said he believes the plan can be successful in reducing homelessness.

"Some people say this is impossible," Crotty said. "It is, of course, impossible if you don't try."

I want to observe Black History Month by remembering some of our local leaders who are no longer with us but have left us a legacy of commitment, leadership, faith, tolerance and courage.

Lew Braxton, Jr.

Lew served in the United States Air Force for twenty years including service in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He retired in 1972 when stationed at Castle Air Force Base with the rank of Major. He remained in Atwater and went to work for Merced County retiring as a Supervising Probation Officer after 25 years. As a probation officer, Lew guided and mentored many young people who had started down the wrong path.

Lew is best remembered for his warm demeanor and spirited community service, including the Atwater School Board, the Merced Community College Board, Chair of the Central Valley Regional Center, President of the California Coalition of Black School Board Members and President of the Merced NAACP, where he was honored as Man of the Year. I was proud to have known Lew since my youth. He was an inspiration to me and to our community.