Adam Gray is focused on what matters most to the residents of California’s Central Valley: health, education, public safety, jobs, and water. He was born and raised in Merced, and put himself through college working at his family’s dairy supply. After school, Adam found work as a Legislative Aide in the State Legislature, before eventually returning home to become an assistant lecturer on the State Legislature at UC Merced. When the Great Recession hit, Adam chose to step up and be part of the solution. He was elected to the State Assembly in 2012 where he represents Merced County, and portions of Stanislaus County.
During his time in office, Adam has fought to make the needs of the Central Valley a priority. When Merced County had the highest murder rate in the state, Adam secured $4.5 million in funding and worked with local law enforcement to develop a gang violence reduction program that resulted in the arrest of more than 50 gang leaders and the seizure of 21,000 rounds of ammunition. Adam spearheaded efforts to increase the number of doctors practicing medicine in the Central Valley by doubling the operating hours of intermittent health clinics, increasing Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, and pursuing the establishment of a School of Medicine at UC Merced. When one of the worst droughts in recent memory decimated farm water supplies, Adam advocated for the inclusion of nearly $3 billion for the construction of new water storage facilities in the Prop 1 water bond. After years of cuts to education, Adam supported a new school funding formula which radically increased per-pupil funding in the Central Valley and provided additional funds to better educate students learning English as a second language. Adam also passed bills to restore funding to the county fairs, dedicate $500 million to extend the ACE train to Merced and to complete the Campus Parkway, construct a new firehouse in Los Banos, and address the growing homeless epidemic in Merced and Stanislaus counties.
Adam is most well-known for his tenacious fight against the State Water Board’s plan to double the amount of the water the state takes from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers. He advanced legislation to block the water grab over the objection of the Assembly’s leadership and was subsequently kicked off the water committee he had served on since his first election. He organized a water protest in Sacramento which saw more than 1,000 people descend on the State Capitol to voice opposition to the state’s plan. He brought Governor Newsom to Merced and Fresno to hear how local communities would be impacted by the plan, and the Governor subsequently removed the chief architect of the water grab from her post as Chair of the State Water Board. Adam has never apologized for fighting for the interests of the Central Valley, and he continues to lead the fight against the water grab.
Adam currently is a sitting member of the committees on Accountability & Administrative Review, Agriculture, Emergency Management, and Revenue and Taxation.