District Update

District Update

November 2014 District News

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 00:00

In this Issue:

Message from Assemblymember Gray

Friends,

The month of November and the observance of Veterans Day give so many in our community a chance to thank our nation's veterans for their service.  This year, thousands of patriotic citizens throughout Merced and Stanislaus Counties came together to thank our veterans.

Each community in the 21st Assembly District held  significant activities and events, from the parades in downtown Merced, Modesto, Gustine and Livingston, to the observance ceremony in Atwater, and even the dinner put on by the American Legion to honor their Citizen of the Year in Modesto. Veterans Day is a solemn day of remembrance, and one of my favorite holidays. Remember - all gave some, some gave all.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 00:00

In this Issue:

Friends,

I was sorry to read a recent story, carried by the Modesto Bee and Merced Sun-Star, detailing serial Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits brought against small businesses in our community. For years, I have heard the same stories of doorways half an inch too thin, ramps ever so slightly too steep, or a missing sign requiring small businesses to pay thousands of dollars to correct. These lawsuits do not improve accessibility or better integrate disabled individuals; they simply create a hostile environment in which to run a business. Attorneys prey on the limited resources small businesses have to fight these claims and walk away with millions of dollars in settlements every year.

The State Legislature has made numerous attempts to modify the law to discourage senseless ADA claims, including the latest attempt which permits a stay of court proceedings to correct violations, reduces statutory damages from $4,000 to $1,000, and bans pre-litigation letters demanding money. Clearly the reforms have failed.

District Update

July 2014 District News

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 00:00

In this Issue:

Message from the Assemblyman

Friends,

Last year, I shared a story with you about what can happen when a community pulls together to overcome hardship. During the height of summer, a fire ripped through 33 mobile homes in Santa Nella, and knocked out power to the neighborhood. I was able to work with leaders in the community to have nearly $80,000 of parts and labor donated to get the power back on for these working families. I am happy to say this year has proven this lesson once again.

Last month, a decade long effort to build a multimillion dollar special education school was set to be scrapped after the recession depleted state funding and delays slated the project for expiration. County officials, including Superintendent of Merced County Schools Steve Gomes, approached both Senator Anthony Cannella and me, to see if we could help. I am proud to say that after a month of tireless advocacy, the State Allocation Board reversed course and green lighted this vital project.

District Update

June 2014 District News

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 00:00

In this Issue:

Message from the Assemblyman

I welcome you to read the June 2014 District News. Inside this month's issue you will find information about notable events that took place in the district and Capitol, as well as a profile of the City of Ceres. This month, I also want to bring your attention to a bill I introduced to improve healthcare quality and access in the Valley.

The Central Valley is disproportionately affected by the state's physician shortage, which is expected to intensify in the years ahead. We have a full one-third fewer doctors per person than the state average, making the demand for physicians severe and causing overcrowding at our hospital emergency rooms.

District Update

April 2014 District News

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 00:00

In this Issue:

Neighbors,

With the legislative session now back in full swing, little else has dominated the discussion more than the drought, a water bond, and the Governor’s proposed funding change to the FFA.

With the Tuolumne, Merced, and Stanislaus Rivers all running through the east, the San Joaquin River through the middle, and the Water Exchange Contractors, the State Water Project, and the San Luis Reservoir in the west, our region of California represents a true lynchpin in California’s water infrastructure. To protect the Valley’s water interest, I have coauthored a water bond with my colleagues, from both sides of the aisle and in both the Assembly and the Senate, which puts commonsense before politics.

As California suffers through this drought, it only makes sense to store more water during wet years. In order to accomplish that, we need to build more damns, reservoirs, and underground storage aquifers. Our proposal does just that, by allocating additional funds to storage projects and guaranteeing those funds to avoid the annual partisan budget bickering. I am proud to have a hand in writing a measure which puts the Valley’s water interests first. I will continue to work to protect the agricultural heritage of the Valley as water and drought discussions move forward.

District Update

February District News

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 00:00

In this Issue:

Message from the Assemblyman

The beginning of the year is always an exciting time in the State Assembly. Governor Brown delivered the State of the State Address, which sets the tone for the proposals and bills that will begin to churn in Sacramento. My commitment to improving our community is as strong as ever, and I have spent countless hours meeting with folks across the State to find solutions for Valley problems.

Those conversations have largely focused on how California can best address our prolonged drought. This is of particular concern for our communities which depend on an adequate supply of water to facilitate the agricultural production and processing that define the Valley. Solutions have been proposed and opposed in the past, but as the drought continues to worsen and the gravity of the situation becomes apparent, more Californians understand the need for a solution. I am hopeful we can come to an agreement that takes into account the important role water plays for the thousands of family farmers who grow their livelihood right here at home.

District Update

December 2013 District News

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 00:00

In this Issue:

Message from the Assemblyman

Dear Friends,

The holiday season is in full flight, and it has been a treat to see the creative decorations our local businesses and neighbors have put together. Despite the unexpectedly freezing conditions, we have been fortunate to have so many unique events take place in our community. Merced's Hometown Christmas Parade had a wonderful showing of support this year with over 80 float entries and hundreds in attendance. Everyone from the Grinch and Santa to the UC Merced Band turned out to share a little holiday cheer. Atwater, Livingston, Modesto and Ceres got the show started earlier this month with beautiful displays of their own.

As you enjoy the season, please take a moment to think about those less fortunate. You can pick out a toy for a tot, adopt a family, or donate to one of the many charities that help folks out all year long. My office has partnered with the Salvation Army for the local holiday toy drive, so please feel free to stop by, say hello, and bring a gift to donate.

District Update

November 2013 District News

Monday, November 25, 2013 - 00:00

In this Issue:

Message from the Assemblyman

As we near November’s end, it only seems fitting to give thanks to those who have devoted their lives to the service of our community and country. This Veterans Day, I had the privilege to meet active duty and retired servicemen and women in the communities of Livingston, Gustine, and Atwater. I was humbled by the sense of duty and pride displayed by our veterans, and it is because of their sacrifices that we live in freedom today. They entered the service to safeguard our liberties and protect the country we all call home. For that, we thank them.

And let us not forget their families – those who were reunited and particularly those who never were. Together, these are the faces of the United States Military. These fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters keep us safe and make this country great. During this month we remember their sacrifice and give thanks for their service to remind us that our freedoms are earned on the backs of hard working men and women each and every day.

As you gather with your families for Thanksgiving, and partake in the wonderful meal we enjoy this time of year, I invite you to remember those who gave of themselves to protect what we give thanks for, and commit to doing something, small or large, to give back.

District Update

October 2013 District News

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 00:00

In this Issue:

A Note from Adam

Dear Neighbors,

Fall is now in full swing, and I hope you have all enjoyed the respite from the summer heat. With activity in Sacramento winding down until next year, I have been able to enjoy numerous events held throughout the community. From Dos Palos to Merced and Ceres to Modesto, harvest season always brings out the colorful local character so unique to our region of the Valley. Harvest festivals, Halloween decorations, and the smell of turkey are all right around the corner.

On a more serious note, I want to share a story of resolve and perseverance which has always been a mark of our community and which was demonstrated by some kind folks over in Santa Nella. On August 12th a portion of a mobile home park caught fire resulting in damage to a critical power pole transformer as well as the panels that residents need for gas and electric service. The community turned to their local government for direction and help, but it became readily apparent there was no easy solution. The difficulty stemmed from the fact that private, public, and utility owned resources were all involved. No one party was able to fix it alone.

District Update

September District News

Monday, September 30, 2013 - 00:00

In this Issue:

A Note from Adam

Dear Friends,

Fall has officially begun. The days are getting shorter, and hopefully the triple digit heat is behind us. The start of fall also marks when the Legislature wraps up its business for the year. This year, we in the Legislature accomplished quite a few big things not the least of which includes the passage of the toughest hydraulic fracturing regulations in the nation.

There has been a lot of talk about fracking lately, and there are 15.4 billion reasons why – the Monterey Shale. The Monterey Shale is a 1,750 square mile oil field, 11,000 feet beneath us, holding an estimated 15.4 billion barrels of oil, and it stretches from southern Kern County going north up through the San Joaquin Valley and into Stanislaus County. The economic impact the Monterey Shale represents for our valley is enormous. To learn more about the Monterey Shale formation and its positive impact, click here.