Press Release

Friday, July 6, 2018

ASSEMBLYMEMBER ADAM C. GRAY
21ST ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
For Immediate Release: July 6, 2018
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021

The Next Chapter of California’s Water Wars Has Begun

(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) released the following statement condemning today’s announcement from the State Water Resources Control Board to ignore decade’s worth of science and public opinion by adopting radical new requirements to seize and waste critically needed San Joaquin Valley water supplies.

“The State Water Resources Control Board’s decision today is the first shot fired in the next chapter of California’s water wars. The board has chosen to create, in their own words, ‘a permanent regulatory drought’ and shrugged off our concerns as ‘significant but unavoidable’.

This is what theft looks like. A small group of special interests have spent years plotting one of the largest water takes in our state’s history. They attempted and failed to change the law and win in court, so instead they have infiltrated government itself. They positioned their allies to influence the process from within and spent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to prop up their house of cards. Despite entire agencies at their disposal and seemingly unlimited funds, no amount of trickery can obscure the truth – their fish first philosophy will decimate our region, poison our drinking water, and provide no environmental benefit what-so-ever.

These special interests are desperate to claim the moral high ground and demonize our entire region. They speak about the people of the San Joaquin Valley as if we are parasites on the land and demand we apologize for our very existence.

They do this because without the zealous drumbeat of environmentalism on their side, the truth would have an opportunity to surface. People would begin to question the wisdom of poisoning the drinking water of poor immigrant communities or the sense in decimating the farms that feed the nation and fields that make California’s farm-to-fork movement possible. People would question why the proponents of a plan designed to save fish cannot demonstrate any meaningful benefit to those very fish or why the questions and concerns of a million people do not deserve even a halfhearted response. People might even question whether it is really environmentally friendly to sacrifice the health of one environment for the health of another.

They have left us no alternative. We will continue to negotiate with the best interests of the Valley at heart, but, if the state continues to violate the principles of good faith, a decades worth of lawsuits are about to begin.

The final public comment period is now open until July 27th with final adoption scheduled for August 21st. Please submit your comments to tell the State Water Board exactly how their plan will impact your community. They have made the comment period short to try to keep us quiet. Let’s not let them.”

Thursday, July 5, 2018

As published in: The Modesto Bee

$1 million from state will help Stanislaus County train people for well-paying jobs

BY KEN CARLSON

kcarlson@modbee.com

Updated July 03, 2018 06:00 PM

The VOLT Institute in Modesto has received a jolt from the state budget in the form of $1 million in funding.

It should create opportunity for training younger adults to work in industrial electronics, automation and equipment maintenance for large employers in Stanislaus County. On average, those higher-skilled jobs pay $27.80 an hour.

The state funds will expand a job-training partnership involving Modesto Junior College, Opportunity Stanislaus and the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE). The VOLT Institute, a private-sector-driven program launched in October, recently graduated a 30-member class of maintenance mechanics to work in local industries.

MJC will receive the state funding and purchase equipment for a broader array of training programs at SCOE’s trade school in the former Modesto Bee building. The money will be used to leverage federal dollars for training up to 200 students a year.

The community college has its own vocational training in industrial electronics, automation, manufacturing, welding and agricultural mechanics. While investing in training equipment and new programs at VOLT, the college also will continue with vocational training at its west campus.

What's driving the workforce training initiative is the need among employers in Stanislaus County for skilled workers to maintain equipment and troubleshoot problems in manufacturing systems.

“Regional programs that offer specific, technical training are in high demand,” said Scott Kuykendall, assistant superintendent for SCOE. “By delivering skilled training, VOLT is simultaneously meeting the needs of job seekers and industry.”

Chancellor Henry Yong of the Yosemite Community College District said the workforce training promises a brighter future for families, contributes to the local economy and will expand the tax base for supporting public services.

Partners in the VOLT Institute plan to tailor training programs for skills in demand in the labor market. The center could branch into "mechatronics" or training workers to maintain automated machinery. MJC is looking to offer training in the building trades at the VOLT center, including a program to construct tiny houses for the homeless.

Dave White, chief executive officer of Opportunity Stanislaus, said the state money will be used as matching dollars for a $2 million federal grant for expansion of MJC vocational training and the VOLT Institute.

White ran point to help Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, to get the funding into the state budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Assemblymember Adam Gray honored Modesto American GI Forum Commander Steve Fimbrez as the Veteran of the Year for the 21st Assembly District. Commander Fimbrez was honored yesterday at a luncheon in Sacramento.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

ASSEMBLYMEMBER ADAM C. GRAY
21ST ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
For Immediate Release: June 19, 2018
Contact: Lisa Mantarro (209) 521-2111

Wolfsen’s Meat and Sausage Honored at the State Capitol  as 2018 Small Business of the Year for AD 21

Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) joined Vance, Donna, and Warren Wolfsen as they were honored as this year’s “Small Business of the Year” at a luncheon in Sacramento. The annual “Small Business Day” event and luncheon are organized in partnership with the California Small Business Association, and feature representatives from each of California’s 120 Legislative districts.

Wolfsen’s began as the “West Side Locker” in the 1940s offering custom butchering for wild game hunters. The current owners purchased the business in 1988 and eventually focused in on their mission of making and selling high quality meats and sausages. They are known for their “old-world style linguica,” enjoyed by many Merced County natives, and their store has attracted a regular following of customers from every corner of California. Assemblymember Gray and the Wolfsen family were pleasantly surprised to encounter the honorees from the 13th Assembly District, Genova Bakery of Stockton, which provides Wolfsen’s with the artisan bread used in their deli.

 “Today was a wonderful opportunity to recognize the contributions of California’s small businesses – they are the backbone of our economy,” said Gray.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Three years ago, I secured $1 million in funding from the state budget for the University of California to study a medical school at its Merced campus. My goal was to highlight the dramatic disparities in access to care for residents of Merced County and reinvigorate the conversations around developing a medical school.

The UC’s report, “Improving Health Care Access in the San Joaquin Valley,” is now completed and details numerous health challenges faced by residents of the San Joaquin Valley along with a number of recommendations to improve access to care. A companion report, “Current and Future Health Professions Workforce Needs in the San Joaquin Valley,” includes statistics on healthcare workforce shortages.