In The District 2/21/2020

New Western Dental Building Opens In The Valley

New Healthcare Provider Opens Doors In Valley

Another healthcare provider opened its doors in the Valley. With more than 300 locations in California, Western Dental is the leading provider of Medi-Cal dental services in our state. Assemblymember Adam Gray’s team participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony with the Los Banos Chamber of Commerce at the company’s newest location in Los Banos. These clinics are an important part of the efforts to expand meaningful access to healthcare throughout the Valley.

Gray Introduces Legislation to Strengthen California’s Firefighting Mutual Aid System

Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) has introduced Assembly Bill 3198 to establish a grant program for local fire departments participating in California’s firefighting mutual aid system.

For nearly seven decades, fire departments have been part of a “neighbor helping neighbor” system of mutual aid.  Under the California Fire Service and Rescue Emergency Mutual Aid System, local jurisdictions experiencing an emergency incident likely to exceed, or has exceeded, their ability to control it may request the outside assistance of other jurisdictions.  

“Unprecedented wildfires have undoubtedly strained California’s firefighting mutual aid system and we are all too familiar with reports of mutual aid requests for fire suppression going unfilled due to lack of available resources,” said Assemblymember Gray. “It is time to ensure local fire departments have the mutual aid resources they need to quickly deploy at the onset of an emergency incident.”  

“As Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, I listened to fire officials from across the state communicate their frustrations with mutual aid as we know it this past month,” said Assemblymember Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita). “Through their testimony, it was clear this system we’ve relied on for decades requires significant updates to accommodate resource shortfalls and more pernicious fires. I commend my colleague Assemblymember Adam Gray for recognizing the urgency in supporting our brave firefighters and first responders in their important, lifesaving work.”  

“The Administration and the Legislature have been very proactive in addressing the challenges posed by these catastrophic wildfires,” continued Assemblymember Gray. “Working together, we have made significant progress in deploying technology to detect fires earlier, prioritizing mitigation work, prepositioning resources during extreme weather, and establishing a Wildfire Threat Center to improve forecasts and enhance alerts and warnings.  This grant program will be an additional tool for our first responders to keep Californians safe during any type of disaster.”  

Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Chair of the Senate Government Organization Committee, and Assemblymember Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita), Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, are coauthoring the bill.    

“In the weeks ahead, I look forward to working with the fire service, local governments, the Administration and my colleagues in the Legislature to refine this proposal to craft a grant program that best meets the needs of the firefighting mutual aid system,” concluded Assemblymember Gray.

In The District 2/14/2020

United Way Cuts Ribbon For Merced County's "Little Free Library"

United Way of Merced County’s Little Free Library’s Ribbon Cutting

The ribbon was cut for the opening of the United Way of Merced County‘s Little Free Library! Little Free Library book-sharing boxes play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books (and encouraging a love of reading!) in areas where books are scarce.

The ability to secure a good job is tied directly to one’s ability to read and process information. Book-sharing improves literacy rates, grows children’s imaginations, and puts books in the hands of those who may not be able to afford them.

Meeting With The Coalition For Medical Education

Assemblymember Adam Gray reported a successful meeting of the Coalition for Medical Education. California Governor Gavin Newsom pledged $15 million in ongoing funding to provide more doctors, strengthen the medical education partnership between UC Merced and UCSF Fresno, and increase access to health care in the Central Valley.

Recognizing Officer Lorenzo Beltran

Congratulations to Ceres Police Department‘s Officer Lorenzo Beltran, who has been recognized nationally for his phenomenal work as a school resource officer at Central Valley High. Thank you for your dedication to keeping the school, its students, and our community safe.

Inspiring The Next Generation of Leaders

Assemblymember Adam Gray spoke with Atwater High School seniors about his job as a legislator, the role of government, and the importance of voting.

In The District 2/07/2020

Campus Parkway Buildout Cutting Of The Ribbon

Orestimba High Tours Capitol

Fifty students from Orestimba High School are visited the Capitol to learn about the legislative process and to participate in a mock hearing. Assemblymembers gave the students a tour and thanked their educators for helping the next generation of leaders be civically engaged.

Assemblymember Gray Authors Bill To Fund Merced County Fair

Fairs are vital component of our communities, local economies, and statewide emergency management planning. Assemblymember Adam Gray partnered with The Merced County Fair in authoring a funding bill for the event.

Click Here for more information

2020 Primary Election

The 2020 Primary Election is a few weeks from today. Ballots have already been mailed in some counties throughout California. A few dates to keep track of:
🇺🇸 Last day to register to vote online: FEB. 18
🇺🇸 Last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot: FEB. 25
🇺🇸 Election Day: MARCH 3

Click Here for a guide to your California Ballot

Super Bowl

On Super Bowl Sunday, Assemblymember Adam Gray talked with many constituents about retired Niner greats. Sharing who are some of his favorite players, past and present.
🏈 PAST: Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, and Ronnie Lott
🏈 PRESENT: George Kittle and Deebo Samuel

Composite Squadron 50 New Facility

Under the leadership of Major Jon Domke, the cadet corps at Lt Col Arthur King Composite Squadron 50 has grown from 8 cadets to 35. They opened a new facility!

Campus Parkway Buildout

Back in 2017, Senator Anthony Cannella and Assemblymember Adam Gray worked across party lines and secured $500 million for local transportation projects like Campus Parkway. They recently celebrated two crucial steps in the Campus Parkway buildout (Phase II completion and Phase III groundbreaking), a project that means a great deal to Merced County.

In The District 1/24/2020

Adam Gray Visits Merced County Farm Bureau

Assemblymember Adam Gray spent the evening at the Merced County Farm Bureau meeting .

$15 Million For UC Merced Medical Students

Photo from the Merced Sun Star

Governor Newsom’s budget includes $15 million for UC Merced medical education. This investment will allow more students to train to become doctors in the Valley and it will directly increase access to care in our community.

Read more at the Merced Sun Star article here:
https://bit.ly/2NVh2z4

Gray Introduces Legislation to Repeal the Ticket Tax

(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) released the following statement upon introducing Assembly Bill 1980 to repeal the automatic 20% tax on traffic tickets imposed by the state:

“During a time of fiscal uncertainty nearly two decades ago, the state imposed a 20% tax on traffic tickets and devoted the funding to prop up the General Fund. At the time, the state promised this was a temporary measure, but to the surprise of no one eventually made the tax permanent just a few years later.

“The State Auditor has repeatedly recommended this tax be eliminated. The revenue does not support law enforcement or any specific public safety program. Instead, the funds are up for grabs every year to spend with no accountability to the public. This tax amounts to nearly $40 million per year stolen from taxpayers without explanation.

“I introduced a similar bill last year in partnership with Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse who knows this tax has nothing to do with improving safety on our roads. We received the support of law enforcement groups like the Peace Officers’ Research Association and criminal justice groups like Restore Justice and the ACLU.

“All sides agree this tax is unjust, indefensible, and long overdue for repeal.

“This year we will redouble our efforts, and with Governor Newsom indicating his support for reforms like this in the budget, I am confident we will succeed.”

#StopTheTicketTax
SIGN THE PETITION: http://bit.ly/stopthetickettax

In The District 1/17/2020

Oath of Office

Assemblymember Adam Gray had the honor of administering the Oath of Office to the incoming Rural County Representatives of California Officers, including the new Chair, Merced County Supervisor Daron McDaniel.

Women Making California History

Congratulations to Sue Parker, the Assembly’s new Chief Clerk, and Alisa Buckley, the Assembly’s new Chief Sergeant at Arms. Both took the oath of office this week and made California State History as the first women to serve their positions.

Scam Alert

Scammers are calling and impersonating law enforcement officers, specifically those who work for the Sheriff’s Department, claiming they are calling to collect legal debts or other types of debt. These calls are coming from a 209 area code, making it seem legitimate. THE STANISLAUS COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT DOES NOT CALL REGARDING LEGAL OR MONETARY MATTERS.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be an officer of the law requesting money, do not engage. You can report the incident to the Sheriff’s non-emergency at (209) 552-2468. The other option is to not answer the phone to any number that is not familiar to you.

The original post can be found here: Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department

Assemblymember Gray Seeks Audit of State Regulator’s Failure to Prevent Utility Wildfires

(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) has submitted a request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee seeking a state audit of the California Public Utilities Commission. As the state’s primary entity tasked with the regulation of public utilities, Gray’s audit letter seeks information about the commission’s role in PG&E’s inadequate and dangerous management of its power lines which sparked some of the most destructive wildfires in California history.

“A lot of the conversation around utilities and wildfires has focused on shareholders and executives at PG&E placing their own profits over the public’s safety,” said Gray. “That criticism is well deserved. Shareholders are just now realizing it would have cost a lot less to make responsible safety improvements over time rather than go through bankruptcy with multi-billion dollar settlements.

“However, government incompetence is also part of the story. The CPUC regulates public utilities and knew about the decaying and outdated condition of PG&E’s infrastructure, yet they failed to act. Instead, the commission often denied what little safety improvements were proposed by the utility.

“Many have pointed to climate change to explain the dangerous conditions which allowed recent wildfires to grow so quickly and burn so intensely. Ironically, the CPUC has been at the center of the state’s fight against climate change since the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Instead of raising the alarm that climate change will make dangerous wildfire conditions more common, the commission has pushed its Safety and Enforcement Division to the bottom of the priority list.

“I am asking the State Auditor to provide an independent and nonpartisan analysis of what went wrong at the CPUC. Why was public safety not a priority for the commission, and why were grid improvements like burying power lines in fire prone areas not approved? Despite playing a central role in helping California adapt to climate change in other areas, why was the CPUC asleep at the wheel on the risk of utility caused wildfires?

“The state has promised not to allow these tragedies to happen again. In order to fulfill that promise, we need answers to these questions. If the CPUC is not capable of ensuring the public’s safety, then it is time we figure out a new way to regulate public utilities so that homes, businesses, and families come first.”

Gray’s audit request will be voted on by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee at a hearing scheduled for February 19th.

In The District 12/30/19

St. Vincent de Paul’s Annual Christmas Giving Event

This year at the St. Vincent de Paul Planada’s annual Christmas event, volunteers spread holiday cheer to almost 100 local families and 309 children. Fowler Packing Company, California Citrus Mutual, American Pistachio Growers, and WSPA, generously brought toys and came together to support families in need this holiday season.

Hilmar School District Improving Road Safety

Hilmar Unified School District and Caltrans, District 10 has been working to improve local road safety and infrastructure. Lander Avenue (Highway 165) around Hilmar High School needs vital safety enhancements for their students.

Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab!

The New Year celebration is of the most significant holidays in the Hmong culture. Thousands of people from throughout California gathered in Merced to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab!

Remembering Cpl Ronil Singh

The Newman community and Newman Police Department had a vigil remembering the life of Corporal Ronil Singh. Corporal Singh lost his life while on duty earlier this year.

In The District 12/16/19

Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America ensures that we honor our service members beyond Memorial and Veterans Days and furthers a mission of placing a wreath on each hero’s grave at more than 1,600 locations internationally. These photos are from the ceremonies in Newman at Hills Ferry Cemetery and San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery.

Planada Annual Seniors’ Christmas Lunch

Fabiola Cervantes, the Planada Community, and Planada In Action organized this year’s Seniors Christmas Lunch. The annual event provides local seniors with holiday raffle gifts and a festive lunch to celebrate the holidays.

Holiday Gathering At UC Merced

Chancellor Nathan Brostrom for invited Assemblymember Adam Gray to join at UC Merced’s holiday gathering.

If you missed the Chancellor’s OpEd about the school’s recent work and outstanding achievements, you can read it here: https://www.mercedsunstar.com/opinion/article238098189.html

UC Merced Graduation

Congratulations to all UC Merced Bobcats (and their families!) graduating today at the school’s 2019 Winter Commencement. Wishing you the best of luck on your next steps in life!

Cathleen Galgiani Comments On High Speed Rail

“Although construction is already underway, a group of legislators are now proposing to cancel electrification of our Central Valley rail system, so that they can move billions of dollars to Southern California for LA’s Metrolink system.

We’ve been down this road before!

In 2011, the Legislature tried to redirect federal HSR funds to the Bay Area and Southern California. Their plans failed when Undersecretary Roy Kienitz, U.S. Department of Transportation, personally visited California to explain why the Central Valley HSR segment had been chosen, and why federal funds could not be redirected outside of the Central Valley. In part, he stated:

“We believe the decision to begin there (Central Valley) was and remains a wise one. This selection was based on careful consideration of the options put forward by California through a competitive application process….With this central piece built, more complex construction can extend north, south or simultaneously in both directions as additional sections of the project are ready to be built … The Central Valley line is the essential core of any viable high-speed rail plan for California.” 

I support Governor Newsom’s plan for an electrified HSR system between Bakersfield and Merced.”

Click Here to Read More

In The District 12/10/19

Modesto Celebration of Lights

A peak at this year’s Candyland-themed decorations for City of Modesto’s annual Celebration of Lights! The family friendly festivities will be throughout the month.

Tioga Hotel Renovation Tour

Assemblymember Adam Gray had the opportunity to tour the renovations occurring at the 90-year-old landmark: the historic Tioga Hotel in downtown Merced.

The Hotel Tioga was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and during its prime, it hosted society elites such as Presidents Kennedy and Coolidge, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Marilyn Monroe.

Rotary Club of Winton’s Annual Christmas Tree Display

The Rotary Club of Winton‘s held their annual Christmas tree display and lighting. Many of the trees shown at the event are sponsored by community leaders.

Paying Respects To Manuel Mejia

Many celebrated the life of community activist, United Farm Workers Union advocate, Vietnam Veteran, and beloved family member and friend Manuel Villagran Mejia. He will be missed, but his work and commitment will live on.

He leaves behind his wife of 48 years, Maggie, his son, Manuel Jr., three grandchildren Jesse, Aubrey and Lilly Mejia, his brother George Mejia, and many nieces and nephews.

Merced Holiday Open House

Join Assemblymember Adam Gray at his annual Holiday Open House to hear about this year’s legislative accomplishments and to share your thoughts about our community. This event is FREE — just bring your holiday cheer and desire to strengthen the Valley.

They will be collecting new, unwrapped gifts for older children and teens served by Saint Vincent de Paul-Planada’s “Christmas Cherished Memories” event. Contributions are optional, but appreciated. RSVP at (209) 726-5465 or at bit.ly/GrayHolidayOpen2019 (NOTE: link is case sensitive).

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