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).

Modesto Gospel Mission’s Annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet and Bundle-Up Event

This Thanksgiving I was reminded of one of the many reasons that I love and am thankful for my job. I enjoyed serving at the Modesto Gospel Mission’s Annual “Great Thanksgiving Banquet & Bundle-Up” event. My deepest gratitude goes out to all of those who helped serve at this and other events in our community. 

I enjoyed spending time with, talking to, and serving those in our community who are experiencing homelessness or battling the realities of poverty. We as a community can provide hope and love to those who are without.   – Adam

Adam Gray’s Momentum Builds as List of Local Support Expands

Merced, CA – Assemblymember Adam Gray, a life-long resident of Merced, officially launched his 2020 re-election campaign to continue representing the people and communities of California’s 21 st Assembly District. Gray filed his re-election paperwork, after previously submitting more than 1,700 signatures of voters in the district in lieu of paying a filing fee.

“I fight for working families and for our community every day in Sacramento – to stop the water grab, for more doctors in the Valley, to repair local streets and roads, and for equitable funding for our schools – and I am grateful for the confidence that voters have placed in me,” said Gray. “I will always put the Valley first and will always work to ensure that the Valley gets it fair share.”

Underscoring his strong track record representing the community, Gray’s list of early endorsements expanded to include many local leaders among them: 

  • Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse
  • Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke
  • Merced County District Attorney Kimberly Helms Lewis
  • Stanislaus County Superintendent of Public Instruction Scott Kuykendall
  • Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa
  • Stanislaus County Supervisor Kristin Olsen
  • Stanislaus County Supervisor Terry Withrow
  • Merced County Supervisor Lee Lor
  • Merced County Supervisor Daron McDaniel
  • Merced County Supervisor Lloyd Parreira
  • Merced County Supervisor Scott Silveira
  • Mayor of Merced Mike Murphy
  • Mayor of Los Banos Mike Villalta
  • Mayor of Patterson Deborah Novelli
  • Mayor of Atwater Paul Creighton
  • Mayor of Gustine Patrick Nagy
  • Modesto City Councilmember Jenny Kenoyer
  • Merced City Councilmember Jill McLeod
  • Ceres Unified School District Trustee Faye Lane

Expressing gratitude for the support, Gray stated, “Endorsements from local elected officials, leaders, and community members are the most meaningful because they illustrate the progress that we can make to move our area forward when we work together.”

District News Weekly Wrap-Up 11/23/19

Boys And Girls Club Visit

Assemblymember Adam Gray stopped by and spent time with the kids and staff at Boys & Girls Club of Merced County! Gray toured the facility.

Assemblymember Heath Flora and Assemblymember Adam Gray championed $1 million in this year’s budget to keep the doors open and lights on.

National Fantasy Rodeo

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this weekend’s National Fantasy Rodeo Barrel Race and Futurity at Diamond Bar Arena — a great event in Ceres which brings in more than a thousand people each year. Had an awesome time meeting contestants and watching the barrel races.

UDW County Provider Appreciation Dinner

UDW/AFSCME 3930 and UDW Home Care Providers Union members play an extremely important role in communities throughout California and the country, ensuring that our family members and neighbors in need of care can receive that care with dignity and at home around loved ones. Thank you for inviting me to join you at this year’s Merced County Provider Appreciation Dinner.

A special shoutout to UDW member and community member Astrid Zuniga for her successful efforts this year to pass legislation ensuring law enforcement has access to information necessary to communicate with individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities — congratulations!

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