Delegation makes sure Valley’s ‘Voice’ is heard
WASHINGTON D.C. – Elected officials from all eight San Joaquin Valley counties met with White House officials and key federal legislators during the annual “Valley Voice” advocacy trip to Washington D.C. on Sept. 6 and 7.
The delegation is known as the San Joaquin Valley Regional Planning Agencies Policy Council, and represents the boards of each metropolitan planning organization (MPO or COG), and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The Regional Policy Council spent their time in the nation’s capitol advocating for major transportation initiatives for the San Joaquin Valley, including federal funding for major highway projects, changes to the federal Clean Air Act, legislative amendments to regional transportation plans and aviation fuel sales tax collection processes, and other advocacy positions.
“Our Highways and Interstates are vital to the economic growth and prosperity of the San Joaquin Valley. Our region has 31,000 road miles, more than the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento region combined,” said City of Woodlake Mayor and Chair of the Regional Policy Council, Rudy Mendoza. “The success of one Valley county lends to the success of another. Our ability to work together sends a strong message about our regional collaboration and the importance we place collectively on transportation, economic development, and air quality.”
Mendoza was joined in the Valley Voice 2017 delegation by San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn, City of San Joaquin Mayor Amarpreet Dhaliwal, Stockton Councilmember Elbert Holman, City of Kerman Mayor Pro Tem Gary Yep, Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa, City of Hanford Mayor David Ayers, City of Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth, Merced County Supervisor Daron McDaniel, City of Madera Mayor Andrew Medellin, City of Los Banos Mayor Mike Villalta, City of Wasco Mayor Cheryl Wegman, Madera County Supervisor Robert Poythress, City of Delano Councilmember Rueben Pascual.
While in Washington, the delegation held meetings with the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Senators Feinstein and Harris, House Majority Leader McCarthy, Congressmen Costa, Denham, McClintock, McNerney, Nunes, Valadao, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the US Department of Agriculture.