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Valley Voice Delegation Travels To Washington

Elected officials from all eight San Joaquin Valley counties will be meeting with the White House administration, and federal legislators, during the annual “Valley Voice” advocacy trip to Washington D.C. on Sept. 12 and 13. The delegation traveling to the nation’s capital is known as the San Joaquin Valley Regional Planning Agencies Policy Council (Policy Council), and represents the boards of each metropolitan planning organization (MPO or COG), and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

The Policy Council is advocating for major federal investments to our highway system, increased funding for air quality initiatives, passenger rail improvements, and additional policy requests.

Valley Voice 2018 will include meetings with the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Senators Feinstein and Harris, House Majority Leader McCarthy, Congressmen Costa, Denham, McNerney, Nunes, Valadao, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the US Department of Agriculture.

Among the delegates attending are San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn, Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa, and representatives from Stockton, Modesto, Merced County, Tulare County and the cities of San Joaquin, Los Banos, Madera, Chowchilla, Kerman, Hanford and Woodlake.

Rudy Mendoza, the City of Woodlake Mayor and Chair of the Policy Council, pointed to the Valley Voice DC 2018 trip as being crucial for the future of the Valley.

“Twenty-five percent of all food in the United States comes from the San Joaquin Valley, our highways and interstates are vital to the economic growth and prosperity of the San Joaquin Valley, and have national security implications. The San Joaquin Valley is the heart of California’s road system. It has 31,000 road miles, more than the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento region combined. It is imperative that we collectively advocate for continued investments from the Federal government to our region,” Mendoza said. “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.”

StanCOG (Stanislaus Council of Governments) Chairman Bill Zolocki and former Chairman Vito Chiesa are part of the delegation and issued a joint statement:

“It is essential that elected officials in Washington DC understand the critical role the Valley plays in feeding our country. We need adequate infrastructure to deliver those products and ensure the health of not only our Valley, but the millions of people who rely on us every day.”