Val­ley Voice Trip Un­der­way

Escalon Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Elected of­fi­cials and staff from all eight San Joaquin Val­ley coun­ties will be meet­ing with key fed­eral leg­is­la­tors dur­ing the an­nual “Val­ley Voice” ad­vo­cacy visit to Washington, D.C. this week.

The del­e­ga­tion trav­el­ing to the na­tion’s cap­i­tal has meet­ings slated Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day, Sept. 9 and 10, and is known as the San Joaquin Val­ley Re­gional Pol­icy Coun­cil. It rep­re­sents the boards of each re­gional plan­ning agency, or metropoli­tan plan­ning or­ga­ni­za­tion (MPO) and the San Joaquin Val­ley Air Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Dis­trict.

Among the lo­cal elected of­fi­cials at­tend­ing is Stanis­laus County Su­per­vi­sor Bill O’Brien, who rep­re­sents Oak­dale and River­bank on the county board. Also at­tend­ing will be su­per­vi­sors from Merced County, Tu­lare County, and Madera County, may­ors from Pat­ter­son, Los Banos, Ker­man, Wood­lake, Cal­i­for­nia City, Madera and City of San Joaquin. City coun­cil mem­bers from Cor­co­ran and Bak­ers­field are also a part of the del­e­ga­tion.

The main pur­pose of the visit is to ad­vo­cate for ma­jor trans­porta­tion and re­lated ini­tia­tives for the San Joaquin Val­ley. Wa­ter qual­ity, sup­ply and re­li­a­bil­ity

will be an added pri­or­ity this year given the se­vere drought and ad­verse im­pli­ca­tions for the San Joaquin Val­ley’s re­gional econ­omy.

“Our highways and In­ter­states are vi­tal to the eco­nomic growth of the San Joaquin Val­ley. Goods and ser­vices here are di­rectly tied to the state, na­tion and global mar­ket­place,” noted City of Madera Mayor Robert Poythress, Chair of the San Joaquin Val­ley Re­gional Pol­icy Coun­cil. “The suc­cess of one Val­ley county weighs heav­ily on the suc­cess of another. Our abil­ity to work to­gether sends a strong mes­sage about our re­gional col­lab­o­ra­tion and im­por­tance we place col­lec­tively on trans­porta­tion, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, and wa­ter.”

Other pri­or­i­ties for the 2015 Val­ley Voice trip in­clude ad­vo­cat­ing for a long-term trans­porta­tion bill that would pro­vide sta­bil­ity to the high­way trust fund.

The visit is sched­uled to in­clude meet­ings with Sen­a­tor Boxer, Sen­a­tor Fe­in­stein, House Ma­jor­ity Leader Con­gress­man McCarthy, Con­gress­men Costa, Den­ham, McClin­tock, McNer­ney, Nunes and Val­adao; Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion Deputy Sec­re­tary Men­dez, Depart­ment of the In­te­rior, the Fed­eral High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Se­nate and House staff from public works, trans­porta­tion, in­fra­struc­ture and the en­vi­ron­ment sub­com­mit­tees.

More in­for­ma­tion about the Val­ley Voice ef­fort is avail­able at the Re­gional Pol­icy Coun­cil web­site, www.sjvcogs.org.

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