Val­ley Voice Del­e­ga­tion Car­ries Con­cerns To D.C.

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE -

Elected of­fi­cials from all eight San Joaquin Val­ley coun­ties will be meet­ing 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 trav­el­ing to the na­tion’s cap­i­tal 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 will ad­vo­cate 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.

Val­ley Voice 2017 will in­clude 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.

Mem­bers of the Val­ley Voice 2017 Del­e­ga­tion in­clude: Chuck Winn, San Joaquin County Su­per­vi­sor; Amarpreet Dhali­wal, City of San Joaquin Mayor; El­bert Hol­man, Stock­ton Coun­cilmem­ber; Gary Yep, City of Ker­man Mayor Pro Tem; Vito Chiesa, Stanis­laus County Su­per­vi­sor; David Ay­ers, City of Han­ford Mayor; Gary Soiseth, City of Tur­lock Mayor; Rudy Men­doza, City of Wood­lake Mayor; Daron McDaniel, Merced County Su­per­vi­sor; An­drew Medellin, City of Madera Mayor; Mike Vil­lalta, City of Los Banos Mayor; Ch­eryl Weg­man, City of Wasco Mayor; Robert Poythress, Madera County Su­per­vi­sor; Rueben Pas­cual, City of De­lano Coun­cilmem­ber.

“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.”

StanCOG is the Metropoli­tan Plan­ning Or­ga­ni­za­tion (MPO) for the Stanis­laus Re­gion as des­ig­nated by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, and the Re­gional Trans­porta­tion Plan­ning Agency (RTPA) as des­ig­nated by the State of Cal­i­for­nia. An MPO/RTPA is a pub­lic or­ga­ni­za­tion that works with lo­cal gov­ern­ments and cit­i­zens in its re­gion by deal­ing with is­sues and needs that cross city and county bound­aries. StanCOG is a coun­cil of city and county gov­ern­ments com­prised of the Cities of Ceres, Hugh­son, Modesto, New­man, Oak­dale, Pat­ter­son, River­bank, Tur­lock and Water­ford, and the County of Stanis­laus, that was es­tab­lished in 1971 by a Joint Pow­ers Agree­ment ( JPA) to ad­dress re­gional trans­porta­tion is­sues.

The San Joaquin Val­ley Re­gional Pol­icy Coun­cil pro­vides a fo­rum for the Val­ley to com­mu­ni­cate eas­ily and ef­fec­tively on re­gional is­sues that impact all cit­i­zens, like trans­porta­tion, air qual­ity and ad­vo­cacy ef­forts. Work­ing re­gion­ally to iden­tify ac­tion items that – when im­ple­mented by in­di­vid­ual Re­gional Plan­ning Agen­cies – re­sult in a sin­gle vi­sion for the en­tire San Joaquin Val­ley.

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