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California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley Convenes for 2nd Quarter Board Meeting

OCED is the Secretariat for the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, a public-private partnership focused on improving the region's economic vitality and quality of life. On June 15, OCED convened the 2018 Quarter 2 Board of Directors Meeting at the Tulare County Ag Commissioner's Building. The meeting featured presentations on regional health, higher education, food and water issues, among others.

Dr. Karen Haught from Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency described the recent increase and challenges of diagnosing Valley Fever. Board Member Frank Gallegos also spoke on the issue, describing his personal experience with the fungal infection.

The Partnership Board then heard a presentation from Peter Weber, Director of Fresno Bridge Academy, and Luis Santana, Executive Director of Reading and Beyond, regarding Upward Mobility Pathways, a program addressing low enrollment and completion rates by low-income community college students in the San Joaquin Valley. The program helps address issues of poverty and continuing to develop an educated, qualified workforce to keep up with economic needs.

Other presentations during the day included: Kiel Lopez-Schmidt from Northern California Community Loan Fund, who presented his program's work to improve access to healthy foods while creating jobs and providing financing tools; Adriana Renteria, Regional Water Management Coordinator from the Community Water Center, who spoke about the role of local water boards, their election processes, and the opportunity to strengthen local democracy; Mindy Romero from the UC Davis Center for Regional Change who presented on Latino voter turnout as it relates to water board representation; and Sarge Green from Fresno State's California Water Institute and Thomas Esqueda, Associate Vice President for Water and Sustainability for Fresno State, who presented on the Water and Sustainability Initiative at Fresno State to redefine the university as the recognized leader in water.

For details and presentations from the June 15 Partnership Board of Directors Meeting, please visit

The 2018 Quarter 3 Partnership Board of Directors Meeting will occur Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 at the UC Merced Fresno Center in Fresno, CA. For more information, visit