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2019 Q2 Partnership Board Meeting Recap



On June 21st, OCED convened the Board of Directors for the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley (Partnership) in Hanford, CA. Board Chairman, Vito Chiesa (Stanislaus County Supervisor, District 2) opened the meeting with welcoming remarks offered by Hanford City Manager, Darrel Pyle, and Hanford Mayor, Sue Sorensen. The City of Hanford’s hospitality included waived venue fees for the historic Hanford Civic Auditorium; site of the Board meeting.


After receiving brief comments from the public and Board, Partnership Lead Executive, Ismael Herrera provided an update on AB 1274 (Arambula & Salas). The bill, which would codify the Partnership in statute in perpetuity, received a 77-0 vote on the California Assembly floor on May 29th and will be heard in the California Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on July 8th.


Chairman Chiesa than welcomed a 6-person legislative panel to provide updates to the Board and public. Legislative updates were provided by Kristina Solberg, Field Representative, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein; Gilbert Felix, District Director, U.S. Representative T.J. Cox (CA-21); Maria Lemus, District Director and Alicia Jacobo, Senior District Representative for California State Senator Melissa Hurtado, District 14; Dameane Douglas, Principal Field Representative, California State Assemblymember Rudy Salas, District 32; and Larry Salinas, Executive Director, Governmental Relations, Office of the President, CSU Fresno. After thanking all speakers and applauding Mr. Douglas for Assemblymember Salas’ leadership on AB 1274, the Board unanimously voted to issue letters of support for SB 14 (Glazer and Allen) and SB 559 (Hurtado).


Upon completion of the legislative panel and confirmation of a quorum, the Board unanimously voted to approve the Consent Calendar.


Chairman Chiesa proceeded to welcome Dr. Micah Weinberg, CEO, California Forward. Dr. Weinberg provided a brief presentation on the new statewide Regions Rise Together initiative. He engaged the Board in an interactive discussion, collecting information on suggestions for tangible policy improvements and investments that could be considered for enhancing the San Joaquin Valley’s socioeconomic prosperity. Among the topics discussed were water (groundwater management, conveyance modernization, and expanded storage), housing and workforce, educational career pathways, and regional rail infrastructure. Partnership Lead Executive Herrera also provided information on the 2019 California Economic Summit, which will, among other things, be the culmination of regional community and economic development plans being developed through the Regions Rise Together initiative. A copy of Dr. Weinberg’s presentation is available.


Prior to lunch, the Board and public received a brief presentation from Dan Leavitt, Manager of Regional Initiatives, San Joaquin Valley Rail Commission. Mr. Leavitt provided brief updates on regional rail priorities and SB 742 (Allen).


The Board and public recessed for a delicious lunch catered by Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, a local business in Hanford. They were also treated to world-famous Superior Dairy ice cream.


After lunch, the Board and public received presentations from a 3-person panel related to San Joaquin Valley air quality issues. Speakers included Ted Smalley, Executive Director, Tulare County Association of Governments; Tom Jordan, Senior Policy Advisor, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District; and Caitlin M. Miller, Air Pollution Specialist, California Air Resources Board. Topics discussed included, among other things, updates and input on SB 526 (Allen). A copy of Ms. Miller’s presentation is available.


The meeting concluded with presentations offered by Dr. Jesus Martinez, Executive Director, Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative and Cindy Quezada, Senior Program Officer, Sierra Health Foundation related to the 2020 U.S. Census. Both provided updates on the regional efforts taking place to organize “complete count” activities, particular among hard to reach populations. Ms. Quezada also shared results of a recent study conducted among members of the region’s hard to count population, revealing barriers to participation in the upcoming census. A copy of Dr. Martinez’s presentation is available along with a copy of Ms. Quezada’s presentation. In addition, Partnership Board Member, Jim Suennen (Associate Secretary, External Affairs and Tribal Liaison California Health and Human Services Agency) provided supplemental information from the State of California.


After some brief comments from the Board and public, Chairman Chiesa adjourned the meeting and reminded those in attendance that the next Partnership Board meeting was scheduled for September 20th in Kern County.