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Office of Community and Economic Development


2020 Q2 Partnership Board Meeting Recap



Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Q2 Partnership Board Meeting had to be planned accordingly.


On June 19th, OCED convened the first virtual Board of Directors meeting for the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley (Partnership), Vito Chiesa (Stanislaus County Supervisor, District 2) began the meeting with welcoming remarks.


After confirming quorum, Chairman Chiesa and the board unanimously voted to approve the Consent Calendar which included the SJRRC/Caltrans Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) Letter of Support.


Chairman Chiesa and Jim Suennen, Associate Secretary, External Affairs, California Health and Human Services Agency, introduced and moderated the first group of panelists on item three of the agenda, Partnership Priority #7- Health. The panel discussion topic was State and Local Health Officials updates on COVID-19. Speakers included Kathleen Harriman PhD, MPH, Chief, Vaccine Preventable Disease Epidemiology Section California Department of Public Health (due to technical difficulties was unable to give her presentation); Kristin J. Cummings, MD, MPH, Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS) Chief, Occupational Health Branch California Department of Public Health; Julie Vaishampayan, MD, MPH, Stanislaus County Public Health Officer; and Timothy Lutz, MBA, Director, Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).


Chairman Chiesa introduced and moderated the fourth item of the agenda, Partnership Priority #5- Regional Industry Clusters. The panel discussion topic included COVID-19 economic impact (State level view) and how food and Ag have adapted and what are the biggest challenges as we continue towards economic recovery. The speakers on this panel included Irena Asmundson, PhD, Chief Economist, California Department of Finance; Fred Ruiz, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Ruiz Foods; and Hernan Hernandez, Executive Director of the California Farmworker Foundation. Dr. Asmundson’s presentation can be found here.


The meeting concluded with the final panel, item five of the agenda, Partnership Priority #6 Broadband, was introduced and moderated by Eduardo González, SJV Regional Broadband Consortium. The panel discussion topic was San Joaquin Valley Broadband amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The speakers included on this panel were Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves, MS, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC); California State Senator Anna Caballero, representing the 12th State Senate District; California State Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula, representing the 31st Assembly District; Gladys N. Palpallatoc, Associate Vice President, California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF); and Robert Tse, Senior Policy Advisor at USDA, Rural Development, Rural Utilities Service, Assistant Administrator's Office for Telecom. Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves’ presentation can be found here.


After some brief comments from the Board and public, Chairman Chiesa adjourned the meeting.

The next Partnership Board meeting is scheduled for September 18th.