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.