Elected officials and staff from all eight San Joaquin Valley regional planning agencies will be meeting with key federal legislators during their “Valley Voice” advocacy visit to Washington D.C. on Sept. 11 and 12. The delegation traveling to the nation’s capital is known as the San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council, and represents the boards of each regional planning agency, or metropolitan planning organizations (MPO), and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
The main purpose of the visit is to advocate for increased federal funding for transportation related projects throughout the San Joaquin Valley. The eight counties recently completed a two-year goods movement planning effort that prioritizes transportation projects for the timely movement of agricultural and other products important to the region’s economic base. The group will also be addressing improvements to the new federal transportation bill (MAP-21), air quality, and other topics.
The visit will include meetings with Senators Boxer and Feinstein, House Majority Whip Congressman McCarthy, in addition to Congressmen Valadao, McNerney, Costa, Nunes, Denham, McClintock, White House Intergovernmental Affairs Director David Agnew, key staff from legislative Senate subcommittees, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the National Association of Regional Councils.
The delegation from the Valley includes Stockton Councilmember Elbert Holman, Patterson Mayor Luis Molina, Waterford Mayor Charlie Goeken, Modesto Councilmember Stephanie Burnside, Los Banos Mayor Mike Villalta, Madera Mayor Robert Poythress, Chowchilla Councilmember Janan Hebert, San Joaquin Mayor Amarpreet Dhaliwal, Kerman Mayor Gary Yep, Tulare County Supervisor Allen Ishida, Woodlake Mayor Rudy Mendoza, and Delano Councilmember Rueben Pascual.
Tulare County Supervisor Allen Ishida, Chair of the San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council, made the following statement regarding the Valley Voice effort:
“The San Joaquin Valley is a critical geographic region of the nation, and there are a number of federal funding and policy initiatives that are extremely important to our growth and prosperity. Our ability to come together and collectively advocate for our best interest is extremely important and sends a vital message about our regional collaboration.”
For more information about the San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council, visit www.sjvcogs.org.