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Message From The CEO – October 2016 

We had a very successful Harvest Luncheon this past month. The committee decided to move the event after 54 years from Graceada Park downtown Modesto to MJC’s ACE Ag Pavilion. Thanks to Doctors Medical Center and all of our sponsors; we were able to raise over $20,000 for the Voss-Berryhill Modesto Junior College Ag Scholarship Program.

Our speaker was John Aguirre, President of California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG). John is responsible for CAWG’s Board of Directors, federal legislation, pests and disease programs, sustainability, and trade policy. He was very informative and spoke to the ever-growing threat to our agricultureal health by the bureaucracy that exists in our state government. He spoke to the recent legislation to raise wages and overtime pay. His point was that they either don’t understand or don’t care about the agricultural impact on our economy.

To compound his concerns, his presentation comes on the heels of the State Water Resource Board decision to raise the mandated unrestricted water flows on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers to 40 percent. These decisions to raise wages and take more of our water without regard to the economic impact on our farmers, businesses and our citizens is potentially devastating to our area. We as businesses, and other Chambers of Commerce’s need to band together with Assemblyman Gray and our other state elected officials, MID, TID, OID boards, and city governments to combat this “water grab.” The State Water Resources Control Board, after nearly four years, released its revised environmental document that will raise the mandated unimpaired flows to 40 to 50 percent. They would rather put poor science for the so-called protection of fish in front of our people and our economic livelihood. Please join the fight by sending an email to Stop The Regulatory Drought: to
www.stoptheregulatorydrought.com. Please read the article in this issue of Progress previously released by Kristen Olsen and Adam Gray and printed in the Modesto Bee on Sunday 18.

We will be producing our second annual Central Valley Business Summit in Modesto on Oct. 25. The Central Valley Business Summit was developed to inspire and bring value to executives in our community. Our goal is to serve individuals and companies across all sectors that share the common objectives to grow their business and to hone their leadership skills. The conference will include exhibitors, a panel discussion, breakout sessions and keynote speaker Nir Eyal, the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. He has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Design School. He has sold two technology companies since 2003 and now helps teams design more engaging products. The event will be at Modesto Centre Plaza on Tues., Oct. 25.

In our last issue of Progress, we published a list of local businesses that have been in Modesto for over 20 years. We will be listing more businesses in this issue of Progress and will continue to honor our businesses over the coming months.

The election is just around the corner. We have republished information from our May issue that provided information from the June primary election. You may find the reprints helpful for the runoff next month. The key item on the ballot for all of Stanislaus County is Measure L. Stanislaus County is a wonderful community in which to work and raise a family. However, our local road conditions are becoming worse every year. Local roads and highways that are afflicted with cracks, potholes, and unsafe conditions threaten the safety and quality of life of our residents. They also cost businesses that depend on goods movement significant amounts in fleet repairs.

Measure L on this November’s countywide ballot will help fix our streets and roads and help improve our local economy at the same time.

Measure L would implement a half-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation. It would make Stanislaus a “self help” county, which would then qualify us for millions in state and federal matching funds.

Every resident will benefit from the improvements to be funded by this measure, because the expenditure plan provides money to fix our roads, fill potholes, improve busy intersections, ensure safe routes for children to walk and bike to school, and shorten emergency response times.

The measure protects voters and our precious tax dollars by requiring elected officials to report to a citizens oversight committee that will watchdog expenditures. The committee will ensure that the money is only spent on projects designated in the plan, and make sure that not one dollar generated by this measure is taken by the state of California.


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