Message from the CEO – November 2016
The election season is almost over. We will have a new President of our country, a new California Senator, and numerous others in federal and state offices. Our hope is that we have elected people that will serve the people, our country, and our state and will always have the best interest of the people and their futures at the forefront of everything that they do. Hopefully Measure L passed and we can have a reliable source of funding to have better roads and safer streets. We appreciate the hard work that StanCog, all of our locally elected officials from all of the cities and our Board of Supervisors to bring this important measure forward. We also thank the strongest coalition that this county has ever assembled to support a common goal of all citizens including: Ceres Firefighters Association, Turlock Firefighters Association, Central Labor Board, Modesto Chamber of Commerce, Ceres Chamber of Commerce, Salida Chamber of Commerce, Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, Stanislaus County Democratic Party, Stanislaus County Republican Party, Stanislaus Building Trades Council, Tom Changnon, and many others.
The next issue that all of us will be dealing with for the foreseeable future is WATER. This issue is entering in to a critical phase, that if implemented in its present form,will have a devastating effect on our economy and our way of life. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has developed a California Bay-Delta Plan. Phase 1 of this plan seeks to require 40 to 50 percent unimpaired flow to release downstream from the Tuolumne, Stanislaus, and Merced rivers. This is up from the current 25 percent. The possible impacts ,if applied to 2015; would have deprived our region of $1.6 billion in economic output, $167 million in farm-gate revenue, $330 million in labor income, and 6,576 jobs. Also MID and TID farmers would not have received any surface water. The farmers would then have to rely more on groundwater—this is counterproductive to the goals of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act which shows that groundwater management is a priority for all Californians, especially lawmakers, regulators, and the Governor. It additionally jeopardizes disadvantage communities and Modesto and Turlock drinking water supplies.
MID and TID have invested more than $25 million to develop better science and better solutions for the Tuolumne River to address the same concerns that the SWRCB is attempting to solve. This science has allowed them to develop non-flow solutions, such as habitat improvements, river restoration efforts, predation suppression, and changing the timing of the existing flow requirements – all solutions that could be implemented now.
MID and TID have maintained a constant dialogue with the SWRCB, and have also continued to inform our customers, community members, elected officials, and the media on the significant impacts of this proposal. We’ve created “Worth Your Fight” to further raise awareness.
Join the “Worth Your Fight” effort. You can speak out against this proposal by signing an e-petition, sending formal comments to the SWRCB, speaking at a future hearing, and spreading our message to your friends, family members, and colleagues. You can also follow “Worth Your Fight” on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For more information on the SWRCB’s proposal and ways to get involved, visit www.worthyourfight.org such as habitat improvements, river restoration efforts, predation suppression and changing the timing of the existing flow requirements—all solutions that could be implemented now.
Make no mistake this is a FIGHT, we cannot live in the Central Valley and afford to be silent. Impairing our water flows will negatively impact all of us, our economy, our ecology, and our quality of life. We must stand together for this important issue.
The holidays are rapidly approaching and we strongly support shopping local. All of our local businesses count of the holidays for the majority of their business that helps carry them forward. The kickoff for local businesses to shop local is Nov. 26, you can head downtown that evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the 4th annual Mod Shop, handmade market. For more information visit their website www.modshop209.com. You don’t have to wait—always think shop local first and help our local economy succeed.
The Chamber has just recently started using a new membership database. We are always looking for new ways to provide value to our members. We have some new practical benefits for our members via our website and new mobile app. We now have a dashboard, accessible by a login and password that is unique to each member’s key people, that allows our members to edit their online directory profile and add their logo, social media links, news releases, hours of operation, map, hyperlinks to web pages on their own websites, and photos and videos. This is another way to be discovered and be ranked higher in online searches (SEO). Members can also download our new mobile app “MemberPlus” and they can post and view events, hot deals, member-to-member discounts, news releases, and job postings. They can also post messages, links, and like and share others’ posts. We believe,as our members really start to utilize these new features, it will create a great way for our members to do business with each other, stay informed, and shop local. Look for emails in the coming weeks with more information,and training sessions. You can also call our office to get more information if you want to get started right away. We are in the planning stages for our annual Gala in January. Please help us with the award part of the Gala by nominating local businesses.
With the holiday season just around the corner, the Modesto Chamber wishes you and your loved ones happy holidays.