Jeff Denham

Jeff Denham

CALIFORNIA's 10th DISTRICT

Proud to be Americans

2016/07/27

Even though he was low-keyed about it, Chad Custodio was thrilled about his newly sworn-in citizenship Tuesday at the Manteca Transit Center.

The soft-spoken Stockton youngster, who is originally from The Philippines, was among the 51 recognized at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Naturalization and Citizenship Ceremony hosted by U.S. Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock).

“This is an exciting day,” said Denham. “Often we do this (oath of allegiance ceremony) in big cities – without the support of your community.”

Custodio, who will be entering fifth grade at Stockton Unified’s Washington Elementary School, received a Certification of Naturalization. He qualified for citizenship in this manner by living with his parents after birth and before the age of 18.

Some – they came from seven different countries, including Afghanistan, Mexico, Peru, Uganda, Yemen and the Philippines – were listed as children even though they were adults.  They went through the naturalization process based on living with a parent or parents, who, in turn, became U.S. citizens.

Fifty-one earned their certificate of citizenship. They not only had to read, write and speak English but also had to take and pass a test.

Ramon Castillo, who is the USCIS district adjudications officer based in Sacramento, noted that the applicants came from places such as Hong Kong, India, Laos, Mexico, Philippines and Vietnam. Now, they were people from one country.

“Many went through a lot of suffering in their homeland before coming to America,” he said.

Castillo added: “The young people are truly blessed – they can go to school, do what they want to do, and with the freedom to follow their faith.”

Those who took part in the USCIS festivities were from Denham’s 10th Congressional District consisting of Stanislaus County and portions of San Joaquin County.

“We’re a nation of immigrants, a melting pot,” Denham said. “Today marks an important day.”

He was especially thrilled with the hopes and dreams of the young people who became citizens. 

“What you do with your opportunity is your decision. That’s what makes this country great,” said Denham.

Manteca police Chief Nick Obligacion indicated that his father, Benjamin Obligacion, who was born in The Philippines in 1919, went through the process of becoming citizen.

“Without that, I would not be standing here as chief (of police),” he said.

J. Lucas Guadarrama no longer had to worry about strings attached to his place of employment.

No sooner than the conclusion of the festivities filled with plenty of pomp and circumstance, the newly sworn citizen and his wife were off and running.

Guadarrama was off to work, where he’s a cellar foreman at a winery.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail vrembulat@mantecabulletin.com.

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Ceremony gives 51 new citizens chance for good life

2016/07/26

MANTECA — Anwer Alrawni couldn’t hide his smile.

The proud Tracy man snapped photo after photo of his 10-year-old son, Sam, who patiently sat in his chair and held a small American flag in one hand.

It’s an important day, said Alrawni, who emigrated from Yemen.

Sam was among the 51 people who were sworn in as citizens by Ramon Castillo, chief of staff for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Sacramento field office, during a ceremony Tuesday at the Manteca Transit Center.

Alrawni, who himself earned citizenship in 2008, said he was overjoyed to see his son become a citizen.

“I want him to have a good life,” he said. “I want him to work here — have all the rights of a U.S. citizen.

“She’s next,” he added, pointing to Sam’s younger sister.

Thirty children from seven countries, including Afghanistan, Uganda, Mexico and Peru, were sworn in, as were 21 adults from countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam and India.

“Many of you suffered a lot in your home countries,” Castillo said during the ceremony. “(You) came to America and brought your customs and culture ... the very best part of you … Thank you.”

Representatives from Manteca City Council and Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion, who shared his father’s journey of emigrating from the Philippines to becoming an American citizen, were present during the ceremony.

Congressman Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, who served as the keynote speaker, told The Record it’s exciting to watch people, especially children, become citizens.

“This is a choice people are making to become citizens, become patriots,” he said. “To see people step up and spend the time to learn and go through the process of naturalization and ultimately becoming a citizen is a big honor and it’s a pretty patriotic thing to watch.”

For 13 years, Melinda Neal of Stockton contemplated the idea of becoming a naturalized citizen, so Tuesday was “a big day” for her.

It was especially meaningful to share the moment she became a citizen with her two daughters and husband, she said.

“I think it’s memorable for them — to value being an American,” she said.

After the ceremony, newly sworn-in citizens and family members posed for photos and shared hugs. Some took the time to register to vote.

Norma Angelica Aguirre, 48, a dental assistant from Manteca, said in Spanish that she’s most excited about now having the ability to help get the right candidates in office, she said.

Twenty-one years ago, Aguirre left Michoacán, Mexico, disillusioned with the idea of having to leave her home country and start with nothing, she said.

But on Tuesday there were no signs of that.

As she clenched two small American flags to her chest, a beaming Aguirre said she’s excited to be a citizen and to be casting her first vote this November.

— Contact reporter Almendra Carpizo at (209) 546-8264 or acarpizo@recordnet.com. Follow her on Twitter @AlmendraCarpizo.

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It's All About Our Vets and Students

2016/07/25

Dear friend,

As we enter these final "dog days of summer” (which our dog, Lily, thinks are about her), my staff and I are not slowing down in CA-10. I’ll be home for the next several weeks talking to many of you about our district’s needs, so I hope you’ll stop me for a chat when you see me out and about!

Here is what’s coming up in the district as well as a few things I’ve been working on back in Washington, D.C.   

Veterans Benefits Workshops in Turlock, Ripon Next Week

Providing the men and women who wore the cloth of this nation with the best possible care is one of my top priorities. To help ensure this happens, our Modesto office will host two Veterans Benefits Workshops next week in collaboration with the San Joaquin and Stanislaus County Veterans Service Offices (CVSOs).

San Joaquin Veterans Benefits Workshop
July 26, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
American Legion Post 190
206 S. Stockton Ave., Ripon

Stanislaus Veterans Benefit Workshop
July 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Turlock VFW Post 5059
1405 E. Linwood Ave., Turlock

Workshop attendees will be able to connect with Modesto staff members as well as staff from the local CVSO and ask questions, get help with individual cases and receive additional information about what kind of benefits they may be eligible for and how to secure them.

For more information, visit my website or call (209) 579-5458.

 

Pollinators Resolution Introduced in the House

On July 14, my Pollinator Caucus co-chair, Rep. Alcee Hastings, and I introduced a House resolution to recognize the important role that pollinators play in agriculture and maintaining our diverse ecosystem. Pollinators, such as birds, bees and butterflies are critical to our ag economy here in the Valley as we have one of the highest outputs of pollinator-dependent fruits and veggies in the entire country. We must continue to raise awareness about the role of the pollinator in our ecosystem and encourage their undisturbed habitation. The declining global populations of pollinators, which are responsible for an estimated $20 billion annually to the economy, would put our food security, economy and ecosystems at risk.

Food Security Bill Signed Into Law

Since 2010, several significant foreign food aid programs have been funded without authorization, but on Wednesday, July 20, the president signed into law the Global Food Security Act of 2016 (S. 1252) to strengthen congressional oversight by setting official funding levels. I supported the House companion bill (H.R. 1567), which was passed in April. In addition to restoring congressional oversite, the bill also improves transparency, efficiency, and reporting requirements within existing food aid programs to ensure that valuable taxpayer dollars are well-spent and that we can continue to focus on our food security needs at home…all with no budget increases.

Calling All Students: 10th District Congressional App Challenge Now Open

This week, I officially launched the 2016 10th District Congressional App Challenge inviting all middle and high school students to create and showcase their apps for mobile, tablet or desktop devices. This is a nationwide competition, with one winner from each congressional district to be showcased in the U.S. Capitol and featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website, www.house.gov, and I have no doubt that CA-10 will deliver the best and most innovative new product.

My office will accept submissions until midnight on Nov. 2, 2016, entries will be judged by a panel of local judges, and I will announce the winner the week of Dec. 5, 2016.

For more information, visit my website or call Kassi Fortado in my Modesto office at (209) 579-5458.

(On a related note: hit me up on FacebookTwitter or Instagram any time @RepJeffDenham!)

In the news

July 21, 2016: New Bill Aims To Increase The Delta's Salmon Population, Decrease Bass
By Ezra David Romero, KVPR - NPR for the Central Valley
http://kvpr.org/post/new-bill-aims-increase-deltas-salmon-population-decrease-bass

“This nonnative fish is eating all of the fish we’re trying to save. This is a great way for republicans and democrats to address an issue of water and of saving our salmon.”

Want to know more? July 5, 2016: Rep. Denham’s “Save Our Salmon” Bill Passes U.S. House of Representatives

 

See you soon!

JEFF DENHAM

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Call for Entries: Denham Announces Congressional App Challenge for 10th District High School Students

2016/07/21

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) has announced the opening of California’s 10th District Congressional App Challenge. This challenge invites middle and high school students to compete with peers to create and showcase their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet or computer devices on a platform of their choice. The best app will be displayed in an exhibit in the U.S. Capitol. Submissions will be accepted until midnight on Nov. 2, 2016 and will be judged by a panel of local judges. The 10th District’s winner will be announced during the week of Dec. 5, 2016.

“The spirit of innovation is the bedrock of American ingenuity, and this competition offers the next generation of pioneers a national stage to display their creativity and talents,” said Congressman Denham. “I encourage the Valley’s bright, young minds to participate and look forward to seeing the final products of inventiveness in November."

Students may compete as individuals or in teams of up to four. Participants must submit their app’s source code and a demo video online by midnight on Nov. 2, 2016 EST. A panel of local judges who work in the software and entrepreneurial fields will judge the district’s submissions. In addition to being displayed in a U.S. Capitol exhibit, the winning submissions will also be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website (www.house.gov).

Additional details are available at https://denham.house.gov/congressional-app-challenge. Questions should be directed to Kassi Fortado with Rep. Denham’s Modesto office at (209) 579-5458.

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New Bill Aims To Increase The Delta's Salmon Population, Decrease Bass

2016/07/21

The effort to preserve a healthy population of salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a huge challenge. Those little salmon have a lot of factors working against them. Now a bill in the House of Representatives is trying to take on one of them, the striped bass.

The “Save Our Salmon Act” by Republican Jeff Denham of Turlock would update a 1992 environmental law that manages fish in the Delta. That law sought to increase the number of salmon, but it also set out to double the number of striped bass.

“This nonnative fish is eating all of the fish we’re trying to save,” Denham says. “This is a great way for republicans and democrats to address an issue of water and of saving our salmon.”

Denham’s bill would allow people to catch more bass with the hope that salmon would benefit.

“We are opening up the striped bass to we can allow for greater removal, allowing fishermen to fish higher limits, which will actually give our salmon a fighting chance to survive,” says Denham.

The bill successfully passed through the House in early July. Democratic Congressman Jim Costa of Fresno says the bill received bipartisan support. Costa says the drought helped give lawmakers a better understanding of the issue.

“More and more people have begun to learn the science, biology of the multiple factors that are causing the decline of fisheries that are native to California,” says Costa.

He says the bill is imperative to keep salmon alive, but also to preserve water for farmers looking at tiny allocations of water again this year.

“We also hope that as a result of this we can not only help the salmon but gain greater water supply reliability, which the San Joaquin Valley has been devastated by,” says Costa.

Striped bass aren’t native to California, but even still 24 years ago authors of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act set the goal to double their population. Advocates like Aubrey Bettencourt, the Executive Director of the California Water Alliance, applaud the “Save Our Salmon Act.”

“Implementing a predator management program like the save our salmon program is a practical step to addressing one of the many stressors in the Delta,” says Bettencourt.

She says by decreasing the amount of bass farmers could in the long run have more access to water.

“The health of the salmon and smelt is a critical factor in determining the operation of our water supply,” Bettencourt. “So there’s  a domino effect into effect to how each of those elements relates to each other.”

Denham’s bill quotes a 2013 study along the Tuolumne River near Don Pedro Dam east of Modesto saying that 93 percent of juvenile salmon smolts ended up as dinner for striped bass. But not everyone is so sure that efforts to decrease the bass population will actually save salmon.

“They are not a cause of any of the declines,” says noted UC Davis Fish Biologist Peter Moyle who studies fish like the threatened Delta smelt.

“They’re just a symptom of the general decline of the system because striped bass are actually decreasing any way because their habitats have been declining in quality,” Moyle adds.

Moyle says the larger issue for salmon isn’t bass, but humans.

“We’re a predator not only by the direct harvest of fish but also by the fact that all of our stream diversions and various other things we do to the water also harvest fish,” says Moyle.

He says hatchery released salmon are especially vulnerable since they’re raised in giant tubs and fed by humans. When released they can die of exhaustion and are often eaten by scavengers like the white catfish because they lack the skills to avoid predators. Moyle says the best way to preserve the salmon population is to improve the ability of the ecosystem to support them because the early life stages set population size.

“It’s much easier to blame the predators for fish decline rather than the fact that whole ecosystems have changed because there’s insufficient water to make them work right,” says Moyle.

He says if the bill becomes law it should be instituted as an experiment with clear objectives to determine its success. But for it to get there a companion bill will have to go through the senate where a larger conversation about water legislation in California is taking place.

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Additional Resources:

July 5, 2016 Press Release: Rep. Denham’s “Save Our Salmon” Bill Passes U.S. House of Representatives

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Denham, CVSOs to Host Veterans Benefits Workshops in Turlock, Ripon

2016/07/20

WASHINGTONU.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) will host two Veterans Benefits Workshops next week in collaboration with the San Joaquin and Stanislaus County Veterans Service Offices (CVSOs).

 

The San Joaquin Veterans Benefits Workshop will take place on July 26 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the American Legion Post 190, located at 206 S. Stockton Ave. in Ripon. The Stanislaus Veterans Benefit Workshop will take place July 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Turlock VFW Post 5059, located at 1405 E. Linwood Ave. in Turlock.

“Providing the men and women who wore the cloth of this nation with the best possible care is one of my top priorities, which is why I’m dedicated not only to ensuring that we have accessible facilities, but also that our veterans are provided with resources to help navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Congressman Denham. “Our partnership with the San Joaquin and Stanislaus County Veterans Services Office to assist the Central Valley’s veterans is just one of the many ways that we can demonstrate our gratitude and thanks for their service.”

Workshop attendees will be able to connect with the Congressman’s staff members along with staff from the local CVSO and ask questions, get help with individual cases and receive additional information about what kind of benefits they may be eligible for and how to secure them.

Veterans’ benefits extend to uniformed military members, military veterans, veteran dependents, and surviving spouses, children and parents of deceased veterans. Benefits and services include:

  • Burial
  • Dependency and indemnity compensation
  • Disability compensation and pensions
  • Education and training
  • Healthcare
  • Housing/home loans
  • Life insurance
  • Vocational rehabilitation and employment

Rep. Denham’s office and the CVSOs can assist veterans with claims, act as their advocates and liaison with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, CalVet and veterans service organizations. Working in partnership, the two offices can also provide information and referral services for small business assistance, PTSD and substance abuse treatment, job training, education and other services.

The Veterans Benefits Workshops in both Turlock and Ripon will include representatives from the Modesto Vet Center to provide information about counseling to veterans and their families. Representatives from the Social Security Administration will also be on site at both workshops to help with casework and questions on Medicare and Social Security.

 

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Marking the 1 year Iran-iversary

2016/07/15

Dear Friend,

I’m sending my thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the senseless acts that took place in Nice, France yesterday. It was a busy week in the House of Representatives with several late night votes taking place – that’s unfortunately why I had to postpone my tele-town hall that was scheduled for 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday. I’m committed to making sure that you have a chance to ask me questions and that you’re up to date on what I’ve been working on, so I will let you know when we’ve rescheduled the tele-town hall. I’ll also be working for you from at home in the Valley for the next several weeks, so please don’t be a stranger if you see me!

Here are a few of the important pieces of legislation that I supported this week.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Disabled Vets

On Monday, the House approved an increase in the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for disabled veterans and their families through their disability compensation disbursed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is another measure we have taken to ensure quality care for the men and women who laid their lives on the line to protect our own.

Higher Education Reforms

The House also passed several commonsense higher education reforms that will ultimately benefit students and their families. Some of the measures include:

• Establishing a comprehensive “College Dashboard” website that provides straightforward information regarding enrollment, completion rates, costs, financial aid, student debt and graduate wages for each college.

• Enhancing the vital financial counseling that Pell Grant and other federal loan recipients receive before and during their time in school.

• Simplifies and modernizes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

These are just a few of the reforms we need to make higher education more accessible and affordable. With two kids in college myself, I understand the need to finance education without bankrupting students and parents.

GMO Labeling

I also supported S. 764, which passed the House with bipartisan support and requires mandatory disclosure standards for food products that are bioengineered or made with bioengineered materials. As a farmer and member of the House Agriculture Committee, I firmly believe in safe biotechnology and the vast benefits it offers to our ag sector, economy and environment. While S.764 was not perfect, it gives greater certainty for our farmers and businesses that otherwise face conflicting state-by-state labeling standards – an extremely unworkable patchwork that can negatively impact the entire food supply chain, from grower to consumer. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture begins its work to establish and implement the disclosure standards, I will work diligently to ensure the standards are workable for businesses and useful for customers.

Iran-iversary

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the Iran Deal. I voted against this deal because it was not verifiable, enforceable or accountable. Iran remains the largest state-sponsor of terrorism and has continued to agitate relations and disregard international law by testing ballistic missiles on multiple occasions. Iran’s activities not only pose a threat to international relations, but also to our national security. I voted yesterday to block the purchase of Iranian “heavy water,” a byproduct from the production of nuclear weapons and energy. This measure would prevent the U.S.’s purchase of $8.6 billion worth of heavy water, essentially a subsidy to Iran’s nuclear program, which President Obama announced a few months ago. I additionally supported the passage of several other terrorism-related suspensions earlier in the week that increase information-sharing about terrorist activities and seek to combat the financing of terrorism.

Student News

Sarah Hood, of Tracy, is in D.C. for the summer doing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research for teh National Institute of Standards and Technology. I applaud Sarah for her work in this innovative field and look forward to more students having the opportunity to advance research and development efforts as a result of the higher education reforms I supported earlier this week.

My good friend and college, Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, invited me to speak to a group of high school students from his district who were in town to learn about leadership skills and public policy. These students were highly informed, and we had a great conversation about the issues affecting them. I strongly supported the higher education reforms on the floor of the House this week so that these kids, just like Sarah, can continue to pursue their interests and follow their passions in college.

After I finished speaking with the group, these eager students pulled me aside for a more in-depth conversation about water policies.

I’m looking forward to spending time in the Central Valley and catching up with all of you!

JEFF DENHAM

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Denham, Hastings Introduce U.S. House Resolution to Recognize Pollinators

2016/07/14

WASHINGTON — Together with U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (FL-20), U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) today introduced a House resolution to recognize the important role pollinators, such as bees, birds and butterflies, play in agriculture and in maintaining our diverse ecosystem.

“Pollinators are often unrecognized contributors to our society, so it’s important that we raise public awareness of their economic and environmental benefits, as well as of the challenges they face,” said Rep. Denham. “My district has one of the highest outputs of pollinator-dependent fruits and veggies in the country. I’m glad there continues to be interest and concern about the role of pollinators in our society and look forward to having more discussions in the future.”

“Pollinators are vital to our economy and ecosystems across America. They are necessary for diversity of plant life and the stability of our food supply,” said Rep. Hastings. “Unfortunately, in recent years, the pollinator population has faced an alarming decline. Since 2006, over 10 million honeybee hives have been lost, and the populations of pollinating birds, bats, and insects have also been decimated. As Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus, I am dedicated to improving the health and well-being of pollinators. This bipartisan resolution highlights the importance of this issue. I thank my colleague and Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Denham for introducing it with me today.”

Bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators are responsible for an estimated $20 billion annually to the economy, and declining global populations would put at risk our food security, economy and healthy ecosystems. This resolution will provide for research and support increased public awareness around the issue.

A copy of the resolution is available here.

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Additional Resources:

June 24, 2016 Newsletter: Un-BEE-lievable

June 11, 2015 Press Release: Denham, Hastings Introduce Legislation to Protect Pollinators Ahead of National Pollinator Week

 

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Denham to Host Tele-Town Hall Meeting

2016/07/13

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) will host a telephone town hall meeting on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 to discuss his ongoing work in Washington for the Central Valley and his 10th district constituents.

Listen to the live audio stream here: http://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=5856

WHO:                U.S. Representative Jeff Denham

WHAT:              Telephone town hall meeting to discuss ongoing work in Congress and pressing issues for residents of California’s 10th congressional district

WHEN:             Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET

 

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The Stockton Record: Flood fears complicate VA clinic construction

2016/07/10

FRENCH CAMP — The same federal agency that will oversee construction of the new veterans clinic here also is declining to improve the levee that will protect that clinic along with 45,000 residents from Weston Ranch to Lathrop.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it must abide by federal guidelines discouraging development in floodplains. Raising the levee, Corps officials say, would allow for vast stretches of open land to someday grow thousands more homes and businesses, putting even more people at risk from future floods.

The Corps didn’t choose the location for the long-awaited VA clinic, nor is the Corps the agency that proposed it.

But supporters of the clinic are worried that failing to build up the levee could require costly changes to the design of the facility, perhaps forcing yet another delay after more than a decade of planning.

“Our veterans are already suffering from wait times, travel times, difficulties in getting the services they want. We need to get this thing moving,” San Joaquin County supervisor Bob Elliott said.

The issue is much larger than the clinic itself. Local politicians and flood-control experts think it is illogical for the Corps not to improve a levee that already protects tens of thousands of people within Reclamation District 17, not to mention about $5 billion in property. Schools, fire and police stations, the county jail, the county hospital, Interstate 5, railroad tracks, commercial distribution centers and the Sharpe Army Depot all call this area home, as will the VA clinic.

“All of these different reclamation districts are looked for flood control, and we need to make sure that everybody is protected under the same standard,” U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, told The Record last week. “We shouldn’t leave anybody behind, whether it’s our veterans, our local Army depot or our schools or fire stations.”

The levee and the VA clinic are two separate issues that, to some extent, have crossed paths.

Like the clinic, the levee project dates back years. Local officials have long wanted to better protect urban areas of San Joaquin County from flooding that is supposed to become more extreme with climate change. In 2009, they entered into an agreement with the Corps to prepare a study that, if approved, would lead to federal funding to improve the levees.

But after years of discussion, the draft plan that the Corps released last year no longer included the San Joaquin River levee that protects RD 17.

Improving that levee could allow the population behind it to roughly double, said Glen Reed, project manager for the Corps. And that surge of people, he said, would violate a Carter-era presidential directive that floodplains should be used wisely.

“Clearly, sticking 40,000 people into a floodplain would not be in compliance with that executive order,” Reed said. “It’s a non-starter. Just because you have a levee there doesn’t mean that levee will never break and never have a problem.”

To be sure, while RD 17 has been removed from the study, the Corps still is moving forward with a $1 billion plan to improve levees on the west side of Stockton, which will better protect about 122,000 people, Reed said. And the Corps has said it might be possible to address RD 17 concerns in a future flood-control plan.

Separate from the levee plan, the $139 million veterans clinic is set to be built on an open field just north of the county hospital, with groundbreaking as soon as next spring.

While that project is under the auspices of the VA, the Corps is expected to take an oversight role after major cost overruns at a VA medical center in Colorado.

Some advocates are concerned that because the Corps doesn’t plan to improve the levee, that the design of the clinic will have to be altered, adding to the cost or time required to finish the job. Complicating matters even more, an executive order signed by President Barack Obama issued last year requires greater flood protection for buildings funded with federal dollars.

VA spokesman Michael Hill-Jackson said that in light of the president’s order, the agency recently commissioned a study of what it would take to provide the new clinic with a much higher level of flood protection than is required today.

It’s possible the clinic would need to be built higher than originally expected, which would require more design work, Hill-Jackson said. But that’s not certain.

“The study is trying to mitigate the floodplain issue while minimizing costs,” Hill-Jackson said. “They’re working to make an informed decision that looks and how we are going to do this without skyrocketing costs for our taxpayers.”

Even if safeguards are taken to protect the new clinic or other essential facilities in the area, a flood could block Interstate 5 and make it impossible for residents to reach those facilities, said Dante Nomellini, a Stockton attorney who represents the reclamation district. A portion of Highway 120 also could be swamped if action isn't taken.

“It’s pretty critical,” he said. “Our evacuation of the whole area is going to have to go out those highways.”

He, too, hopes the Corps will reconsider its decision.

“To me,” Nomellini said, “the big picture is being missed here.”

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Contact Information

1730 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4540
Fax 202-225-3402
denham.house.gov

Congressman Jeff Denham represents the 10th District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes all of Stanislaus County and part of San Joaquin County. He was first elected to Congress in 2010, and is currently serving a third term in the 114th Congress.

Rep. Denham’s public service career began with the U.S. Air Force, where he served for 16 years between active duty and reserve status. He fought in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope in Iraq and Somalia, respectively.

After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Rep. Denham worked in the agriculture industry as an almond rancher and entrepreneur. He understands the critical importance of agriculture business in cultivating California’s economy and maintaining employment.

In his work as a California State Senator from 2002-2010, Rep. Denham focused on balancing run-away spending in California and protecting taxpayer dollars from wasteful state projects. He was a proven and courageous leader in the California Senate, where he was the subject of an unsuccessful recall attempt for his refusal to vote on irresponsible budget proposals.

First and foremost, Rep. Denham is a family man. Jeff and Sonia Denham have been married for 21 years, and they have two children, Austin, 18, and Samantha, 16.

In his position as a U.S. Congressman, Rep. Denham remains focused on representing the long-term interests of California’s agricultural businesses, finding a solution to the long struggle over water storage and conveyance, transportation interests in California and fighting for the rights, protections and benefits America’s brave and heroic veterans deserve. He is also an advocate for a top-to-bottom approach to reform for our broken immigration system.


Serving With

Doug LaMalfa

CALIFORNIA's 1st DISTRICT

Tom McClintock

CALIFORNIA's 4th DISTRICT

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

David Valadao

CALIFORNIA's 21st DISTRICT

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Kevin McCarthy

CALIFORNIA's 23rd DISTRICT

Steve Knight

CALIFORNIA's 25th DISTRICT

Ed Royce

CALIFORNIA's 39th DISTRICT

Ken Calvert

CALIFORNIA's 42nd DISTRICT

Mimi Walters

CALIFORNIA's 45th DISTRICT

Dana Rohrabacher

CALIFORNIA's 48th DISTRICT

Darrell Issa

CALIFORNIA's 49th DISTRICT

Duncan Hunter

CALIFORNIA's 50th DISTRICT

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