June 2018 Newsletter
Join me in honoring our AD 11 Veteran of the Year
One of the best things I get to do every year is to highlight the military service and civic contributions of a veteran who lives in my district. This year, it is my honor to name U.S. Marine Corps trailblazer and Fairfield community advocate Jesse Branch as the 11th Assembly District Veteran of the Year.
Jesse is someone who offers aid to others before they even think to ask. He is passionate about working with veteran and civic organizations to make a difference in our community.
Soon after moving to Fairfield in 1987, Jesse began working at Solano Community College and was its Community Services Officer for 24 years. In addition, he served on many of its committees and boards, worked with its sports teams and individual players, and was the Athletic Boosters president for more than a dozen years. He was inducted into the Solano College Hall of Fame in 1998 and was recently named Solano Athletic Boosters President Emeritus.
Jesse is also active in Fairfield civic life, serving on the city Community Services Commission and Block Grant Committee, and volunteering with the after-school program. He still serves as a Planning Commissioner, Youth Commission adviser, Senior Center advocate, and house manager for the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts.
In addition, he is the Executive Director of Deacon Ministry and a charter member of Bethel Community Church. He is also the proud father of daughter Tracy and grandchildren Taylor and Jordan.
Like so many veterans, Jesse’s passion for service stems from his 30 years in the military. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from high school in 1951 and soon found himself in Korea where, with the 7th Marines, he took part in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. Throughout his career, he received regular promotions and served at home and abroad, including one tour of duty in Vietnam. In 1977, he was promoted to Battalion Sergeant Major at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona – one of the first African-Americans to hold this highest enlisted rank.
During his military career, Branch also earned a degree in construction engineering through Old Dominion University. By the time he retired in 1981, he had been awarded fourteen medals, including a Purple Heart and Silver Star. He remains an active, lifetime member of VFW Post 2333.
Jesse joins a growing list of veterans I’ve been proud to have tapped for the Assembly District 11 Veteran of the Year honor, including: Jeff Jewell, Derek McGinnis, Janet Wilson, Mike Brimer, Steve Todd and Enrico E. “Rico” Cinquini.
I am pleased to host a public reception in Jesse’s honor. Please join me in honoring this dedicated veteran.
Thursday, June 14
5 to 7 p.m.
Fairfield District Office.
1261 Travis Blvd., Suite 110
To RSVP, please call (707) 399-3011. Also, my website contains an extensive list of resources and contacts for veterans.
Vacaville restaurant is Assembly District 11’s Small Business of the Year
I am also excited to name Wren’s Café in Vacaville as the 2018 AD 11 Small Business of the Year.
Wren’s is a tremendous example of how a small business can have a huge effect on the community it serves. From time to time, I’ve had the pleasure of joining the regulars for breakfast there, and it’s a very welcoming place to meet.
But more importantly, the Café is a huge supporter of first responders, kids and other local causes. That willingness to give back to the community is what makes Wren’s worthy of the 'Small Business of the Year' title.
The café has been known for large portions of home-cooked fare since Kevin Moreno opened it in 1986, naming it after his maternal grandparents, Annie and Luther Wren, who for 18 years operated “Mr. Ed’s restaurant” on the same site along Interstate 80.
Moreno and his staff of nine serve homemade breakfasts and lunches seven days a week, run the café’s catering business in the evenings and regularly offer help when someone needs a hand.
They keep an eye out for regulars and if they don’t show up for a few days, someone calls to check on them. Each year, the café prepares and donates a fund-raising breakfast for the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club, and it has also sponsored events for cancer-awareness groups.
Whenever a first-responder is in need, the café is among the first to step up, such as last summer, when they donated breakfast burritos to firefighters battling the Napa fires as they came roaring into Solano County. Moreno is also a supporter of the Stan Foster Memorial Golf Tournament, a charity that keeps alive the memory of a good friend while helping local residents in need.
I will be honoring Wren’s Café in Sacramento on June 19, when the California State Assembly recognizes the contributions of small businesses and acknowledges their important role in the creation of jobs and growth for the state’s economy.
I’m happy to add Wren’s Café to the list of AD 11 Businesses of the Year: Pinky’s Klassy Kar Wash, B&L Properties, Willy’s Bagels & Blends, Gillespie’s Abbey Carpet & More and Captain Morgan’s Delta Tours.
State offers app for boaters
If you’re a recreational boater who enjoys exploring The Delta or other California waterways, you may wish to download the BoatCA app from the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Division of Boating and Waterways.
The free app provides instant and easy GPS navigation to boating facilities, including launches, restrooms, pump-out stations and gasoline, as well as locations of parks, recreation areas and motorized and non-motorized lakes and waterways.
The app also offers the latest information on boating safety news, boating laws, float plans, boat registration, California Boater Cards and emergency assistance.
BoatCA is available from your device’s app provider or at BoatCalifornia.com, where you will also find timely information about boating safety and services.