About Adam

Adam Gray is focused on what matters most to the residents of California’s Central Valley: education, health, public safety, and jobs.

As a young man working at his family’s dairy supply company in Merced, Adam learned the value of hard work. It was through hard work that Adam put himself through Merced Community College and eventually UC Santa Barbara. His education inspired him to build a career where he could ensure that hard work continued to pay-off for the families back home.

Working as a Legislative Aide to former Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza, Adam established himself as a strong advocate for the agricultural industry. In his first decade working for the Assembly, Adam successfully championed legislation to exempt fuel and farm equipment from state sales taxes, saving California farmers millions of dollars and spurring investments in Central Valley agriculture. But despite finding successes, Adam realized he was fighting an uphill battle.

Despite producing the vast majority of the state’s agricultural products, the Central Valley never seemed to receive the recognition it deserved.

In order to help build a stronger voice for the people back home, Adam took a position as an assistant lecturer on the State Legislature at UC Merced. By sharing his experience, he hoped to mold future advocates for the Valley. Understanding the importance of developing the academic potential of the region, Adam would later make significant progress in the legislature by supporting UC Merced and funding for programs like the Future Farmers of America. Additionally, Adam opened up a public affairs and communications firm to help market and advertise a region that although vast, remains largely isolated from the rest of the state.

When the Great Recession hit, every part of the state and country were hurting, but none were hurting as badly as the Central Valley. Without a strong advocate in the State Legislature, Adam feared the Central Valley would be left behind. He stepped up to be part of the solution, and in 2012 Adam was elected to represent the 21st Assembly District encompassing Merced County, portions of Stanislaus County, and the cities of Merced, Modesto, Los Banos, Patterson, Gustine, Newman, Ceres, Livingston, and Atwater.

During his first years in office, Adam fought catastrophic cuts to public safety, health care, and education. He fought to revitalize the collapsed housing market by supporting first-time homebuyers and mortgage assistance programs. He sponsored economic recovery legislation to jumpstart the Central Valley’s economy, and helped to secure a massive education funding reform which significantly boosted Central Valley school budgets.

Just as the worst of the recession was over, the Central Valley was hit with another stumbling block – a devastating drought.

Without water, the agricultural engine of the Central Valley was running on empty. Adam led the fight to secure nearly $3 billion in bond funds to build additional water storage and has bucked his own party and power special interests intent on rewriting the Central Valley’s historic water rights. He has spearheaded the fight against the State Water Board’s plan to double the amount of water taken from the Merced, Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers. He delivered thousands of local petitions opposing the plan directly to the Water Board and has led an educational effort to reveal the true economic burdens the proposal would have on the disadvantaged communities of the Central Valley.

Adam has always put the quality of life of the people of the Central Valley first. He has worked hard to secure additional funds for vital public safety programs. When Merced County was named as the Homicide Capital of California, Adam teamed up with local law enforcement to secure $4.5 million for the Merced VIPER program which combines public safety and community resources with state-of-the-art technology and communications to prevent violence before it ever occurs. Adam also secured $1.1 million to boost safety infrastructure at UC Merced after multiple students and staff were attacked on campus.
Adam has always made health care a priority. He has carried legislation to boost the number of operating hours for rural health clinics, increase the number of doctors and nurses working in health professional shortage areas, and expand Medi-Cal services for the most underserved populations in the state. He has been honored by the Central Valley Health Network, Golden Valley Health Centers, and Livingston Community Health for his work to improve health outcomes in the Valley.

In November 2016, Adam was re-elected to a third term. He currently chairs the Governmental Organization Committee, and also serves on the Aging and Long-Term Care, Appropriations, and Agriculture committees. Adam lives in Merced.