The key to our future lies within the resiliency
and resources of Central Valley communities.
TJ Cox is an engineer, agricultural entrepreneur and small businessman whose passion is community development. He is a native Californian and the son of immigrant parents who instilled in him the importance of hard-work, integrity, and fighting for what’s right.
Working his way through school, TJ held a variety of jobs that ranged from a pipefitter in the mining industry to an open-range land conservationist. During college, TJ started his first small business, a firm that provided and installed home energy-saving devices.
After a career in international project management and construction, TJ’s volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity led him to found the Central Valley NMTC Fund (CVNF), which invests in socially and economically disadvantaged communities throughout the Central Valley. Starting from a single dollar in 2011, TJ has since raised more than $65 million and invested it in projects that have created over 1,500 jobs and brought our region critically needed services such as healthcare, job-training, community and recreational facilities and affordable housing.
These investments include new non-profit and educational opportunities such as Rescue the Children, an innovative campus for at-risk women and children, and West Hills Community College’s Farm of the Future, which trains young women and men for careers in agriculture. Another project—the North Fork Bioenergy Plant—turns dead trees from the Sierras into clean-energy. It was awarded “Project of the Year” by Novoco, an industry trade group.
In California’s 21st Congressional District, TJ was proud to help spur investment in community health clinics in Fowler, Mendota, Parlier and Sanger, creating more than 450 jobs. Today, these clinics deliver over 100,000 healthcare appointments per year. Health clinics provide tremendous community benefit—bringing health care to where it’s needed and when it’s needed while creating well paying, career-track jobs. Currently, TJ is spearheading additional investment in community health clinics in Huron, Lemoore and Selma, which will create 150 permanent jobs and bring health services to an additional 12,000 residents.
Cleaning the Valley’s air and water is a primary goal of TJ’s organization and CVNF is helping develop innovative dairy digester projects to support our dairy farmers and fight climate change by cutting methane emissions. The digesters will improve the environment while generating revenue for dairies from renewable bioenergy.
TJ understands that agriculture drives the Valley’s economy. Employing his deep knowledge of California’s farming industry, in 2012 TJ co-founded an almond processing business and in 2017, completed construction of an organic nut pasteurizing plant in Madera that processes 100 million pounds of nuts a year.
TJ was born in Walnut Creek, California, to Kenneth Cox, a scientist and chemical engineering professor from China, and Perla DeCastro, from the Philippines, who met in college in the United States. Sadly, TJ’s father passed away while TJ was in high school. The loss of his father influenced TJ to choose chemical engineering as an early career path. TJ’s mother was a pioneer for social justice herself and served as one of the first equal employment opportunity officers for the state of Nevada.
TJ holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nevada, Mackay School of Mines, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.
He lives in the Central Valley with his wife, Kathleen Murphy, M.D, a pediatric intensive care physician. They are the proud parents of four children.
For the families and communities of the 21st Congressional District to realize their fullest potential, TJ knows that we need new leadership and bold action. Congressman David Valadao, who now represents the district, has shown time and again his willingness to put partisan politics above the needs of the Valley. He is part of a broken political system that works for special interests, not us.
The fact is, Valadao is working against us. At a time when 50% of our families rely on Medicaid for healthcare, Rep. Valadao disgracefully voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and eliminate healthcare for 100,000 of our local residents. Yet he voted himself taxpayer-funded health care for life.
As the Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) commissioner declares his intent to increase “enforcement” actions in California by 400%, Valadao stands by weakly, watching ICE squads raid and devastate our local businesses and families.
Water is the lifeblood of our Valley, and in the half-decade Congressman Valadao has been in office, he has done absolutely nothing to increase water storage, delivery or conservation. The record rainfall of 2017 was flushed out to sea as Valadao watched.
As a registered professional engineer, TJ has built dams and water conveyance and storage systems. TJ knows what it takes to deliver more water to the Valley quickly. He’ll take his knowledge, his can-do attitude, and initiative and his determination to Congress and work for change rather than waiting for orders from the GOP leadership and Trump Administration that cares nothing for our community.
The contrast is clear. While Trump and Valadao attempt to close our clinics and strip health coverage from hard-working Californians, TJ works in the Valley to expand access to quality health care. While Trump and Valadao attack immigrants, TJ believes in the American Dream: that our nation should reward those who, like his parents, come here to work hard and give their families a better life. As an entrepreneur and engineer, he’s a doer. He’s not satisfied with waiting for more water—or anything else. His track record proves it.
If we’re going to change Washington, we’ve got to change the people we send there. We deserve a Congressman who works for us. That’s why TJ is running for Congress.