Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor represents District 2, including the cities of Davis and Winters, the campus of the University of California at Davis, and the farm land of southwestern Yolo County.
Don’s public service career spans over 45 years and includes 27 years elected in office, as well as administrative, planning, and analytical positions in local government and both the legislative and executive branches of California state government.
Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor represents District 2, including parts of the City of Davis, the City of Winters, the campus of the University of California at Davis, and the farm land of southwestern Yolo County. Don was first elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. Don served as the Chair of the Board of Supervisors in 2014 and 2019.
Don’s public service spans over 45 years. In his professional career, he served in leadership, planning and analytical roles in both the executive and legislative branches of California State government. Prior to joining the Board of Supervisors, Don served as a member of the Davis City Council from 2004 through 2010 and was Mayor in 2010. He also served as an elected member of the Board of Trustees for the Davis Joint Unified School District from 1995 through 2003 and was Board President in 1999 and 2002.
Don earned a Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of Wyoming and a Master's Degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. While a student at the LBJ School, Don served as Research Assistant to former Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. His graduate studies focused on economic development and employment and training policies.
Don’s focus areas as a Supervisor are:
Sustain and enhance the safety net for Yolo County’s most vulnerable populations.
Strengthen the food system to end food insecurity and nurture the local agricultural economy.
Steward the open space and environment of Yolo County.
Support a strong local economy through investment in infrastructure and strategic policies.
Create and maintain effective partnerships among governmental agencies and between the public, private and non-profit sectors.
In 2012, Don launched the Yolo Food Connect effort to address food access and food security issues as part of an overall food systems policy approach. Yolo Food Connect is designed to leverage, coordinate, and enhance existing efforts and address gaps in the local food system. The action tag for Yolo Food Connect is “Building a Sustainable Food System – Abundant and Healthy Food for All”.
A former Mayor of Davis, Don served two terms on the Davis City Council where he helped: establish sound fiscal policies and create a 15% General Fund reserve; launch economic development strategies leading to attraction of Digital Technology Laboratories and other businesses; advance the surface water project through the creation of the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency; adopt the most visionary affordable housing ordinance in the state; make significant investments in the Varsity Theatre, the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame, and Bistro 33 to enhance the vitality of downtown Davis.
Prior to his time on the City Council, Don served as the President and Trustee of the School Board for the Davis Joint Unified School District. While on the school board, Don helped the district tackle a wide variety of projects including the construction of the Davis Senior High School Gym, the Brunelle Theatre, Harper Junior High, Montgomery Elementary and Korematsu Elementary and the modernization of all schools in the district. In addition, he helped lead the design and implementation of an array of program enhancements and student services including enhanced special education, expansion of Advanced Placement opportunities at the high school, adding foreign language at the junior high level, and maintaining a strong academic and fine arts curriculum for all students.
Don serves as Chairman for several local and regional boards and commissions, including the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Valley Clean Energy, Yolo Climate Compact, Yolo Solano Air Quality Management District, Yolo County Transportation District (YoloBus), Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, and the Yolo Conservancy. He is also engaged in several community groups, including Davis Sunrise Rotary, Davis Odd Fellows Lodge, and the UC Davis Landscape Architecture Advisory Board.
Don and his wife, Julie, moved to Davis in 1987 to raise their children, Aaron and Kate. Don continues to be active in many local and regional efforts.