Happy 2018! I look forward to working with you as we enter another year of meaningful community engagement, hard work and effective advocacy for the people of Yolo County. As national politics continue to polarize our public dialogue, Yolo County continues to focus on effective governance and a clear strategic alignment of goals and performance. (Click here to review the Yolo County Strategic Plan for 2016-19 period.)
During 2018, the District 2 team will continue our work to strengthen the safety net so that all of our residents can thrive, improve local infrastructure, steward the environment, respond to issues and needs of our County, and engage County residents in decisions that affect their lives. Together, we will work to keep Yolo County a safe and welcoming community for all. Following you will find some of the priorities and initiatives that will be our focus this year.
I am grateful to be of service to you. As always, please email me at email@example.com to share your thoughts on this topic or any other matter.
In shared service,
Strengthen the Safety Net
Yolo County has a diverse and strong economy that serves many of us well, but too many are getting left behind. We must continue to work to make sure that everybody can prosper and thrive. That’s why I’m focused on strengthening the safety net for all. Below are some of the actions we will advance in 2018.
Davis Service Center Opening. The Davis Health and Human Services Center is scheduled to open summer 2018, after several years of work. This is very similar to the Winters Service Center opened by Yolo County in 2015. Currently more than 10,000 Davis residents receive CalFresh, Medi-Cal, or Cal Works benefits, but they must travel to Woodland or West Sacramento for assistance. For the first time in history, Davis residents will have access to employment services, food nutrition assistance (WIC and CalFresh enrollment), Medi-Cal enrollment, CalWORKs enrollment and mental health services at 600 A Street. Stay tuned for more announcements about this added service capacity.
Mental Health Services Expansions. In addition to the opening of the Davis Service Center, we are excited that Yolo County is working to open a Navigation Center and a residential care facility in Davis. In addition, we are moving ahead with an enhanced 24-hour mobile response capability for those who experience crisis in the community and an Urgent Care center in West Sacramento.
Housing and Homeless Services Partnerships. I am committed to increasing access to decent, affordable housing options in Yolo County. Advancing this goal will require effective partnerships between the County and cities and other stakeholders. Yolo County has invested over $6 million in services for the homeless population over the past three years and remains actively engaged in a wide array of efforts. I expect housing issues to be front and center in 2018.
Safe Yolo. In late 2016, we partnered with a new Ad Hoc group called “Safe Yolo” to monitor and respond to threats against vulnerable populations in Yolo County. The Safe Yolo group developed a “Safe and Welcoming Communities” resolution adopted unanimously on March 7, 2017 by the Board of Supervisors. During 2018, we will continue to monitor community climate and take action as needed to support all members of the Yolo community. Click here to read the resolution.
Access to Preschool and Early Childhood Development. I remain interested in increasing access to quality and affordable preschool and other early childhood development efforts. I am working with a community Preschool Working Group to prepare a possible November 2018 revenue measure to support these goals. In addition, I voted to include early childhood development efforts as one possible use of tax revenue collected from commercial cannabis activities.
New Animal Shelter. We continue to explore how to better serve animal welfare needs in our communities. I am working with an Ad Hoc Committee to prepare a proposal for a new state of the art animal shelter.
Existing road and transit infrastructure is in need of maintenance and expansion. Many Yolo County rural residents lack access to basic services because of their remote location and lack of transit options. I continue to work collaboratively and creatively with regional, state and industry leaders to ensure that our rural residents have access to vital services that they need such as safe roads, clean water and broadband. Below are just some of the actions I’m looking forward to this coming year.
Transportation Capital Improvement Plan. I serve as a member of the Board for the Yolo County Transportation District (YoloBus) and the Board subcommittee guiding the development of a first-ever Countywide Transportation Capital Improvement Plan. This plan will focus priority investments for our roads and transportation network for all of our jurisdictions. Our goal is to complete the plan this spring or summer and use it to seek resources necessary to address deteriorating roads and improved transit.
Interstate 505 Pedestrian Overpass. The City of Winters and Yolo County are jointly developing a plan to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling from the Yolo Housing El Rio Villas on State Highway 128 over the bridge at Highway 505 and into Winters. This plan will be completed in 2018 and we will prepare submittals for funding.
Rural Transit Rethinking. As a Board member of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, I have supported the Civic Lab project to design transit alternatives to connect rural areas like Knight’s Landing, Dunnigan and the Davis Migrant Center (Casa Del Sol). This work will come to fruition in the spring and may lead to implementation in late 2018.
Broadband. Within the next few months, Wave Broadband is bringing high-speed internet to the rural community of Knights Landing. This was the first priority of our Yolo County Broadband Strategic Plan. The Yolo County Broadband Task Force continues to seek broadband solutions for other underserved communities in Yolo County such as North Davis Meadows, Binning, Patwin Road, Clarksburg and others. Click here to learn more about Yolo County's broadband plan.
North Davis Meadows Water Supply. The County continues to partner with the residents of North Davis Meadows and the City of Davis to address water quality issues and provide adequate fire protection. After nearly ten years of exploration, we are on track to implement this project in 2018.
The people of Yolo County care deeply about protection of ag land, environmental justice, conservation, open space preservation, and fighting climate change. This year I look forward to continued collaborative, creative and regional solutions to our local environmental challenges. Below are just some of the actions I’m looking forward to this coming year.
Valley Clean Energy Alliance (VCEA) Launch. In 2017, Yolo County and the Cities of Woodland and Davis formed VCEA to implement a community choice energy program to provide our 67,000 electricity rate payers cleaner, greener energy at competitive rates. A key advantage of community choice energy is local accountability. I served as the founding Chair of the VCEA Board. We are on track to launch service June 2018. Click here to learn more.
Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan/ Natural Community Conservation Plan. For nearly two decades, the government jurisdictions within Yolo County have worked to develop a coherent habitat conservation plan to protect endangered species and allow otherwise appropriate building to occur. I have been a member of the Yolo Habitat Conservancy Board since 2011. The final Environmental report and Conservation Plan have been completed and will be published in the Federal Register this spring. Following these steps, the permit will be completed and this framework for habitat conservation will be implemented. Click here to learn more about the Habitat Conservation Plan.
Yolo County Climate Action Plan: This year, I look forward to continuing our efforts to address climate change through collaborative conversations on local jurisdictional best practices at the Yolo County Climate Compact. I will also continue to advocate for a more realistic and ambitious county climate action plan, ensure county policies complement our climate action goals, and establish meaningful metrics to monitor performance. Click here to read Yolo County's Climate Action Plan.
Build a Robust Economy
A robust economy with diverse opportunities for workforce development and employment is one of my top priorities. I continue to work to assure that Yolo County has a vibrant agricultural economy and a food system that supports both a healthy export economy and greater food security for all in our region. By partnering with neighboring jurisdictions we strengthen our regional economy and leverage our unique place in the global economy, support the middle class, encourage small business growth, and invest in a workforce for the future. Below are some areas we will continue to engage with in 2018.
Sensible Cannabis Regulations. Yolo County is developing and monitoring regulations for the commercial cannabis industry. We have placed a measure on the June ballot to tax commercial cannabis activities in the unincorporated area to help fund public safety, youth development, and other general fund priorities. I seek a sensible cannabis regulatory framework that reflects the will of our residents, improves public safety, improves safe access and effective use of medicinal cannabis, and captures the economic benefits and job opportunities from this emerging industry.
Greater Sacramento Economic Council. The Greater Sacramento Economic Council is a public-private partnership among cities, counties and top employers in the Sacramento region. The organization is focused on recruiting jobs and investments to the Sacramento region. I serve on the Board of Directors and on the Food and Ag Innovation Committee and shed light on opportunities in Yolo County.
Sacramento Metro Chamber. My office actively participates on the Food and Ag Committee and is a strong voice for local, state, and federal policies that will support our local agriculture industry and food security.
I believe that authentic and meaningful community engagement in decisions that affect people’s lives is the only way a democracy can survive. We make better decisions when we broaden the conversation to be more inclusive. I was first elected to public office in 1995 and have served as a Trustee for the Davis School Board, Mayor and Councilmember for the City of Davis, and since 2011 as a Yolo County Supervisor. In each of these roles, I sought to find effective ways to engage people and strengthen partnerships. This blog is one way for you to connect with our work; I appreciate your ongoing input and perspectives on matters we share. As you know, I hold open public office hours, to listen and address issues brought forward by residents. A goal for District 2 in 2018 will be to strengthen Yolo County engagement of our communities in our decision making processes. I welcome your thoughts on ways we can be more effective.