When I first ran for Solano County Supervisor in 2008, I promised to be a Supervisor on YOUR Side, to serve as a voice for the community and not special interests. As I look back over the last three years, I believe that my record demonstrates that I delivered on those promises and that I have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the people who live in our County.
In these challenging economic times, fighting to create jobs and strengthen our economy has been a top priority.
- Successfully proposed a “Local Preference” ordinance favoring local businesses in the awarding of County contracts for goods and services
- Strongly supported the creation of the West Coast ship recycling facility at Mare Island, which has created new local jobs, saved taxpayer dollars, and helped our environment
- Supported new construction projects that bring jobs to Solano County, like the Vallejo Health and Social Services Center and the Vacaville Health and Social Services Building
- Voted for a “Community Stability Fund” to help local families hit hard by the economic downturn bridge the transition between job losses, foreclosures, and other hardships and their successful re-entry into the workforce
- Sat in on labor negotiations and fought to save as many jobs and vital services as possible
- Assisted the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce with its submission for Federal Stimulus funding
- Traveled to Washington DC five times to ensure our County gets its fair share of Stimulus funds
It’s always a good idea, but is especially important in a down economy, to make government more efficient. To that end, I’ve consistently supported innovations and improvements that both increase efficiency and save taxpayer dollars.
- Voted to cut my own pay and voted to reduce salaries for already highly paid government officials, because our struggling economy requires that we all contribute to solutions
- Supported cutting the County budget by 25 percent over the last 3 years, making Solano County government more efficient
- Consistently advocated to save jobs when program cuts were necessary and voted to reduce or eliminate discretionary programs like the State Fair display, un-mandated travel, award ceremonies, and fleet vehicles
- Urged the careful review of all non-mandatory and/or non-essential programs to identify programs for possible elimination or increase efficiencies
- Supported the establishment of an online payment service for library late fees and property taxes
- Pushed for a more user-friendly County website, including the online How Are We Doing? survey to generate input from Solano County residents
- Supported the new program to scan birth and death records in a secure manner for improved customer service while reducing office and mailing expenses by 50%
- Supported automation of the County’s payroll and personnel transactions
On the Board of Supervisors, there’s much we can disagree about, however public safety is one thing we all know we must prioritize.
- Secured funding for Fighting Back Partnership in Vallejo to expand the number of Neighborhood Watch groups in the city
- Actively supported local National Night Out crime prevention events
- Introduced legislation that increased funding for fire protection services in Cordelia
- Supported the County Sheriff in his efforts to ensure we have adequate jail space
- Secured funding for the Cordelia Fire Protection District’s new rescue stretcher
- Assisted the residents of Sandy Beach in Vallejo in their efforts to reduce the costs of their flood control insurance
I am deeply committed to improving the well being of Solano County’s children. Solano County was recently named—for an unprecedented fifth time—one of the “100 Best Communities for Youth” in the United States by America’s Promise Alliance. This designation recognizes those communities that make youth a priority by implementing programs that help keep children in school and prepare them for college and the 21st Century workforce. Solano County is the only community in California to be a five-time winner. I also have the privilege of serving as Vice Chair of the Solano County First 5 Commission that funds programs for children 0 – 5 and their families.
- Fought to improve local adoption services, support at-risk families, and strengthen programs that prevent child abuse
- Strongly advocated against the June 2009 California ballot initiative which would have reduced local First 5 funding for programs for children aged 0-5, testifying before the State Legislature, writing letters to the editor, and weighing in with op-eds in local papers
- Served with distinction on the First 5 Solano Commission (First 5 programs and partnerships promote, support, and improve the lives of young children, their families, and their communities. Its programs include BabyFirst Solano, Early Childhood Mental Health, and the Children’s Health Initiative. First 5 offers help in applying for health insurance for previously uninsured kids, and can help prepare a child and her or his family for the transition to kindergarten. For more information and to contact First 5 Solano, go to www.co.solano.ca.us/depts/first5/)
- Helped keep State child care funding intact for working Solano County parents
- Recommended the creation of First 5 Futures, which led to the development of a plan to raise $2.5 Million in grant funds for Solano County children and families annually. The program is the first in California.
- Held community forums to help the community assess and understand the impact of State budget cuts to vital local services like the County’s child welfare program
- Secured funding for Benicia Community Arts, for much needed scholarships for children
- Hosted a booth at Youth Ag Day at the Solano County Fairgrounds each year to educate third graders about agriculture and local government
Solano County’s veterans and seniors can count on me as their advocate on the Board of Supervisors.
- Held annual veterans’ town hall meetings in Benicia and Vallejo which informed hundreds of local veterans about available employment, benefits, medical, and other services through the VA and the County
- Advocated, raised funds for, and facilitated renovations at the Benicia and Vallejo Veteran’s Halls. The Vallejo renovation, accomplished through the efforts of Rebuilding Together, included new coats of paint and landscape improvements, considerably increasing the Hall’s revenue. I am also proud that the Benicia Veteran’s Hall will undergo modernization, including a new elevator and restroom improvements. The building will re-open in early 2012.
- Secured funding for the Benicia Community Action Council to help expand the organization’s senior lunch services
While Washington and Sacramento are in constant states of bickering over healthcare and threatening to cut it, there’s a lot we can do locally in Solano County to ensure better care for our citizens.
- Supported the opening of new Health and Human Services facilities in Vallejo and Fairfield, expanding capacity to serve nearly a third more patients
- Fought against the State’s slashing of funding to California’s Maternal Child Adolescent Health program, which meets critical health needs for women, infants, and children in our County
- Strongly supported the new online application system for Medi-Cal and Food Stamp participants as well as an interactive phone service to answer common questions from the public about these programs. These innovations save time and money.
- Support video conferencing technology that brings Health and Social Services staff closer to home-bound clients
- Voted to implement the “SolanoHelps” online tool, which helps residents explore eligibility for federal, state, and local health and social services programs
- Worked to keep the public informed and protected during the swine flu pandemic, by supporting coordination between the California Department of Public Health, Bay Area Health Officers, the Solano County Office of Education, Solano County Office of Emergency Services, EMS, and County Public Health staff
Living in Solano County, we are reminded every day of the importance of protecting our environment, wildlife, and agriculture. As your Supervisor and as Vice Chair of the Solano Land Trust Board, I work hard every day to assure that our culture is preserved.
- Worked with the Solano Land Trust, Green Valley Landowners Association, and others to preserve 360 acres of pristine pastoral land in Green Valley. This land is home to some of the most sensitive habitat in the Bay Area. Developers have tried to build housing on it for 30 years, but now it will be open space, and could potentially become part of a regional trail system in the near future. I am currently working to preserve an additional 1140 acres.
- Strongly supported the Solano County Conservation Program, which helps Solano County property owners install solar energy equipment, conserve water, and make other energy efficiency improvements
- Advocated to protect our Delta to ensure safe and abundant potable and non-potable water supplies for homes, agriculture, recreation, and wildlife
- Fought to keep our County’s State parks open
- Led the successful passage of the ordinance that banned local rooster farms from raising animals for cockfighting
- Persuaded the Board of Supervisors to approve in concept federal legislation to create a Delta National Heritage Area (NHA), which would include the Suisun Marsh and Carquinez Strait. As one of the largest estuaries in the United States, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta deserves to be protected.
- Fought to reduce adverse environmental impacts of new development projects
- Strongly supported “Solano Grown,” a partnership of local farmers and ranchers committed to producing sustainable food, fiber, and goods
- Supported the Certified Green Event program and other Zero Waste Programs in conjunction with the Zero Waste Taskforce
- Supported the specific plan for Middle Green Valley, which will ensure we maintain 85% of the project acreage in agriculture
- Supported the Sustainable Communities program’s efforts through the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and urged ABAG to recognize Solano County’s uniqueness in the process
- Helped California Native Plant Society make new sustainable plantings at the Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanical Garden in Benicia
I believe that government works best when the community’s voice drives the discussion. I believe that the best decisions result from consensus building and not from merely securing three votes.
- Hold regular office hours throughout the District, welcoming all interested constituents
- Held workshops to seek community input on reducing government spending
- Advocate at each and every County Board meeting for open and transparent processes that ensure the public has access to information and the opportunity to be heard
- Fought to ensure that the public would have full access to information about redistricting and to provide mechanisms to ensure that Solano County residents could present their views on the various proposals
- Send out regular email newsletters to all interested constituents about current activities and issues of importance to Solano County
Improving transportation and reducing traffic will improve our overall quality of life, save commuters time and money, and cut down on our contribution to climate change.
- Supported the opening of the Suisun Parkway, the first major roadway project in Solano County in more than 30 years, which will ease the traffic transitioning from Interstate 80 West to Interstate 12 West
- Supported Rockville Corner Business District’s successful efforts to protect local pedestrian safety and driver safety by reducing the speed limit
- Supported the re-paving of streets in Home Acres and Green Valley
- Advocated for improvement to the Home Acres overpass
- Supported improvements for the Redwood Parkway off-ramp