On Monday, Davis Mayor Dan Wolk announced in a press release that he has received the endorsement of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in his race for the 4th Assembly District. Torlakson joins dozens of local leaders in supporting Wolk and is the first statewide official to endorse in the race.
“I am proud to support Dan Wolk for Assembly because he will make our public schools a top priority,” said Mr. Torlakson. “As a mayor, county attorney and father of young children, Dan has the experience, dedication and skill to make a difference for our students and make sure every child has the opportunity to succeed.”
Dan Wolk has committed to making education a top priority in the Assembly and to focus on dramatically reinvesting in California’s public schools. His goals include fully funding public schools for the long term, providing universal preschool, reducing class sizes, closing the achievement gap and improving career technical education.
In an interview with the Vanguard earlier this month he said, “It all starts with education. I am the product of public schools and I firmly believe we must end the neglect of our K-12 system and dramatically reinvest in our schools. That includes fully funding our schools for the long term, providing universal preschool, so all children are ready to succeed from day one, closing the achievement gap, reducing class sizes and strengthening career technical education.”
Mr. Wolk added, “Looking beyond K-12, we need to rein in the constant rise of college tuition and control the outrageous costs and risks associated with student loans. The state must make it easier for people to attend college – not put it further and further out of reach. We must demand that our state colleges and university campuses become more efficient.”
Tom Torlakson was elected as State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. He is a second-generation public school teacher who applies his experience as a science teacher, coach and parent in the fight to transform education so that all California children get the world-class education they deserve.
He has helped lead and win the battle to stop budget cuts to California’s schools and put decision-making about how to spend billions of education dollars back in the hands of local parents, teachers and community leaders.
Since announcing his candidacy less than two weeks ago, Mr. Wolk has announced endorsements from more than two dozen local elected officials in the district, including six county supervisors.
Two weeks ago, Yolo County Supervisors Jim Provenza and Oscar Villegas, who are colleagues of opponent Don Saylor, announced that they are endorsing Davis Mayor Dan Wolk for State Assembly.
“I have worked closely with Dan Wolk, and I know he has the experience and the skills to bring people together to represent us effectively in the State Assembly,” said Supervisor Jim Provenza who, along with Don Saylor, are the two supervisors who represent Davis. “Dan is dedicated to giving everyone the opportunity to succeed and will reinvest in our public schools, ensuring all California students have access to a quality education.”
Supervisor Provenza was first elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in 2008; he previously served as President of the Davis Joint Unified Board of Education.
Supervisor Oscar Villegas was first appointed to the Board of Supervisors in February 2014, but won the seat outright in an election in June. Prior to that, he was a member of the West Sacramento City Council for 14 years.
Other supporters of Dan Wolk include former Assemblymember Helen Thomson, Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto, Yolo County Public Guardian Cass Sylvia, Napa County Supervisors Diane Dillon and Mark Luce, and Solano County Supervisors Jim Spering and John Vasquez.
Currently serving as mayor, Wolk has been on the Davis City Council since 2011. In that time, “he has led efforts to construct a regional surface water project, pushed for greater investment in streets, parks and other vital infrastructure, promoted renewable energy initiatives and has passed fiscally responsible city budgets, while restoring the city’s rainy day reserves.”
Mr. Wolk works as a Deputy County Counsel for Solano County, handling public finance, public contracting and water issues. “He is also the founder of the Legal Clinic of Yolo County, a legal services provider for low-income families.” Mr. Wolk grew up in Davis and attended local public schools, before attending Stanford University and receiving his law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall. He lives in Davis with his wife, Jamima, a former professional triathlete and small business owner, and their two daughters, Avery and Layla.
Assembly District 4 consists of Napa and Lake Counties, most of Yolo County, as well as portions of Sonoma, Solano and Colusa Counties.