Guest Commentary: This Year’s Most Closely-Watched Election

By Michael Bisch

Although the Yolo County district attorney contest between Dean Johansson and Jeff Reisig is garnering its fair share of attention, it is by no means the most competitive race before the voters. No, that honor goes to the Brooks Painting Charity Paint Giveaway online-only election. The outcome of the race for the region’s Champion Of The Common Good: 1) Summer House Inc., 2) Progress Ranch Treatment Services and 3) Yolo Food Bank is far too close to call. The results of this nail-biter may not be known until long after the online poll closes this Monday, May 28, as some prognosticators suggest that a recount could be required to determine the winner. Let’s hope that’s not the case, given that a lengthy delay in determining the election outcome could result in regional social upheaval.

Here are the ballot descriptions of the nominees, for those of you who have not been following this exciting race closely:


15% of residents in Yolo County are food insecure, and 18% of its residents live in poverty. Every night in Yolo County, children, seniors and adults are going to bed hungry, while we live in one of the richest agricultural areas in the nation. Yolo Food Bank has responded to urgent issues of food insecurity by creating the Kids Farmers Market Program, Eat Well Yolo Produce Distribution Program, and the Emergency Food Assistance Program in addition to partnering with over 69 Yolo County partner agencies across the county that serve both rural and urban populations. Food insecurity, poverty, housing insecurity, disparate health and educational outcomes, and barriers to social mobility are all inextricably linked. Impacting one, impacts all. The Yolo Food Bank has been fighting to end hunger and malnutrition in Yolo County for over 40 years. It currently feeds approximately 52,000 community members per month out of a ramshackle collection of steel sheds. To advance its mission, my firm, Brown Construction, Inc., is constructing a modern 38,000-square-foot food distribution facility for the Food Bank. The new facility will have substantial cold storage capacity that will enable the distribution of a significantly greater amount of nutritious fresh produce to those community members most in need.  The Food Bank has raised $4.5 million in capital campaign gifts, but still has to raise another $2.5 million to complete the project. Brown Construction, Inc. has agreed to waive all of our profit to help close the gap. Ten thousand dollars in donated painting services from Brooks Painting would have a great impact, not only on this worthy project, but on the 69 partner agencies and the 52,000 community members the Yolo Food Bank serves.


Progress Ranch provides residential treatment to emotionally at risk foster youth. The executive director makes sure all the foster youth participate in sports and other activities in the community as well as making sure all the youth have nice clothes to give them confidence at school and enhance the quality of their life. This leaves little money left over for home repairs. They are in need of having one of their homes repainted. There is a resurgence of home improvements along Loyola Drive. The Progress House ranch needs the outside of the house painted, this would make the boys feel more of a part of their neighborhood and proud of their home.


Summer House, Inc. is an independent non-profit organization that supports adults with developmental disabilities throughout Yolo County California.  We have very high ceilings that make it difficult and dangerous to paint by ourselves. A couple of areas that we would like painted are the upstairs administrative offices, (which have never been painted), and a dark kitchen and living room in the Woodland Residential home. We would be so grateful!!

Online voting is underway and is open through this Monday, May 28.


Your vote matters!

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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