Candidates Respond to Yolano Group Questionnaire – Part 4

by Alan Pryor, Chair – Sierra Club Yolano Group

This article is the 4th and final in a 4-part series on questions presented by the Sierra Club Yolano Group to candidates in the Yolo County District 4 Supervisor race on the March 2020 ballot and the candidates’ responses. This article covers questions and responses in the areas of Transportation Management, Environmental-Social Justice, Other Environmental-Related Issues, and Community Support. The order of the candidate responses are changed with each article. 

See article 1 of 4 here,  which gives an introduction explaining the article series, announces that the Yolano Group is not making an endorsement in this race, and covers questions and responses in the areas of Reductions in Carbon-Based Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

See article 2 of 4 here, which covers questions and responses in the areas of Solid Waste Management, Water Management and Conservation, and Toxics in the Environment. 

See article 3 of 4 here, which covers questions and responses in the areas of Land Use and Development.

Issue 6-1 – Transportation-Related GHG Emissions

BackgroundTransportation accounts for up to 60% of GHG emissions in Yolo County. If we are to reduce our county-wide carbon emissions we must reduce these transportation-related GHG emissions.

Question 6-1 – What measures would you propose to reduce transportation-related GHG emissions in Yolo County?

Linda Deos Response

Yolo County needs to place a transportation measure before voters. Over half the counties in the state have passed such measures, and it would help to provide the resources we need to drastically improve our public transportation system with an emphasis on mass transit, farm to market roads, and fire safety.  Having these funds would also help us qualify for state matching funds when available.

I would also immediately support a requirement that developers use construction equipment that uses alternative fuels and/or electric and hybrid construction equipment before I would take the step of charging a mitigation fee. If a project cannot fully mitigate construction emissions. I would support a mitigation fee rate similar to that applied in Sacramento County. Currently, its rate is $30,000 per ton of emissions, adjusted annually, with a 5% administrative fee assessed to this fee.

David Abramson Response

I support a massive overhaul of the public transportation system within cities and between them.

We need to overhaul our transportation system and seek all funding available to transitioning to 100% electric buses with frequent schedules. We need to provide support for low-income riders and coordinate regularly EV “last-mile transit” for riders to get where they need to go. Let’s envision a Yolo County where public transportation is an affordable, accessible, and even enjoyable experience.

We need to address affordability and accessibility of Amtrak connections between Davis and Sacramento.

We will likely need to get fossil fuel combustion engines off the road within a decade to meet international climate goals. We must seek funding to help people transition to electric vehicles, with focus on low-income and at-risk individuals.

Furthermore we must repair our roads and create safe and easy bicycle travel, look into community-owned electric assist bicycles, and subsidize bicycle repair costs and commuting.

Jim Provenza Response

  1. Measures should be taken to encourage the use of electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. We recently received grant funding to provide additional charging stations for the public. The county is currently planning to convert much of its fleet to electric vehicles.
  2. Improved public transportation would also reduce transportation related GHG emissions. Emphasis should be on direct transportation alternatives for commuters. Where possible, new housing should be located close to public transportation.
  3. Encourage the increased use of bikes within the county.

Issue 6-2I-80 Corridor Changes

BackgroundCalTrans has recently proposed a variety of modifications to I-80 through Davis and over the Causeway to reduce freeway traffic congestion (which has also spilled over onto Mace Blvd in Davis).

Question 6-2 – Do you support any of these proposed modifications and why or why not?

Linda Deos Response

I am concerned that such changes could hurt our local community, such as our farmers who rely on access roads for farm to market, while negatively encouraging even more single person/vehicle commuters. Consequently, I am skeptical of these modifications and would encourage more community input and alternative proposals. We must increase the reliability and use of mass transit.

David Abramson Response

Let’s invite all experts to the table and empower our communities and people who commute to participate in the decision-making process. Let’s find out what commuters need and design solutions that take those needs into account alongside our climate action goals.

I think widening the roads is a band-aid solution for a very real problem that needs to be addressed (traffic congestion), yet the real solutions lie in improving our public transit system, and transitioning towards a 100% renewable and efficient transportation system.

Jim Provenza Response

The information provided to date is too vague to base an opinion on. Measures that improve the flow of traffic through improved metering and realignment of lanes make sense. The emphasis should be on getting commuters into buses, trains and other public transportation.

Issue 7-1Environmental-Related Social Justice Issues

BackgroundThe Sierra Club has recently placed much more emphasis on the linkage between environmental concerns and social justice.

Question 7-1What are the major social justice issues facing Yolo Co and how would you address these issues to provide more equity to Yolo Co. residents?

Linda Deos Response

  • The continued use of cash bail in Yolo County needs to stop because it only keeps the poor, and a disproportionate number of people of color, in jail and does little to improve public safety.
  • The 50% increase in our foster youth community over the last decade, coinciding with “shipping” hundreds of foster youth out of the county each year to counties as far away as Fresno County needs to stop with changes in our foster care policies.
  • We must increase funding for non-incarceration approaches to crime prevention; e.g. housing, education, counseling, and job training
  • While there have been some mandated improvements for farm worker safety, I want to ensure that they are protected from pesticide exposure and proper health and safety standards.

David Abramson Response

Addressing the climate crisis and social justice issues are not separate issues. The climate crisis is intimately connected to an economic system based on privatization of profits, resource extraction, greed, and economic inequality.

Renters in Yolo County are facing a housing crisis. Many of us are paying 50% or more of our income in rent each month. Many people I know want to participate in efforts to help climate movement and community-building efforts, but are unable because they are working 40+ hours per week on a minimum wage job just to put food on the table and meet basic needs.

We have the means to build housing to get chronically houseless people off the streets. It is a compassionate and economically viable plan to address the issue.

We need to democratize further and make sure the voices of those who are most affected by climate and economic impacts are heard. We need to make sure everyday people have a representative voice in government and that the voices of the youth demanding climate action are heard.

Jim Provenza Response

Low income persons and persons of color often suffer greater consequences from environmental violations than others because of where they live and other factors.

I have worked on environmental justice issues for years. When I worked at the state capitol, I helped set up and fund a circuit environmental prosecutor program so that poor rural areas of the state would have the same ability to prevent serious environmental violations as wealthy areas.

The same dynamic applies in Yolo County. If an affordable housing project is proposed next to a freeway or other source of harmful discharges, low income persons will experience greater health consequences than the public in general. I am proposing that environmental justice considerations be a specific category that must be considered in decisions that come before the planning commission and the board of supervisors.

Issue 8-1 – Environmental Resiliency

BackgroundYolo County will face threats to infrastructure and operations and residents will face adverse impacts on quality of life as climate changes become more apparent including extreme heat events and drought or excessive precipitation.

Question 8-1What strategies would you suggest for making Yolo County more resilient in the face of coming issues related to climate change?

Linda Deos Response

  • Continue with our farmland and open space preservation efforts
  • Amend our building codes to require all new construction be electric and micro-grid ready
  • Develop local sources of power generation
  • Develop micro-grids for unincorporated towns such as Esparto, Knights Landing, Guinda, and Clarksburg
  • Improve county roads to ensure people can get out in the case of a fire.
  • Follow the best science to ensure we are limiting our wild fire exposure.

David Abramson Response

This is why we must make 2020-2030 a decade of climate action. We must think of what kinds of lives we want for ourselves, for our children, our grandchildren, and future generations of life yet to come into this world.

Resilience to me means protecting our communities and our ecosystems from the inevitable impacts of climate change, which we are already experiencing.

Of the many climate resilience solutions I have been researching over the past 10 years, I would recommend that we begin the process of converting our agricultural systems to regenerative practice to protect our soil, groundwater, and food supply.

We should be supporting small-scale urban agriculture within cities, and planting public fruit trees and other edible plants within cities to protect ourselves in cases of food shortage. I suggest the County supports efforts for rainwater collection, earthworks, and other water storage measures within Yolo County.

We must restore water and carbon cycles to mitigate drought, fire, and flood extreme weather events.

We must provide services for the most at-risk individuals in extreme climate events and include them in the conversation about how we move forward at this time.

Economic resilience can be achieved by transitioning to local and circular economies that are informed by the people who live in our communities in Yolo County.

Jim Provenza Response

We must not approve new housing in areas that are threatened with floods or fires. Since going on the Board of Supervisors, I have opposed any projects where there was a potential flood risk.

As one of the county’s flood and water representative, I will continue to seek funding to improve our levees and other flood prevention projects. I have participated in raising millions of dollars for these efforts, but more needs to be done. This must continue to be a significant county priority.

We must continue to protect and increase our supply of groundwater so that we are prepared for coming droughts.

We must be ready for climate related emergencies, such as flooding and fires. As chair of the Aging Commission, I am currently working on recommendations to improve our county’s emergency evacuation plans. For example, we are establishing plans to identify seniors and disabled persons who will need special help so that they will not be left behind in an evacuation. We are also planning to enhance enforcement efforts to assure that assisted living facilities have adequate emergency plans in place for evacuations.

Issue 8-2 – Other Environmental-Related Issues

Question 8-2 – What are other environmental or climate change-related issues facing Yolo County and how would you propose the County address these issues?

Linda Deos Response

We will be experiencing hotter summers, increased fire potential and worsening air quality. We must ensure buildings have high level HEPA filters and that we have an emergency management system in place that can ensure the safety of vulnerable populations that is proactive and not reactive.

David Abramson Response

We are in a unique position in Yolo County to do something special and to lead the way in climate action and community resilience. We have the opportunity to work together to achieve a Yolo County economy that takes into account the needs of all people, supports farmers as ecosystem heroes, creates a strong and resilient local economy that is in line with healing our planet and promotes security of food, water, and shelter for all people.

We must acknowledge the rights and sovereignty of indigenous peoples, as well as the traditions and land management practices they have been practicing here for over 10,000 years. The land we call California today was once a paradise with drinkable rivers, millions of grazing animals, abundant edible landscapes, complex and life-supporting ecosystems, and an abundant and diverse cultural landscape of indigenous peoples who helped caretake the land. We must allow the original people’s of this land access to continue these practices, continue their traditions and culture, and be a driving force for informing land use policies. There is no Green New Deal without including indigenous peoples.

Jim Provenza Response

I strongly supported the creation of Valley Clean Energy, a joint powers authority that obtains power for Davis, Woodland and unincorporated Yolo County from sustainable sources. The next step is to promote energy independence by working to obtain infrastructure from P, G & E.

Issue 9-1 – Your Financial Contributors and Endorsers

Question 9-1How much money have you raised overall to date and how much and from which unions, developer or real estate interests, or other entities doing business with or having substantial financial interests in Yolo County? Who has endorsed your Supervisor candidacy?

 Linda Deos Response

We’ve raised close to $70,000 to date. I haven’t received any money from any unions, developers, or real estate interests having substantial financial interests with Yolo County. I have received around $10,000 from cannabis interests.

 My endorsements include Supervisor Don Saylor, Former Supervisor Betsy Marchand, Former DJUSD Trustee Marty West, Mayor Pro Tem, Gloria Partida, SMUD Directors Rosanna Herber and Brandon Rose, Sacramento City Council Member Steve Hanson, Dean Johanson, Gerald Brun, Lorenzo Kristov, Johannes Troost, Kelly Wilkerson, and Rachel Beck. Please go to for a complete list to date.

 David Abramson Response

We have not raised money from any unions, developers, or real estate interests and have been funded thus far by small community-donors, though we certainly support the efforts of unions in moving towards equitable economies for workers. We have set a modest campaign budget of around $5,000. We are not printing any lawn sign waste or paying for mailers, and all our brochures are 100% compostable and sustainably sourced.

We are running a people-powered green campaign and are putting “money out of politics” to the test by reaching out to people directly and relying on our network of volunteers who believe in the vision and values of our campaign. We still need to raise about $1,000 and would welcome contributions as well as endorsements from those who believe in our vision for Yolo County.

Jim Provenza Response

 I won’t have exact numbers until my treasurer prepares my semi-annual report due at the end of this month. I estimate that I have raised $50,000 during this election cycle. I have received hundreds of donations from constituents. These contributors include environmental activists, developers, homeless advocates, unions, longtime friends, supporters, other elected officials, and colleagues. Over the years, most of my contributions have been from individual supporters and are for under $250. A list of my endorsements can be viewed at

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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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