Letter: Climate Emergency Response: A path to Restore Health and Wellbeing in Yolo County


by Juliette Beck, Scott Steward Ragsdale and Pamela Dolan

Explosive wildfires, extreme heat, the COVID pandemic, school closures, skyrocketing unemployment, increasing racial disparity. Many are grieving the loss of their homes, businesses, jobs, health, lives and dreams.

When wildfire smoke turned the skies dark orange, some of us scrambled to buy filters and shelter inside from the hazardous air while others in our community worked seven-days a week harvesting tomatoes in ash-strewn fields, barely able to breathe. We are all impacted by a rapidly destabilizing climate, but we are not all affected equally.

If there is a lesson to be learned from the pandemic it is that politics as usual will not be sufficient to tackle these converging crises. We need a recovery plan that includes everyone and centers the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Just like the New Deal lifted many out of poverty during the Great Depression, we need a community-wide effort that helps us adapt and recover while rapidly transitioning off fossil fuels. Everyone must be included: women, caregivers and essential workers, black, brown and indigenous communities, transgender and LGBQTI folks, people with disabilities; seniors, youth, homeless, incarcerated and parolees, farmworkers, people with asthma or recovering from COVID; those struggling with mentally illness, unemployed and food insecure families. The list of vulnerable populations are growing as these crises deepen.

On Sept. 29, the Yolo Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution calling for an urgent, inclusive and systemic response to address the climate emergency that is slapping us in the face. We invite you to join the Yolo Climate Emergency Coalition in calling for a mobilization of public, private and community resources to radically reduce inequality, restore health and wellbeing, and transition our region to a regenerative, clean economy. Please read and endorse our resolution here: bit.ly/mobilizeyolo

Out of chaos and destruction come solutions. Even through smoke-filled skies we believe a vision of a truly sustainable, equitable and vibrant Yolo County is ours to create.

In resilience,
Juliette Beck
Scott Steward Ragsdale
Pamela Dolan, Episcopal Minister of St. Martin’s

Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link:


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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