Guest Commentary: Yolo Residents Not Fooled by DA’s Claims


By Cynthia Rodriguez

The Davis Vanguard last week posted an editorial claiming the Yolo District Attorney is running a campaign that is “masterful” in its level of deception about how well he has performed in office. What this misses is that Yolo residents are not fooled; the DA has garnered a legacy of non-transparency, unequal justice, mass incarceration.  My approach will be different; criminal justice is about the community’s need for safety, equality and transparency.

As DA, I will update Yolo monthly on the DA’s business, including charges and convictions, because transparency is essential to public confidence in the justice system.  Yolo county does not have transparency with this DA.  There is no reason that he has not published the data on his offices practices, including charging and sentencing, more than once every 16 years.

Additionally, my office will much more aggressively utilize existing first-offender diversion programs that have been proven to be the most effective way to deal with low-level offenses.  Inexplicably, the DA almost never utilizes resources related to mental health diversion, despite data that shows over 50% of cases involve mental health issues.  Diversion programs have the lowest recidivism rate in criminal justice, whereas prison commitments have over 60% recidivism, or return to crime/custody rate, most expensive and ineffective way to reduce crime. This approach worsens Yolo’s challenges with mental health, homelessness, and drug and alcohol dependency.  The $100k (approximately) that we spend for a single custody year in prison does not prepare prisoners to return safely to the community. Bad investment!  The result is tent cities under overpasses and sick and desperate residents.

A budget is often said to be nothing more than a list of priorities.  My priorities are the systems and policies that will have a positive effect on life in Yolo County, and benefit the residents of Yolo.  The DA has a very large budget, it just has not yet been directed toward helping the people of Yolo. Instead, the DA has been spending Yolo’s money lobbying in Sacramento on statewide political issues.  Working with youth to stymie gang involvement, collaborating with medical opportunities for treatment, and prioritizing safety from prisoners returning to the community are proven useful programs.

16 years was more than long enough for Reisig to figure out how to bring safety to Yolo (he hasn’t), to prevent smash and grabs (he hasn’t) and to put in place strategies to bring down youth crime (he has not) and to deal with homelessness (he has not). These problems have gotten worse under his watch and he now wants to assure people that he has changed his ways and should be re-elected. The ridiculousness of this proposal is not lost on voters. My message of prioritizing local public safety, criminal justice reform, and equal justice reflects the values of Yolo County voters.

Cynthia Rodriguez is a former public defender running for District Attorney in Yolo County


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.

Related posts

22 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: Yolo Residents Not Fooled by DA’s Claims”

  1. Rick Entrikin

    Candidate Rodriguez, you apparently have experience as a public defender.  As a Yolo County voter, I am interested in your experience as a prosecutor.

    Also, I was intrigued by this statement in your post above:

    16 years was more than long enough for Reisig to figure out how to bring safety to Yolo (he hasn’t)….

    In light of that claim, could you, please, explain how you would have prevented or handled the case of alleged, February 10 shooter, Andre Chevill Wilson, differently than has District Attorney Reisig?

  2. Rick Entrikin

    On Sunday, February 20, 2022, candidate Cynthia Rodriguez posted a “Guest Commentary” on the Davis Vanguard, criticizing our incumbent Yolo County District Attorney, Jeff Reisig, and claiming that she is better suited for the position.

    Early that evening I posted a response to candidate Rodriguez but, over 48 hours later, she has not responded.  Just in case my original post was unclear, I am re-phrasing  the two questions for candidate Rodriguez:

    1)  What prosecutorial experience do you have to be a district attorney?

    2)   Could you, please, explain how you would have prevented or handled the case of alleged, February 10 shooter, Andre Chevill Wilson, differently than has District Attorney, Jeff Reisig?

    I have no problem with other Vanguard readers who might choose to ignore my questions or comments, but it seems reasonable to expect answers from a candidate for public office, in response to questions raised by their public commentaries.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Seriously, perhaps the way you asked the questions?  Tone?  Just speculation…

      Although I’m far from deciding how I’ll vote, when I first contacted her, I had the opposite experience… I heard back from her, personally, within 48 hours… she knows I am open to her candidacy, but am reserving judgment as to my vote…

      You asked good questions, and I hope she is public in answering those questions, and more, in the weeks, months to follow…

      I like the fact that Reisig has an announced opponent… but I want to be “pro” someone rather than just “anti” someone… just ‘how I roll’…

      I hope all ask good questions of both announced candidates… how they respond will be a large part of how I decide to vote, even if that means writing in, “none of the above”… won’t ‘count’, but will make me feel good…

      1. Keith Olson

        Seriously, perhaps the way you asked the questions?  Tone? 

        There was no “tone” to Rick’s questions.  They were simple straight forward questions and I don’t think expecting a response is over the top by any means since the article was written by the candidate, Cynthia Rodriguez.

        1. Bill Marshall

          Please note that Rick says…

          I am re-phrasing  the two questions for candidate Rodriguez:

          I am not aware of his original phrasing… there is where the “tone” may lie… or, may not…

    2. Bill Marshall

      1)  What prosecutorial experience do you have to be a district attorney?

      I’ll also ask Reisig, “what experience do you have as a defense attorney?”  I believe the DA should have experience on both sides of the coin… goes to thinking, common sense, empathy, judgment, etc.

  3. Rick Entrikin

    Interesting that candidate Rodriguez has failed to answer two perfectly reasonable questions I posed three days ago – in response to a Vanguard “commentary” that she authored.  I have given her ample opportunity to reply but, instead, she has chosen to focus on what appears to be a racial slur by a District Attorney in Orange County, roughly 400 miles away.

    Apparently, candidate Rodriguez believes she will benefit more by merely criticizing our long-serving, highly-respected District Attorney, Jeff Reisig, than by answering questions from a Yolo County resident about her qualifications and what she would do here.


    1. David Greenwald

      We have never had an agreement or expectation that an author of a submission would respond to questions. I have never seen a publication where that is the case.

      1. Keith Olson

        Nevertheless, I’ll bet that since she submitted this article that she has also read the comments.  I’d be surprised if she hasn’t.  So is expecting a response to follow up questions of someone who’s running for office too much to ask?


        1. Keith Olson

          What, can you read minds?  I mean she even started her article with:

          The Davis Vanguard last week posted…

          So she obviously is following the Vanguard, so why wouldn’t she follow her own article?



        2. Keith Olson

          But all said, does it really matter if she answers?

          I don’t think she has much of a chance of beating Reisig, especially in today’s climate of people tiring of progressive social justice policies.

          1. David Greenwald

            Reasonable point, not sure about the relevance of progressive social justice policies, but then again, I didn’t think there was much chance of beating Reisig last time and it ended up quite close.

          1. David Greenwald

            The POA would probably try to recall Reisig’s replacement. Or something like that. Never a dull moment.

  4. PhillipColeman

    While we’re asking the candidate for the office of District Attorney follow-up questions, here’s one more. It’s fundamental to the entire rebuttal column:

    How did Ms. Rodriquez determine that the citizens of Yolo County were not fooled by the DA’s claims?

    That’s a remarkable and sweeping declaration and it’s done with such confidence and assertion, it’s the column title.

    There must have been some attempt on her part to survey the county populace and confirmed they know they have been hoodwinked by that sneaky devil, Reisig. And if it’s factual, it certainly helps her efforts to become the next District Attorney of Yolo County. Please show us exactly how you know the mindset of the population you strive to serve.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for