Beck considers run for Board of Supervisors

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With less than four months to go before the June election, the field of candidates seeking to succeed retiring Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor of Davis continues to change.

Three women who initially expressed interest in running for the District 2 seat after Saylor announced in August he would not seek re-election have since dropped out, leaving Davis Vice Mayor Lucas Frerichs as the only confirmed candidate.

Winters City Councilwoman Jesse Loren, First 5 Yolo Commissioner Heidy Kellison and Davis attorney Larenda Dalaini had all announced their interest in Saylor’s seat but have since decided not to run.

However, Davis resident and climate activist Juliette Beck is now considering jumping into the race and submitted signatures in lieu of the candidate filing fee last week.

The deadline for filing for the office is March 11, though with the incumbent Saylor not running, that deadline would be extended five days.

Beck said this week she is “testing the waters to see if there is the community support for a strong, progressive woman candidate and climate champion in Davis and Winters.”

The biggest hurdle ahead of her, she said, is fundraising.

“I’m starting late in the game,” she noted. “I’ve made myself a fundraising goal to see if there is the financial support in the community for my race.

“I want to see how much I can raise by March 1,” Beck said.

Beck, an ecologist, and her husband, Nick Buxton, have lived in Davis since 2008. She has been an active parent volunteer at Cesar Chavez Elementary School and has also spearheaded efforts on climate change, including helping establish the Yolo Climate Action Commission; working to get the Davis Joint Unified School District to meet 80 percent of its energy needs from renewable solar energy; and working to make Yolo County the first agricultural county to set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.

Enacting effective policies at the county level to address the urgency of the climate crisis is her first priority, she said, and second is ensuring regional government serves everyone in the county in part by addressing inequities.

She said she is particularly concerned about the impact of increasing temperatures, power shutoffs, water and food insecurity and wildfire on outdoor workers, children and sensitive populations, including people with asthma and compromised immune-systems.

Beck said she had not really considered running for office herself, but when Saylor announced his plans to retire, “I was very excited about making sure we had a really strong climate champion to continue the work that we’ve been doing with the climate commission and a really strong woman candidate, making sure that women are well represented in our county.”

Currently all countywide elected offices as well as all five Board of Supervisors seats are held by men. The last time a woman served on the Board of Supervisors was more than a decade ago, when Helen Thomson represented District 2 until her retirement in 2010.

Beck said when she heard that the women who initially expressed interest in succeeding Saylor had ultimately decided not to run, “I became very alarmed, very concerned.”

In conversations with other community members, she said, “I was asked to run.”

“This is a really important race. Everything we do right now matters. Every race matters. It’s super important and I don’t think anyone should just waltz into the position. The sign of a healthy democracy is diversity. That’s why I’m running.”

District 2, which Saylor has represented since 2010, includes central and West Davis, as well as the UC Davis campus, but also stretches westward to encompass the city of Winters.

“I’d really like to prioritize voter outreach in Winters,” Beck said, “because we need an equity-based approach to our local response to climate change and I’m concerned that as an agricultural county that our small farmers and our family farmers are being hardest hit by the drought… and that has a ripple effect on all the agricultural workers.”

“My campaign and this election is also about sparking our imagination for our collective power to solve and address these challenges… what we do in the next eight years is really going to determine how we’re going to live on this planet for the next 100 years. This election is very important for the livability of Yolo County.

“All the pieces are there for us to put together… we just need the political will. We need someone who’s got the leadership to do the hard work of getting people on board with the action,” said Beck.

Beck said she would like to hear from community members, to see if there is support for her candidacy. She can be found every Friday at the corner of Fifth and B streets for the youth-led Climate Strike Davis demonstrations that take place from noon to 1 p.m. and can be reached via email at juliettebuxtonbeck@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, Frerichs, who has served on the Davis City Council since 2012, has his campaign for county supervisor well underway.

“I’m humbled by the support I have received from across Davis, Yolo County and throughout the Sacramento region,” Frerichs said Friday.

“My campaign for Yolo County supervisor received its first contributions on Nov. 1 and, to date, we’ve received over 300 individual contributions, with 80 percent coming from within Yolo County (and 94 percent coming from the Sacramento region).

Last elected to the council in 2020 and currently vice mayor, Frerichs also serves on a number of intergovernmental agencies, including the Sacramento Area Council of Governments; the Capitol Corridor JPA; the Yolo County Transportation District; Valley Clean Energy; and the Yolo Habitat Conservancy.

Learn more about his campaign at https://www.lucas4yolo.com

June ballot
The June 7 election will feature numerous county races.

In addition to the District 2 supervisorial seat, District 3, represented by Supervisor Gary Sandy of Woodland, will also be on the ballot, as will the offices of district attorney, sheriff-coroner, clerk-recorder/assessor/registrar of voters and superintendent of schools.

Sandy, District Attorney Jeff Reisig, Sheriff Tom Lopez and Clerk-Recorder/Assessor/Registrar of Voters Jesse Salinas have all obtained or filed candidate paperwork, as has Cynthia Rodriguez, who is challenging Reisig.

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