Express Yourself: Serving the Winters community

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Jesse Loren. Winters City Councilmember
Special to the Express

Since being elected to Winters City Council in 2016, I’ve found ongoing satisfaction in collaborating with other leaders in Winters and beyond to improve conditions for all residents, protect and enhance our resources, address pressing needs, and help chart an equitable course for the future.

For example, as the 2020–2021 chair of the Yolo County Transportation District Board of Directors, I led our agency in partnering with Caltrans to secure a $85.9 million grant to improve the I-80 corridor. When the pandemic reduced YoloBus ridership in 2020 while Yolo Food Bank needed to get pallets of food to countywide distribution points, I helped connect the organizations so YoloBus vehicles could move the food and drivers could remain employed.

Innovative collaborations are the Yolo Way, which has stood us in good stead as we’ve faced significant challenges that go beyond any one jurisdiction, including the LNU Lightning Complex Fire and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has highlighted the need for continued efforts to increase equity, especially for the Latinx community and women. The opportunity to engage on that at the county level inspired me to consider running for the District 2 seat on the Board of Supervisors.

However, I have decided not to run for the Board in 2022 in order to remain focused on continuing my work as member of the Winters City Council.

These are exciting and challenging times for Winters. We’ve recently established the Winters Senior Commission on Aging and the Natural Resources Commission, and just voted to establish the Climate Action Commission. The Winters Hispanic Advisory Committee, to which I am Council’s liaison, formed a nonprofit, Winters Community Corazón, to expand our ability to serve.

With my Council appointments to the boards of the Yolo County Transportation District, Valley Clean Energy, the Water Resources Agency and Yolo Sustainable Groundwater Agency, I look forward to ongoing opportunities to work with representatives from across Yolo County to find solutions and explore opportunities. As Winters’ representative to the League of California Cities, I continue to serve on its policy committees and Sacramento Valley Division Board.

I hope the current and future Board of Supervisors will prioritize safety-net issues including food insecurity, juvenile justice, infant and maternal health, and affordable childcare, rural issues, all of which have been highlighted during the pandemic. I look forward to being a city partner in those efforts.

Thank you to all who rallied behind my possible candidacy for supervisor. I am deeply humbled by your support and look forward to continuing to work together in service to our community.

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