Baker honored as one of Rep. Garamendi's Women of the Year

Lisa Baker. Photo by Brandon MCCapes

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Last Friday, Rep. John Garamendi honored 50 women from throughout the 3rd Congressional District at his sixth annual Women of the Year Event. The honorees, who were selected for making significant contributions to their communities, included 10 women from Yolo County, and one from Winters: Lisa Baker.

The women have all made significant contributions to society through public service, business, education, and local advocacy.

“One of the highlights of my year, every year, is hosting this event to recognize the achievements of these distinguished women,” said Garamendi. “These leaders come from a variety of backgrounds, but every one of them has made a real difference in their communities and the people around them. It’s a privilege to be able to honor them.”

Baker, who serves as vice chair of the Winters Planning Commission and CEO of the Yolo County Housing Authority, was nominated by Kate Laddish, Jessie Loren and Brian Bellamy for her accomplishments in providing affordable housing, connecting residents with social services and working to address climate change.

Since 2006, Baker has been CEO of the Yolo County Housing Authority (YCH), which provides assistance to approximately 2,910 households in Yolo County communities, as well as Dixon, in Solano County. YCH provides an array of services to help meet the housing needs of families, seniors, people with disabilities, as well as residents who were formerly homeless or incarcerated.

According to her nomination letter, “When Lisa joined YCH in 2006, there was −$3 million in reserve and −$1 million in assets. Under Lisa’s leadership, Yolo County Housing has transformed into an award-winning and financially stable agency that also does innovative work on climate resiliency.”

“Part of improving YCH’s finances was a decision to “go green.” Examples include implementing renewable power generation (YCH currently has 1.1MW of solar farms), diverting waste lumber from landfills to cogeneration facilities, partnerships with the National Renewable Energy Lab and UC Davis, installing over 4,000 LED bulbs throughout the county, and collecting cans for cash and teaching residents that ‘carbon equals cash.’”

“YCH is the only housing authority in the nation to do a climate footprint.”

Baker has involved with state organizations like the California Association of Housing Authorities (CAHA), of which was formerly president, and national organizations like National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).

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