The League of Women Voters Davis Area and the Woodland League of Women Voters will co-sponsor a nonpartisan election forum on the county district attorney race on Wednesday, April 27.
The event will run from 7–8:30 p.m. at the Woodland Community Center, 2001 East St. in Woodland.
Both candidates — Incumbent Jeff Reisig and challenger Cynthia Rodriguez — have agreed to participate. The forum will focus on candidate qualifications and vision for the criminal justice system in Yolo County over the next four years.
Questions will be prepared by League representatives and written questions will be accepted from the audience, but no voice questions or statements will be allowed.
People who want to attend the event are encouraged to register at https://tinyurl.com/yckprtea.
Seating may be limited because of placement due to the pandemic. Woodland TV (Channel 21) will be videotaping the event and livestreaming on their YouTube channel.
Reisig, 52, has served as Yolo County District Attorney since January 2007, winning re-election in 2010, 2014, and 2018. Rodriguez, 64, has 40 years of criminal legal experience both prosecuting and defending cases.
Born in the small farming community of Gilroy. Reisig’s father was a businessman and his mother a public-school teacher. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and managerial economics at UC Davis and law degree at the University of the Pacific. While a student, he volunteered as a legal intern for the Yolo County Public Defender’s Office.
After graduation, Reisig represented farmers and other business owners as a lawyer with the Fresno-based labor and employment firm Jory, Peterson, Watkins, Ross & Woolman. He returned to Yolo County to start a career as a prosecutor with the District Attorney’s Office in 1997.
During his tenure as DA, Reisig has focused on expanding community-based diversity programs to redirect people out of the criminal justice system and launched a data portal to provide access to information from his office. Reisig currently serves as president of the California Association of District Attorneys.
Rodriguez was born in Oakland. Her father grew up as a farmworker in Vacaville and Winters. Her mother grew up homeless near the Sacramento River and in Broderick. Her parents were teachers, her father at high school and junior college and her mother at the junior college and university level.
Rodriguez attended UC Berkeley for two years before she transferred to Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., where she earned both a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a law degree.
Rodriguez started her law career in private litigation practice in the Los Angeles area. She then worked as a deputy public defender for Orange County, the State of California, and Solano County before taking a job in the employment law unit at the California State Dept. of Corrections, where she managed complex litigation for the agency and prosecuted misconduct by safety officers.
Moving on to the litigation unit at California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), Rodriguez also spent 12 years as general counsel on mental health for the California Dept. of Mental Health and the California Dept. of State Hospitals.
Rodriguez currently works in private practice out of her home office in Winters.