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Local Mom and Climate Activist Juliette Beck Considers Run for Yolo County Supervisor

BeckJuliette Beck, a lifelong social and environmental justice advocate, mother and caregiver, filed over 200 signatures on Wednesday with the Yolo County Elections office to stand as a candidate for District 2 County Supervisor.

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

Beck moved to Davis with her husband Nick Buxton in 2008 when she was pregnant with their first daughter to be close to her sister and brother-in-law who had moved to Davis a few years earlier. She loves Davis and is grateful to the community for nurturing their young family over the last thirteen years.

Beck has been an active parent volunteer at Cesar Chavez Elementary and a strong advocate of outdoor learning during the COVID pandemic. Over the years, she has enjoyed coaching soccer, biking as a way of life, working in the school gardens, supporting the local youth climate strike movement, and raising her family including her two daughters and energetic dog, an “Aussiedor,”  Luna.

“I want to thank the dozen volunteers that pitched in to collect over 200 petition signatures in less than a week. Juggling family, work and personal well-being is not easy during the ongoing pandemic, but clearly people are concerned about climate change and want to help do all we can to make a difference to our children’s future,” said Beck.

February 9 was the deadline for collecting signatures in lieu of paying the full filing cost. The  filing cost to run for Yolo County supervisor in District 2, which spans downtown Davis, westward through West Davis to Winters, is $748.41. Many people were surprised at how much it costs to get on the ballot for the June 7 election.

“People really support having more diversity in our local election. A woman has not been elected to a Yolo County office since 2015 and has not been elected to the board of supervisors since 2006. This was alarming to a lot of people. Whenever you have fifty percent of the population unrepresented in decision-making, this is not healthy for democracy,” said Suzanne Nitzkin, a Davis parent who helped collect signatures for Beck’s campaign.

Beck is hoping to push two key priorities as a candidate: first, effective policies that address the urgency of the climate crisis, and second to ensure that the regional government serves everyone in the county and addresses deep inequities. 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 has led a number of local and regional climate justice initiatives including a successful effort to get the Davis Joint Unified School District to meet 80% of its energy needs from renewable solar energy. Beck also helped Yolo County become the first agricultural county to set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, and she helped establish the Yolo Climate Action Commission to address the climate emergency.

“We have worked hard to bring awareness and the urgency of climate change to our elected leaders, but frankly, our community is still not doing enough. Working together, I believe Davis and Yolo County can and should step up efforts to advance a just transition to a healthy, equitable, climate resilient society,” said Beck.


Todd Edelman

Oh, this is a pleasant surprise and a VERY good thing.

Nancy Price

Juliette, this is wonderful news. Your experience, leadership and passion to bring us together to join with you for a "just transition to a healthy, equitable, climate resilient society" is so needed at this time.

Roberta L. Millstein

I agree, Nancy. There is no more important issue right now, and the county can play an important role here with the right leadership and path-setting approaches. I am very glad to see Juliette toss her hat in the ring.

Sharla Cheney

I’d like to hear more about her qualifications and specifics about what she sees and specific changes she would like to see happen. If there is anything that I’ve learned over the past years it is to vote more cautiously and with care.

Sharla Cheney

So I looked into this a little more. Other than a notation that Juliette, along with a short list of others, addressed the Board of Supervisors during public comment, there is no real evidence that she lead the effort or was key in the formation of the Climate Action Commission. It is noted that she does not serve on the new Commission. As for the DJUSD initiatives, the movement to use DJUSD property for renewable energy installations has been going on for decades. Some systems were able to be installed, i.e. over the High School parking lot, but there was reluctance to invest in and be obligated to maintain such systems. The recent initiatives seemed to be in response to to Cal Green and Title 24 State requirements. The District does not own the solar installations, but has signed agreements with 3rd party vendors who are allowed to place the solar installations on school district property and benefit from the electricity production, which is sold to the District at market rate. This is likely the best that could be done, because the District doesn't have the resources to build or service the installations and the source of the electricity does come from renewable resources. The Commission and the Solar installations are good initiatives, and Juliette's feedback and support for them is good. Yolo County is a large, complicated County with difficult problems - land use conflicts between land owners; between the county and land owners; between the State and the County; problems substandard or lack of housing for at risk populations, water issues, health and welfare issues, etc. It is hard to say from this short article whether Juliette has the experience and knowledge to take on these difficult problems. Is she ready to drive out to meet and mediate between angry constituents over some sort of land use or water issue until it is resolved? Convincing people that she is ready and capable of this will the the challenge in her campaign to represent a huge swath of Yolo County.

Alan Miller

Sounds like someone who will focus on world issues over local issues.

"Whenever you have fifty percent of the population unrepresented in decision-making, this is not healthy for democracy,”

What does that mean? Who isn't being represented?

Todd Edelman

Alan, you know what she means. Of course people exist and relate on many levels simultaneously, but there's i think a good reason that countries in both Scandinavia and Africa have representation requirements from boards of corporations to national parliaments.

Juliette is likely a good representative of women's issues because she's a woman, and there are also awful people who happen to be women. My suggestion to accept the potential benefits of a woman in a body that's recently had few and then see about her other qualities, both in ethics, skills, wisdom and potential to learn.

The current Board of Supervisors - and City Council - have experience and knowledge in certain areas - and sometime gravitas - but that's enough. I would say that for me the most important qualities are engendering trust, being honest, publicly acknowledging your limits, making it clear that the elected position is not a stepping stone to higher office. Think about a bad quality of any incumbents and see if it exists in the competition.

David Abramson

Sharla, you have written: "So I looked into this a little more. Other than a notation that Juliette, along with a short list of others, addressed the Board of Supervisors during public comment, there is no real evidence that she lead the effort or was key in the formation of the Climate Action Commission."

Juliette was one of the founding members of the Yolo Climate Emergency Coalition which drafted and advocated for the Climate Emergency Resolution to be passed (which it did!). The formation of a Climate Commission was one of stipulations included in the resolution and Juliette was one of the people who helped make sure that happened. I'm sure many people from the County and from the Yolo Climate Emergency Coalition could confirm that and it's good to not assume too much by what you can find or not find on the internet.

Juliette is a humble person and isn't one to pontificate on all her accomplishments or taking credit for things, even when she is instrumental in doing them behind the scenes. Fortunately there are a lot of us who have seen her work over the years who can give her credit where credit is due ;)

David Abramson

I hope she decides to run! Juliette will be a breath of fresh air if she ends up in office and I can't think of anyone more equipped to handle the challenges that we will be facing over the coming years and take them seriously/tackle them head-on! Go Juliette!!

Sharla Cheney

Abraham - she may be well known in a very small circle. She admittedly does have a very narrow focus. But the District is large and with a wide variety of problems and issues. It is clear that she has been recruited. There has to be a greater reason to vote for her than her gender or dislike of other candidates.

Roberta L. Millstein

Sharla, instead of retracting what you wrote in the face of David Abramson's (not "Abraham") informative and generous comment, you doubled down and made more unsubstantiated comments. It's clear that she's been recruited? Really? What's your evidence for that claim? Another possibility is that she is frustrated with recent decisions by the Board of Supervisors, such as their going forward with the climate/environmental disaster of a mining project. A narrow focus? Apart from climate change being arguably *the* most important issue of our time, climate justice actually covers quite a wide range of issues relevant to our district: water, agriculture, housing, green jobs, disparate environmental impacts to the homeless and people of lower income -- etc. And I have heard Juliette's views on all of these in op eds she has written over the years. It would indeed be, as David said, "a breath of fresh air" to have someone who is genuinely committed to doing something about those issues, not just give them lip service and then act in accordance with moneyed interests.

Sharla Cheney

Roberta, She claims she wanted to hear from voters to see if there was support. I’ve never hear of her. I can only go on her own brief statements and what I can find. I don’t find OP/EDs. I base the claim that she was recruited on statements related to people seeing a need for a female presence on the Board. I’m assuming that she didn’t just jump in at the last minute on her own. Being recruited and encouraged to run is not always a bad thing - it does show community support. You seem to assume it is a negative and it makes me even more curious.

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