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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
June 7, 2016 —California Primary Election

California State Assembly — ” Don Saylor, Candidate for District 4

Photo of Don Saylor

Don Saylor

Democratic
County Supervisor
18,284 votes (14.8%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Investing in a leave nobody behind economy. Supporting increases to the minimum wage, universal health care, mental health parity, full funding our state’s K-12 and higher education system, fight hunger.
  • Environmental stewardship. Fight climate change. Protect open space and farmland, water resources, and sensitive habitats.
  • Smart sustainable planning. Support strong agricultural economy, invest in roads, transit and affordable housing.

Experience

Experience

Profession:County Supervisor

Education

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin Master's Degree, Public Affairs (current)
University of Wyoming Bachelor’s Degree, History and Regional Planning (1977)

Biography

For more than 40 years, Don has served in local government and both the legislative and executive branches of California state government.  Don Saylor currently serves as an elected member of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors representing the cities of Davis and Winters, the campus of the University of California at Davis, and the farming areas in southwestern Yolo County. Before joining the Board of Supervisors in 2011, he served as Mayor and City Council Member for the City of Davis from 2004-10 and as a Trustee of the Davis Joint Unified School District from 1995-2003.

 

As a Supervisor, Saylor fights to strengthen our community’s safety net.  He expanded health coverage to more than 2000 low-income residents, strengthened mental health care, and improved ambulance services. He launched Yolo Food Connect to fight hunger and strengthen the agricultural economy.  He has worked to protect our communities through smarter crime policies, including improved jail facilities, increased electronic monitoring of those on parole and targeting repeat offenders by providing rehabilitative drug and mental health.

 

On the Davis City Council, Saylor helped establish sound fiscal policies that created a 15% General Fund reserve and launched economic development strategies that brought new companies to the area and enhanced the vitality of the downtown area.  Don was a key leader in the creation of the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency that will improve local water quality and reliability for 120,000 people.   He pushed for a visionary affordable housing plan and championed the building of five housing projects with more than 230 units for seniors, mental health consumers and low-income families.  In 2014, Don was recognized by the Sacramento Housing Alliance as the Affordable Housing Advocate of the Year

 

Prior to his time on the City Council, Saylor served as the President and Trustee of the School Board for the Davis Joint Unified School District.  He helped the district construct three new schools, modernize all schools, and implement academic programs to support reading instruction, improve special education services, and create stronger learning opportunities in music, language, arts, math and science.  

 

Don continues to help his community by coordinating annual “Soups On” events. These local events have helped raise money for many worthy groups, including local foster care, food banks, suicide prevention programs, outdoor youth education programs, and support for those dealing with mental illness.

 

Since 2008, Don has been a Board Member of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. In 2015, as SACOG Board Chair, he led the 31-member Board of this six-county agency to a unanimous adoption of a land use and transportation plan that allocates over $38 billion in transportation investments over a 20-year period.  

 

Don has served as Chair of the Yolo Habitat Conservancy, the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, and First 5 Yolo. He was President of the 58-city Sacramento Valley Division of the League of California Cities and served as Vice Chair of the Mayors and Councilmembers Department representing elected officials in over 550 cities. 

 

Don currently represents the California State Association of Counties as a member of the statewide Leadership Council of the Cities, Counties, Schools Partnership focused on safe routes to school and other community school partnerships. 

 

Don’s 24-year California state service career began in 1979 as a fiscal analyst for the non-partisan Legislative Analyst Office where he provided advice to legislators and legislative committees on matters related to health and human services programs and policies affecting California’s most vulnerable populations.  Don managed state construction projects with total costs of well over $500 million, managed a statewide delinquency prevention program, and directed an eight-site comprehensive medial and mental health delivery system. From 1988-2003, he administered high school programs in six youth facilities.  That education program was recognized by the Ford Foundation as one of 25 Innovations on American Government in 2003 and Don was honored as Education Administrator of the Year in 2002.

 

Don is a graduate of the University of Wyoming and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as a Research Assistant to Barbara Jordan.  Don the recipient of a Moody Foundation Fellowship, a LBJ Research Fellowship and the Award of Outstanding Academic Achievement.  Don, a lifelong Democrat, and his wife, Julie, moved to Davis in 1987 to raise their children, Aaron and Kate.  The 4th Assembly District includes Lake and Napa Counties, most of Yolo County, and part of Colusa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties.

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (6)

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 
Answer from Don Saylor:
The effects of climate change are evident all around us and many of the immediate issues we face are the result of our dependence on fossil fuels and the coming transition away from that addiction. I was an active champion and leader in the development of both the City of Davis Climate Action Plan and the Yolo County Climate Action Plan. On the environment, I support: • High goals for production of renewable energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. I will fight to get us to 50% renewable energy use by 2030 and to reduce petroleum use by 50% to fight climate change. • Building a 21st century energy infrastructure, including production of renewable energy and a smart grid to distribute it. • Smart planning, smaller urban footprints and improved public transportation. • Cap and Trade and focused use of revenues to reduce green house gas emissions. • Preservation of our open spaces by working with conservancy groups and local community organizations. • Improving the permitting process for installing solar systems in homes and businesses and invest in solar in wind projects across the state. • Increased use of alternative transportation modes – such as public transit, biking, and walking – and zero emission vehicles. • Restoration projects to protect and restore Clear Lake and the watersheds feeding into it. • Requiring stronger rail car safety standards and stabilization of crude oil at the source as a condition of any crude-oil-by rail proposals that endanger our communities and put families at risk. The drought has persisted for several years and shows no signs of going away. It’s going to take real leadership to make the tough decisions necessary to protect our vital farmland, our communities and businesses, and our families. Access to clean and safe water is a basic human right. We need to protect our surface water supply, protect and manage aquifers, work to assure that drinking water supplies are safe. On the Davis City Council and Yolo County Board of Supervisors, I’ve advocated for enhanced investments in water infrastructure. In particular, as a City Councilmember, I was a founding member of the agency that secured water rights and began the construction of a surface water project to replace the largest unscreened intake on the Sacramento River and provide drinking water for 120,000 people in two cities. I continue to be a member of that agency as a representative of Yolo County. Specifically, I support: • Full implementation of the Ground Water Management Act and support for infrastructure requested through the Integrated Water Resources Management Plans. • Expanded low interest loan and grant programs to assist small and low-income communities meet drinking water standards and supply needs. • Continued emphasis on water conservation. • Investment in new water saving technologies. • Investment in water storage and diversion to capture rainfall.
Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?
Answer from Don Saylor:

I strongly support more stringent campaign finance regulations that would limit special interest groups’ and corporations’ influence over California’s democratic process.  In the Assembly, I will advocate for campaign finance reform and a more transparent way to track and report campaign contributions.

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 
Answer from Don Saylor:

I applaud Governor Brown and the California State Legislature for enacting historic legislation that raises our state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over a multiple year period. We need to strengthen our regional economy to leverage our unique place in the global economy, support the middle-class, encourage small business growth, and invest in a workforce for the future.  In addition to supporting increases to the minimum wage, I support equal pay for equal work and advancing protections for women who still make $.78 on the dollar compared to men.

Too often, the Legislature has avoided significant policy issues like income inequality until compelled to do so by threat of a voter initiative. I will work to enhance transparency and accountability of the legislative process so that the public knows how decisions are made.

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?
Answer from Don Saylor:

My top three fiscal priorities are building an economy that leaves nobody behind, investing in our K-12 and higher education systems, and creating an agricultural economy and food system that leaves no one hungry.  I’m confident that each of the priorities underscores a commitment to moving California’s economy forward.

California residents expect, demand, and deserve high quality public roads and transit, education, public safety, environmental protection, clean air and water, and support for the most vulnerable populations, including seniors, children, and low income families.  The California state revenue framework is out of date, and overly reliant on personal income tax that is subject to ongoing wide fluctuation. We must find better ways to stabilize the state’s revenue framework, align service expectations, resources, authority and accountability, and transparency. 

I support extending Proposition 30.  In addition, I favor examining the revenue system for California to consider inclusion of severance tax on oil production, revisions to the sales tax base to include internet sales more comprehensively, examination and revision of property tax structure for non-residential properties, additional revenues for transportation infrastructure based on updating the gas tax to current dollars and finding ways to reflect current vehicle efficiencies in the revenue sources, and continued focus on revenue streams from excise taxes on tobacco, and revenues from cannabis if the voters choose to decriminalize it use.

If elected, what solutions do you propose to deal with the high cost of living in the Bay Area?
Answer from Don Saylor:

I strongly believe California must do more to address growing income inequality.  Our economy has left too many behind. As mayor of Davis, I worked with the region’s business community to attract high tech well paying jobs and new companies to the area.  I also worked to implement a visionary affordable housing plan and led the charge to build over 400 units of income-targeted housing. In the Assembly, I will prioritize increased job creation, smart growth planning to match jobs with housing and transportation, affordable housing opportunities and strengthening our region’s safety net.

What steps are needed to improve region-wide transportation planning and the growing traffic congestion?
Answer from Don Saylor:

Our roads and bridges are crumbling and our public transportation system is underfunded. We must invest in our transportation system now because our economy can’t thrive without the infrastructure to support it. I will continue to be an effective leader bringing people together to address our long-term transportation needs, rebuild crumbling roads, relieve gridlock and invest in smart regional public transportation projects that support our people and thriving businesses.

As an Assemblymember, I will advocate for maintenance of existing infrastructure, increased reliability and frequency of transit and passenger rail service, efficient cargo movement, direct funds to existing congested corridors rather than a high speed rail to nowhere, and land use planning that minimizes vehicle miles travelled and supports thriving communities. 

As a member of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments Board of Directors, I created consensus among the 31 members for a 20-year, $38 billion transportation and sustainable communities land use plan. I have been an active champion of the Rural Urban Connection Strategy project to better link rural, agricultural areas to urban communities and to generate robust data for better planning decisions.  In addition, I have been a leader in creating a multi-regional partnership among the six county capitol region, the upper San Joaquin Valley, and the nine-county Bay Area region to focus more effective advocacy on this region.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $251,321

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of SAYLOR, DON
$15,000
2
SEIU California
$8,500
2
SEIU Local 1000
$8,500
3
Employees of Tandem Properties
$5,350
4
Employees of AKT Development
$4,200
4
California Association of Health Facilities
$4,200
4
Employees of Conquest Marketing Group, LLC
$4,200
4
Council on American-Islamic Relations California
$4,200
4
Employees of P.G.C.
$4,200
4
Employees of S360 Development
$4,200
4
Employees of Steve Gidaro
$4,200
4
Employees of Victor G. Bucher
$4,200

More information about contributions

By State:

California 90.65%
Florida 4.20%
Arkansas 0.84%
Kentucky 0.84%
Pennsylvania 0.84%
Other 2.63%
90.65%

By Size:

Large contributions (94.70%)
Small contributions (5.30%)
94.70%

By Type:

From organizations (34.85%)
From individuals (65.15%)
34.85%65.15%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

I’m running for Assembly, because I want all Californians to thrive, I want our state’s economy to prosper and I want to steward our natural environment. Our economy should work for everyone, not just those at the top.  I will work for you to build on our economic assets, protect our environment, invest in our future through infrastructure and education, strengthen our commitment to our most vulnerable populations and ensure our communities are safe.

 

I have a wide range of real public service experience and a record of achieving real results for the people I represent.  For more than 40 years, I have dedicated my life to public service.  I have served as a local elected official for the past 21 years, as a county supervisor, city council member, and school board trustee, I have built a record of responsible fiscal stewardship and advocacy for our most vulnerable populations. I have made tough decisions with heart and voted to approve 21 balanced annual budgets with reserves.

 

I believe that people should have a voice in their government and that our Legislature should be transparent and accountable to the residents of our state.  I want to increase the presence of Legislators in the communities we serve.  I believe that the Legislature should hold more policy discussions in open committee discussions in the public view, rather than in closed caucus meetings that result in pre-determined outcomes.

 

I believe government performs a valuable role.  We form governments to pursue outcomes, provide services, protect individuals and the public at large, and structure laws for a civil society that we cannot achieve individually.  Californians expect, demand and deserve high quality public services. Safe and vibrant communities, clean air and water, education, roads and transit, environmental protection all cost money. We must align our revenue framework and our service demands.  Our state is dependent on personal income taxes as a primary source of revenue.  This results in a perpetual boom and bust cycle as the stock market rises and falls. I favor modernizing our revenue structure to smooth out these cycles.

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