I’ve known Supervisor Jim Provenza for 30 years, first meeting him at the state Capitol where I managed legislation pertaining to domestic violence and sexual assault. This was at a time when the law was stacked against victims and it was mostly impossible to have reforms heard in committees.
Few men took on the challenge and we called on Jim many times. He was skilled at convincing the law enforcement community to remove their opposition so that victims would have a voice. For example, victims of spousal rape were not given the same protections as victims of non-spousal rape. Both crimes are now treated equally.
Another example: when a woman defended herself against an intimate partner’s abuse, law enforcement would often arrest both parties. Now, an officer must identify the primary aggressor rather than criminalize victims (and remove innocent children from a parentless household). Jim was critical to these changes … and more.
And when I was President of the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery during its crisis and the doors nearly closed for lack of a host agency, Jim guided me on a daily basis. He also secured emergency county funds. We could not have saved this precious resource without his unyielding support.
I’ve supported Jim as a school board member and now as a county supervisor because his service is genuine. He is one of the most persistent and diplomatic advocates I’ve ever known.
I agree; we need more women in elected office and particularly on the Board of Supervisors, but Supervisor Provenza is the wrong man to replace.