Letters of Endorsement

(click headline titles to link to full text at Napa Valley Register site)

Joelle Gallagher is the best choice for supervisor

by Michael Diehl, Napa (Nov. 5, 2022) 

Napa County needs fresh ideas and new thinking to lead our community into a prosperous future. The District 1 candidate that will bring these qualities to the Board of Supervisors is Joelle Gallagher.

Thirty years’ experience does not equate to “entrenched in the status quo.” Rather, Joelle’s track record illustrates her heart of service, ability to listen to residents, civic leaders and develop innovative solutions to complex and seemingly intractable problems. Joelle works to prevent homelessness by supporting children and families who live and work here as evidenced by 20 years dedicated to families and children, as the executive director of Cope Family Center, and now as the director of First 5 Napa. 

Joelle is anything but ‘business as usual. Her commitment to Napa County and perseverance to step into this new leadership role is what District 1 needs. She will hit the ground running, continue to listen to the needs of residents and make fair and balanced decisions when she takes office in January 2023.

Vote Joelle Gallagher for District 1supervisor.


It’s experience that matters most

by David Mahaffey, Napa (Nov. 5, 2022) 

The voters of Napa County are fortunate this year. Unlike many other voters, we are not besieged by candidates peddling the election denial fantasy of Donald Trump. At last count, over 200 candidates for office around the country are spreading that vicious lie, confusing the electorate, and eating away at the heart of our democracy. Here, our candidates are engaged in honest debates over real issues. They are likable, earnest, and ready to roll up their sleeves to perform public service. This is the America we were all raised to believe in.

In the District 1 Napa County Supervisor race, we have two good candidates, Joelle Gallagher and Suzanne Truchard. They are both smart, compassionate women who have made their mark. But one, Joelle Gallagher, has far more experience on the issues that matter most to Napans, having served for decades in leadership positions providing support for families and children at Cope Family Center and First 5 Napa County, representing ag concerns at the Farm Bureau and Grape Growers Association, participating on the Napa County Planning Commission, and more. What’s more, she’s a staunch supporter of our environment, defending our limited water resources and standing up for the climate. After 42 years of winemaking, I have seen up close how the changing climate is impacting the industry, and it is important to me to have someone in office who deeply understands agriculture and climate change.

One more thing. I’ve read here, and heard some folks say, that experience doesn’t matter, that what we need is “fresh faces.” That line of argument makes no sense to me. Can anyone honestly look themselves in the mirror and say, gee, I have all this experience, but that doesn’t count for anything. Has anyone ever heard of an employer who says, well, I have one job candidate with lots of experience, but I think I’ll just go with the person who has far less experience. Please! That’s the line of argument that we heard from our previous president and current election denier in chief, and see where that got us.

Experience matters, and never more than now. I’m thrilled to be able to cast my vote for Joelle Gallagher.



Vote for Joelle Gallagher

by Cindy Colo, Napa (Nov. 2, 2022) 

I first met Joelle Gallagher in the fall of 2000, when we started Leadership Napa Valley (class 14) together.

Joelle was already a community leader at that time and was transitioning from her role as the executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau to the executive director of Cope Family Center. I came to know Joelle as a thoughtful, compassionate and courageous leader. She engaged enthusiastically in discussions and was always willing to push against the status quo, challenging others to be brave in their interactions and creative in seeking solutions.

Joelle also had the capacity to facilitate conversations with ease. I recall her naturally falling into this role when we worked in groups and she would inevitably emerge as the one who could synthesize the conversation and report to others a cohesive and comprehensive representation of the group's thoughts. She listened.

Over the years, I had the opportunity to work with Joelle through my work at Queen of the Valley Medical Center. I recall that she and her team at Cope worked to create a seamless hand off between our Labor and Delivery Department and Cope’s Home Visitation Program. The goal was to assure every new mom was connected to resources and had the support they needed in those first days and months of parenting a newborn.

I became a volunteer with Joelle’s campaign because I have watched her as a leader for over 20 years. She has the understanding, wisdom, compassion, and courage to do what is best for the residents of our county and will work with others to bring about the most creative and impactful solutions.

Please join me in voting for Joelle Gallagher, District 1 supervisor.


Joelle Gallagher is dedicated to Napa County

by Jeni Olsen, Napa (Oct. 26, 2022) 

I am writing to encourage those in District 1 to vote for Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor.

As an advocate for youth mental health, I see firsthand the issues that are hurting our young people. In 2017, I founded nonprofit Teens Connect, to support the mental health and wellness of our local youth. Without hesitation Joelle stepped up as a founding board member and chair of our board of directors. With Joelle’s guidance and expertise, our thriving youth programs have positively impacted the lives of over 12,000 young people in Napa over the past six years.

Joelle truly listens to the needs of our community, giving agency to those she serves. Her dedication to children, families and our workforce is apparent in her successful 30-year career as executive director of First 5 Napa County and Cope Family Center. Joelle has also served as executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, and cares deeply about protecting our agricultural resources.

Joelle has a proven track record and a keen understanding of the most important issues facing our county and is committed to the well-being of all of our community members, ensuring that our workforce can afford to live here, and protecting our natural resources so that our future generations can thrive in Napa County.

Please join me in supporting Joelle Gallagher, a true public servant, for the Napa County Board of Supervisors.



What is an exemplary leader?

by Laura Keller, Napa (Oct. 27, 2022) 

As the Nov. 8 election approaches amid divisiveness and turmoil on the national, state and sometimes local levels, I have been contemplating the essential characteristics of an elected leader.

In Napa County, the person we are about to elect for the Board of Supervisors, District 1 will have far reaching impacts on critical issues — the climate crisis, drought and wildfires, water and land use, affordable housing, living wage and child care — to name a few.

An exemplary elected leader would understand that public service is a mandate to include the entire community. They would be committed to forming diverse relationships with individuals, groups, and sectors in the community; to understand their different needs, desires and concerns. They would understand their elected position is not a reward for their personality, popularity, status, or perceived power. They would not allow themselves to be beholden to special interests which might prejudice their perception of community issues.

An exemplary elected leader would be committed to social equity and justice, making decisions and creating policy that benefit the entire community, including vulnerable populations and the underserved. Their commitment would be to the health and well-being of all people and would include being passionate stewards of our lands — sustaining and protecting our precious environment.

An exemplary elected leader would have many years of experience, expertise, and competence, working across multiple sectors and perspectives — with children and families, farmworkers, the wine industry, community-based organizations, and government, managing and directing people, agencies, commissions, and boards, while dealing with large budgets and complex fiscal issues.

An exemplary elected leader would demonstrate superior problem-solving capacities for dealing with complex issues, building consensus, and creating collective solutions, always including, and understanding the people affected by them. Such a leader would master the difficult but necessary work of considering the unintended consequences of their decisions and be willing to alter their course of action to ensure no harm results from their efforts.

An exemplary elected leader would have well developed relationship skills and the ability to form strong working alliances across diverse sectors of our community. They would communicate openly and honestly, resolving conflicts with transparency and respect. This elected leader would behave with integrity and high ethical standards, willing to recuse themselves from decision making where any real or perceived conflict of interest might exist.

This leader would serve with compassion, kindness, and empathy, valuing the worth of every member of our community and conducting themselves with strength, courage, honor, and humility.

I am certain that Joelle Gallagher is the only candidate who embodies all these characteristics, and personifies the exemplary leader the position requires. I have known Joelle as a trusted colleague and friend for 25 years. I have witnessed her extraordinary experience, commitment, and passion for service, and her indefatigable efforts to assure that we all live in a community that works for everyone.

Please join me in voting for Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor for District 1.


Vote for Joelle Gallagher

by Mary Jane Bowker, Napa (Oct. 25, 2022) 

Dear voters, I am endorsing and voting for Joelle Gallagher because of the qualities that will make her an outstanding new member of the Napa County Board of Supervisors:

  • Years of unfaltering dedication to our community.
  • Vast experience with the nonprofits and underserved people in Napa and throughout our county.
  • Honest and straightforward.
  • Smart, hardworking and can see the future and a path to get there.
  • Has an intimate knowledge and experience of how our county works.
  • Hard working and has had the experience to understand everything from jobs, housing, ag preserve, water issues and the seriousness of climate change.

Vote for Joelle Gallagher for the qualities that keep the Napa Valley a wonderful place to work and raise a family. She has a committed passion for a strong, healthy community that represents the people that live here.


Vote for Joelle Gallagher

by Pete Shaw, Napa (Oct. 24, 2022) 

What can I say about Joelle Gallagher?

I didn’t know Joelle when she was gaining broad experience and wisdom in the wine and agricultural industries at the executive director level, or while serving on the Planning Commission. When we met, I didn’t know that she was helping found the Napa Housing Coalition, and that she was standing up for tenant protections and fair wages, and that she had been doing a lot of good work for Napa County long before our paths officially crossed.

I got to know her when she was dedicating her skillset to aid the cause of creating healthier kids and families in Napa, as an incredibly capable leader for many years while she was the executive director at Cope. Leading the Child Abuse Prevention Council meetings of which I was a member as a representative of Napa faith leaders, she created a truly supportive, collaborative environment for leaders from various sectors of the community to learn about the level of child abuse in Napa County and how we might work to eradicate it.

Her spirit was always warm yet passionate, data driven, heart-froward, and solutions-oriented. She welcomed all the perspectives in the room, which was so refreshing in a time when our culture was moving more and more to sequester folks to their respective corners/silos.

Getting to know her even more through the First 5 Napa Network Cohort 1, all that I had hoped was true about Joelle was simply affirmed and strengthened. Longer exposure in a room with extremely passionate, powerful, influential personalities, Joelle again brought us together to focus our attention on the status of children in Napa County and what might be done to ensure their wellbeing. Her leadership wooed us out of our titles and offices and united us as human beings who can collectively make a difference. Issues of this magnitude cannot be fixed overnight; they require thoughtful, diligent commitment over time to see genuine progress.

Joelle’s experience and background revolving around the wellbeing of some of Napa’s most vulnerable community members makes her uniquely qualified for her role as a supervisor. Such a role requires one who sees holistically, to be able to recognize the connections and tensions between what appears to be good for one for a moment that might yield harmful consequences for many down the road. If we are looking for Napa to be a truly healthy community, we need someone who has been researching and working toward that end for a long time.

Joelle is such a person – it is who she is – which is why she will fulfill the role so well.

Joelle Gallagher for Napa County supervisor

by Kara Brunzell, Napa (Oct. 21, 2022) 

Please join me in supporting Joelle Gallagher for Napa County supervisor.

Her long-standing connections to Napa and her deep experience serving the community are well-documented, but I have only really gotten to know Joelle during the current campaign season. I have been so impressed with the quality of her ideas and especially how well she has been listening to the citizens of Napa County.

I seem to run into her every time I leave the house for a political event, a community celebration, an informational meeting sponsored by a nonprofit, or just to grab coffee. She is always willing to engage and exchange ideas on whatever issue is top of mind. Joelle is deeply immersed in the fabric of life in Napa and committed to seeking solutions to local problems including homelessness, housing costs, and environmental protection.

Vote for Joelle Gallagher.


Democrats of Napa Valley endorse local candidates

by Johanna O'Kelley, President, Democrats of Napa Valley (Oct. 19, 2022) 

The Democrats of Napa Valley announce its endorsements for Napa County supervisor candidates Joelle Gallagher in District 1 and Anne Cottrell in District 3. Candidates needed to receive 60% of the members’ votes in order to receive the endorsement.

Candidate forums were held for mayor and city council candidates, moderated by Danielle Barreca, Juan Carlos Mora, and John Sensenbaugh, and for the first time, a forum for contested school board candidates, moderated by Bob Van Der Velde, senior dean, arts and sciences, Napa Valley College.

There were 16 Democratic candidates throughout the valley that spoke at the Mayor and City Council Forum and six Democratic candidates running in contested races for school boards for the Napa County Board of Education and Napa Valley Unified School District. The candidates were given time to introduce themselves, speak about their campaigns and why they wanted to run, followed by questions from members and supporters. 

This is the first year that endorsements have been extended to school board candidates. It is important to elevate the discussion about our schools and recognize the importance of school boards and the impact they have on our students today and our community and country tomorrow.

2022 Candidates Endorsed by the Democrats of Napa Valley for the November Midterm Election:

Napa County Supervisor — Joelle Gallagher, District 1; Anne Cottrell, District 3

American Canyon City Council — Mark Joseph

Napa City Council — Liz Alessio District 1; Mary Luros District 3

Yountville Mayor — Marjorie Mohler

Yountville City Council — Scott Owens

St. Helena Mayor — Paul Dohring

St. Helena City Council — Anna Chouteau

Calistoga City Council — Curtis Winslow

Napa County Board of Education Trustee Area 4 — Ann Cash

Napa Valley Unified School District Trustee Area 1 — Robin Jankiewicz; Area 6 – Elba Gonzales-Mares; Area 7  Julianna Hart.

The Democrats of Napa Valley Club strives to provide opportunities to meet and learn about candidates. It was heartening to see so many of our members and engaged citizens take time out of their busy lives to learn how they can help make Napa County an even better place to live, work and play.


Vote for Joelle Gallagher

by Jeff Toynbee, Political Director, Firefighters Local 1186, Napa County (Oct. 19, 2022) 

Rarely does a candidate have as much depth of experience directly working on the relevant issues, as Joelle Gallagher has in her campaign for Napa County supervisor. Joelle worked as executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau, Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, Cope Family Center, and First 5 Napa County. In those positions, she has accumulated direct experience solving issues of agriculture, growth, education, and social services-key responsibilities of Napa County supervisors.

As a firefighter, I am particularly impressed by her commanding understanding of public safety issues - both from the perspective of preventing wildfires through emergency preparedness and responsible land management, and adequate funding, staffing, equipping, and training our fire departments and personnel.

Having discussed these issues with Joelle, I am confident that she will work proactively to make certain firefighters have the support and training we need to fight fires, respond to medical emergencies in the community, and to handle the daily rigors of the job. Joelle understands what firefighters experience both on and off duty as well as understanding the needs related to the future growth of the fire service in Napa County and is committed to having an open door policy to discuss our needs and requests.


Joelle Gallagher inspires

by Cassandra Walker, Napa (Oct. 20, 2022) 

Today without hesitation, I will vote for Joelle Gallagher to represent me on the Board of Supervisors.

I have worked with Joelle for close to 20 years. Joelle has become well versed on Napa County land uses issues and the general plan as a planning commissioner. She has worked to address the needs of families in our community managing COPE and is now working on children’s early educational needs leading First 5.

Joelle is involved in local organizations learning about the community every day. Important to me is Joelle’s experience and ability to deal with the diverse issues and needs facing the county. From the need for affordable housing, mental health services, to groundwater sustainability, to the plight of the small winery owners and grape growers to ensure sustainable agriculture. We need someone with leadership and transparency to make important decisions.

What really inspires me to vote for Joelle is her integrity. She will tell you when she needs more information. She will research an issue and make an informed decision. She will be there for her constituents, not for her own self-interest. We do not need a fractious Board of Supervisors but a group of leaders who can work together in the best interest of the citizens of Napa County.

Please join me in voting for Joelle, an experienced leader.


Vote Joelle Gallagher

by Dell Coats, Napa (Oct. 15, 2022) 

Napa County needs leaders on the Board of Supervisors who have experience balancing budgets, running organizations efficiently, and serving with fiscal responsibility.

With more than 20 years of working in accounting and financial services, I have seen what happens when organizations lack responsible, experienced leadership. I also have seen the incredible work organizations can do when empowered with leadership that understands management and fiscal decision making.

One of my best examples of the latter came when I was board chair of Cope Family Center here in Napa and Joelle Gallagher served as our executive director.

Joelle ensured that thousands of families had the education and support they needed to nurture their children and provide for their future. She did this with a budget dependent on grants and donations. She managed the organization in a transparent, accountable, and responsible way. Not to mention the care and enthusiasm she showed for those in need.

It’s not just me who thinks so. Under Joelle’s leadership, Cope was awarded “Outstanding Nonprofit of the Year” in 2008 and the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership awarded Joelle the “Excellence in Leadership” award in 2016.

I have full confidence that Joelle will bring her managerial expertise, and care and compassion for those in need, to serve as an effective member of the Board of Supervisors.

Please join me in voting Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor District 1.

Vote Joelle Gallagher

by Pat Reynes, Napa (Oct. 13, 2022) 

As a voter in Napa, I want candidates with long standing, solid experience in the community – individuals who have worked for and with a variety of groups in the valley, have long standing relationships with the “doers” in the community, understand the complexity of how county government works, and know how to get things done.

In other words, individuals who can hit the ground running to help address the many local issues facing us today.

Joelle Gallagher has all of that and more. The depth and breadth of her experience far surpasses any other candidate running for District 1 supervisor. Born and raised in the area, Joelle has spent her career working with kids and families (First 5 Napa County, Cope Family Center, Teens Connect, etc.), has worked with and for the Napa County Farm Bureau, the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, the county’s Planning Commission, the Napa Housing Coalition, Community Leaders Coalition, Rainbow Action Network, the Napa Chamber of Commerce and more.

Joelle has the knowledge and the interest in seeing that Napa’s growth is balanced and not skewed in any one direction, or for any one interest group.

Because of her extensive experience, Joelle has in-depth knowledge of what Napa needs to move forward in the most positive direction possible – I urge you to vote for Joelle!

Vote Joelle Gallagher

by Liz Allesio, Napa City Councilmember (Oct. 12, 2022) 

Have you ever wondered how and why someone gets into politics? In my personal experience it’s the culmination of life events both personal and professional that led me to community service.

There was one individual who encouraged me to take that leap and run for public office. That was Joelle Gallagher.

This was after she encouraged me and others to attend Napa’s first Women’s March in January 2017, where I experienced an internal awakening to get off the silent sidelines. That was the moment I knew I needed to find a local leader who I respect, a leader who loves the people of Napa and will advocate for families in need, small business owners, immigrants, the unhoused, our agriculture and wine industry, and protect our environment and natural resources. This was and is Joelle Gallagher.

Someone who will listen to all sides, take a balanced approach, work hard, be transparent, and has a clear vision for the future of Napa and our beautiful county. That was and is Joelle Gallagher.

Her response five years ago was that she planned on running for office after Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht retired. In the meantime, she was appointed to the Napa County Planning Commission, and continued her 30-year career as a community leader, a nonprofit executive, serving as the Executive Director of First 5 Napa County, Cope Family Center, the Napa County Farm Bureau and the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association. Joelle has the leadership and management experience needed to execute a shared vision and get things done.

Five years since I first asked Joelle to run for office knowing her heart, her call to service, and both personal and professional experience makes her the most qualified person to be our next Napa County Supervisor. Joelle is not just a leader, but a leader that builds leaders all around her. She’ll lift-up District 1 and will be an influential positive force on the Napa County Board of Supervisors.

I hope I gave you a glimpse of how and why Joelle is taking this leap into public service. Why I am thrilled to endorse Joelle for Napa County Supervisor District 1 along with Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht and Napa Mayor Scott Sedgley. I encourage you to endorse Joelle with your vote on or before Nov. 8.


Vote for Joelle Gallagher

by Luisa Heymann, Napa (Oct. 11, 2022) 

Dear District 1 voters, the upcoming supervisor’s election will determine the future of Napa County. On Nov. 8, we have the opportunity to decide if we want our Board of Supervisors to continue on the current trajectory of turning Napa into the “Disneyland of Wine” or if we want a supervisor who will represent the needs of all our residents. With this in mind, I urge you to join me in supporting Joelle Gallagher for supervisor.

Joelle's 30-year career working at First 5 Napa County, COPE Family Center, the Napa County Farm Bureau, the Grape Growers Association, and as a County Planning Commissioner, has given her a unique perspective on our diverse community. She has worked to protect agricultural land and ensure that Napa has a thriving economy, while tirelessly working on behalf of the community-at-large to provide mental health services, increase affordable housing, and make sure that Napa is a safe and healthy place for citizens and visitors alike.
Joelle Gallagher is knowledgeable, ethical, smart, and compassionate, and we need elected officials like Joelle who will put the needs of residents first if we don’t want our beautiful county to be a place where only tourists count.

Vote for Joelle Gallagher

by Sandra Elles, Napa (Oct. 7, 2022)

Please join me in supporting Joelle Gallagher for District 1 supervisor in Napa County. With over 30 years of leadership and community service in our county, Joelle has a great depth of knowledge and experience to step into the role of county supervisor.

Joelle’s background includes years of service as the Executive Director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Executive Director of Cope Family Center and Executive Director of First Five Napa County. She is co-chair of the Napa Housing Coalition, a founding member of the Community Health Initiative, and founder and leader of many other community organizations designed to help those in need. She currently serves on the County Planning Commission and has been endorsed by longtime District 1 Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht.

Joelle has endorsed and demonstrated leadership in preserving our agricultural economy, protecting our natural resources, promoting health and wellness, and fostering sustainable development. I have full confidence in Joelle’s abilities and know that her dedication to our community will lead to a brighter future for our county.

Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor District 1

by Napa Valley Register Editorial Board , (Oct. 8, 2022)

The opinion of the Napa Valley Register

In a race between two dedicated, intelligent and driven women, we’ve decided to endorse Joelle Gallagher for the District 1 seat, which includes much of downtown Napa and the Carneros region. It was close, but we felt her social services background would fill an experiential gap on the Board of Supervisors.  

Both have land-use expertise — Gallagher from her time on the county Planning Commission and Suzanne Besú Truchard from her work as an attorney and real estate broker. Though those types of decisions often garner the most press — Walt Ranch anyone? — one of the county’s biggest department is Health and Human Services. Gallagher’s work at First 5 and, before that, the Cope Family Center and Napa County Farm Bureau puts her in a better position to help oversee that vital agency.

Both have deep roots in the community. Gallagher grew up in Sonoma County, went to Napa’s Justin-Siena High School and lived in various parts of the Bay Area. She moved to Napa County in 1992 when her daughter was 6 months old.

Truchard, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, came to Napa County about 13 years ago. She was looking for an attorney job in the San Francisco area, visited Napa Valley, met her future husband Anthony Truchard and moved here, where she is an attorney and real estate broker.

Truchard addressed concerns that her connection with the wine industry — through her husband and brother-in-law — would color her decision making, saying the ethical requirements of her profession would compel her to disclose any conflicts. And, she continued, her current portfolio of work has little-to-no potential to create any. 

We agree that this is a non-issue. We also note that Truchard’s approach is likely to be more business friendly than Gallagher’s, who has faced criticism that she has arbitrarily rejected legally-sufficient projects while on the Planning Commission. 

In our interview, Gallagher pushed back on this, saying that the reason for such a commission in the first place is to help decide what’s best for the community. If it only rubber-stamped staff recommendations, she asked, why would it need to exist? 

Still, on this topic, we felt Truchard had the edge, and that the decisions she would make on the Board of Supervisors on land use would be potentially more even-handed. 

During their interviews, both impressed us with their knowledge of county issues, confidence and equanimity. Either would be an excellent choice to help bring back a sense of calm and professionalism to the occasionally dysfunctional Board of Supervisors. That looked like a tie on our end. 

So the deciding factor was Gallagher’s experience working with some of the most vulnerable in our community. One of the major roles of a county government, in our mind, is making sure those that need help get it, and that all human beings are treated with dignity and respect. 

No doubt Truchard believes this as well, but Gallagher has more hands-on experience in that regard, and would be able to use that to improve and shape policy to make Napa County, as a whole, healthier. 

Editorial Board members Lilea Heine, Annette Dambrosio and Stephen Corley did not participate in the endorsement interviews or discussion due to potential conflicts. 

Support these candidates on Nov. 8

by Judy Myers, Progressive Women of Napa Valley, (Oct. 10, 2022)
Progressive Women of Napa Valley has endorsed the following candidates because of their commitment and proven experience addressing issues that Napa County faces including developing solutions to affordable housing, protecting our natural environment and collaborating with others.

Joelle Gallagher, candidate for supervisor District 1, has 30 years of unique experience providing leadership in Napa County. Joelle is currently the executive director of First 5 Napa County. She has served as the executive director of COPE Family Services, the executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and for the past five years as Brad Wagenknecht’s representative to the Napa County Planning Commission. Joelle is a founding member of the Community Housing Coalition in Napa. We believe Joelle has the experience and leadership skills to move our county forward protecting our watershed, housing needs and our agricultural industry.

Anne Cottrell, candidate for District 3, brings an innovative and consensus-building voice to the challenges and opportunities for everyone in Napa County. Anne was born and raised in St. Helena, the heart of District 3. Anne is a bridge builder, navigating compromise, and forging solutions. She takes a balanced approach and is pragmatic. Anne understands that to solve the challenges in our community, we need to work together. Anne has served on the Napa County Planning Commission for the past five years and has a deep understanding of the issues that face the citizens of District 3.

Anna Chouteau, candidate and incumbent for St. Helena City Council, continues tackling the pressing challenges of our times by working collaboratively toward smart decisions that sustain us. She led the creation of the Napa County Climate Action Committee in collaboration with Supervisor Wagenknecht and other elected officials willing to work on a regional approach to climate action.

Elba Gonzalez-Mares is an incumbent running for her second term as a trustee for Napa Unified School District, Area 6. Elba is the health services manager at Children’s Health Initiative, helping children in Napa County have affordable health care and access to services. She has served as a board member for First 5 Napa County, Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center, the Community Foundation and volunteers her time as a mentor at Puente, a Napa Valley College program focused on helping first generation Latino students gain access to higher education.
Liz Alessio and Mary Luros are incumbents on the Napa City Council who are running again. Progressive Women has endorsed them in the past because of their willingness to work with the city on issues such as accessory dwelling units. They have proven their commitment to our community needs.

These candidates deserve your vote with track records of leadership. They have proven their commitment to our communities.

Give Anne Cottrell and Joelle Gallagher your vote

by Laurie Claudon Clark, Angwin (Oct. 8, 2022)

I am writing in support of Anne Cottrell and Joelle Gallagher for the District 1 and District 3 open Board of Supervisors positions. I could list all the countless ways these two women have given to our community, but their exemplary records and abundance of service have been well documented. Rather, my support comes from an often unmentioned direction.

Anne and Joelle know how to listen and research, not to garner votes, but to learn how best to address the abundant needs of Napa County. Together, they will head our county in a direction that will serve all of its members while protecting what makes Napa the special place that we know and love.

When my husband and I first came to Napa in 1974, besides the beauty, the comradery was the thing that most impressed me. As Robert Mondavi said, “your success is my success, and my success is your success.” There was a vitality and drive to learn how best to raise Napa to be one of the finest winegrowing regions in the world. Growers and winemakers turned to science as well as their shared experiences to make that goal a reality.

Now Napa County has huge new issues to address. There isn’t time to skirt around the drought, groundwater depletion, environmental destruction, out of control wildfires, climate change, affordable housing… the list goes on and on. Consequently, once the new board is seated these issues will require its members to distance themselves from the status quo of unproductive committee meetings and an absence of science based and community needs action.

Together, Anne and Joelle will shift the narrative from its current dysfunction and self-serving agenda to one based on action. We do not have time for a learning curve. We must elect the candidates who will be ready on day one. Those candidates are Anne Cottrell and Joelle Gallagher! Please give them your vote!

Sierra Club endorses Gallagher and Cottrell

by Nick Cheranich, Chair, Sierra Club Napa Group Executive Committee (Oct. 1, 2022)

The Sierra Club has endorsed Joelle Gallagher for District 1 Napa County supervisor and Anne Cottrell for District 3 Napa County supervisor.

These candidates have distinguished themselves by their knowledge of, experience in, and commitment to protecting Napa’s agricultural lands and natural resources. Climate change is causing serious environmental threats, including drought and wildfire, and we need strong, experienced leadership to address this.

Gallagher led the Napa Valley Farm Bureau and the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Association. She is now the Executive Director of First 5 Napa working on behalf of Napa County’s children and families.

Cottrell has served on the Board of the Napa County Land Trust, on the Community Wildfire Prevention Plan Core Team, and currently serves on the Watershed Information & Conservation Council.

Gallagher and Cottrell will work to keep Skyline Wilderness Park free from development. Both are the current County Planning Commissioners for their districts and so are intimately familiar with the latest development concerns and county policies. They will be able to hit the ground running and guide the county to a more equitable and climate-resilient future.

Please join us in voting for them this November. Thank you.

Experience is key to next election

by Tom Fuller, Napa (Sept. 30, 2022)

In contrast to many parts of the state and country where elections are often a choice between two extremes, we are fortunate in Napa County to have more balanced candidates for office, where many share the same overall beliefs and truly care for our community. So then the question becomes — how to make a decision.

This election cycle has one noticeable theme, in that there are many incumbents retiring from office, including three of the five mayors and two of the five supervisors. Therefore, it's more important than ever to choose candidates with the most appropriate experience for the job.

For that reason, among others, I am supporting Joelle Gallagher for supervisor in District 1, and while I cannot vote in District 3, I urge voters to support John Dunbar.

Joelle has dedicated over 30 years addressing some of the most important issues facing Napa County, including housing and homelessness, health care access, equity and inclusion, and the myriad of challenges facing the business community. She has a unique perspective stemming from her work in the community, combined with her years as executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, and serving on the Napa County Planning Commission since 2017.

John's resume is equally impressive, managing a municipal government for the last 12 years, where he gained experience at the regional, state, and federal levels through his work with the Napa Valley Transportation Authority, Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Napa County League of Governments, League of California Cities, National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. John also has a strong ability to bring people together to focus on the best possible outcomes for the communities they serve, both at the town and county levels.

Both Joelle and John have shown incredible commitment to the community, gaining the exact kind of experience we need now, instead of learning on the job.

Napa County, like most counties, is facing serious challenges now and for the foreseeable future. Let's ensure we have proven, experienced leaders navigating all the important issues facing our community.


Joelle Gallagher for supervisor

by Beth Novak Milliken, St. Helena (Sept. 30, 2022)

As a long-term Napa County resident and one who has raised her family and runs a family winegrowing business here in St. Helena, I care deeply about ensuring the viability of our world-renowned wine region and all that it supports while protecting the integrity and health of our communities and our natural environment. Joelle Gallagher shares these goals, and while I do not live in District 1, I write to strongly support her candidacy for District 1 supervisor.

Joelle has been actively engaged in our community for many, many years, both personally and professionally. She has lived in Napa County for 30 years and graduated from high school here, and she has raised her family in Napa. Her experience is vast, both in the agricultural industry and in our local government, and in each role she has shown her aptitude for hard work, an understanding of the issues, and a deep caring for our community.

She has been on the Napa County Planning Commission since 2017. She served on the Napa County Element Advisory Committee. She co-founded the Napa Housing Coalition, which advocates for affordable housing throughout Napa County. She worked with the Farm Bureau for eight years, five of those as executive director. She also worked with the Napa Valley Grape Growers for eight years, with five of these as executive director. She has a deep understanding of the issues we face here in Napa County, of the crucial role that winegrowing plays in our county, and of the importance the health of our natural environment in supporting our entire community. Which is to say, she understands the significance of our Agricultural Preserve (the only one in the country), and the interdependence of agriculture and environmental protection.

Please join me in supporting Joelle Gallagher for supervisor when you vote this fall. She is an independent thinker who has a proven record of working collaboratively with others, educating herself on the issues, and making decisions based upon what is best for the long-term needs of our Napa County community. She embodies what we want from our elected officials – knowledge, integrity, caring, and courage.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Wagenknecht endorses Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor

by Brad Wagenknecht, Napa County Supervisor (Sept. 27, 2022)

As many already know, I will be stepping down from my position as Napa County Supervisor this December. When I step off the dais for the final time, I look forward to the comfort of knowing that the future of Napa County will be left in good hands.

I am confident that Joelle Gallagher is the right person to carry on our legacy and good work on the Napa County Board of Supervisors, which is why I am endorsing her campaign for supervisor.

As your next supervisor, Joelle Gallagher will take great care to preserve our agricultural economy, protect our residents, and promote development in a responsible and environmentally friendly way.

On the Napa County Planning Commission, Joelle has demonstrated an ability to balance diverging interests, protect the environment, and responsibly manage growth. She no doubt is informed in these decisions by her good work as executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and the Napa Valley Grape Grower Association.

Joelle, Heather Phillips, and David Graves represent 24 years of excellent service to our community as my appointed planning commissioners. This is something I view with great pride.

Joelle is committed to supporting the health and wellness of our community. As the executive director of First 5 Napa County, co-chair of the Napa Housing Coalition, a founding member of the Community Health Initiative, and founder and leader of many other community organizations designed to help those in need, Joelle understands the struggles many Napa residents face economically, psychologically, and physically and how to assist them.

Finally, Joelle is committed to preserving public safety and addressing the threat of wildfires, which has earned her the support of our partners at the Napa City Firefighters Association, Solano Napa Professional Firefighters Local 1186 and the CalFire Local 2881.

I am confident in Joelle's abilities to serve on the Napa County Board of Supervisors and am proud to endorse her. I ask you to join me in voting for my friend on Nov. 8.

'I trust Joelle Gallagher'

by Linda Brown, Napa (Sept. 20, 2022)
I served as a Napa County Supervisor in District 1 from 1975 through 1982. I’m writing to urge Napans to join me in supporting Joelle Gallagher for the District 1 seat.

When I was elected to the Board in 1974, the Ag Preserve ordinance had been passed just six years before in 1968. While it’s revered now, it was controversial and a battle at the time. When I was sworn into office in 1975, the county — with the exception of the heart of the Valley floor — was still relatively unprotected from rampant development. The cry at the time was “Don’t let Napa go the way of San Jose,” whose rich farmlands had been turned into subdivisions and sprawling development.

We rezoned most of the county’s hills and remaining unincorporated lands to large lot, agricultural/watershed protection zoning. It was a battle every step of the way, and by the time I left the Board, I had gone from being a part of a 4-1 majority to a 2-3 minority. Development interests and their big money had turned the preservationist tide aside. Fortunately Napa voters, through the initiative process, locked in some protections for Napa County that the developer-compliant board opposed.

Much has changed in the intervening time, but big money, special interest development pressures have only increased and are better funded. Joelle’s opponent is supported and funded by powerful development interests. Joelle is supported by the Sierra Club and other conservation-minded organizations and people.

The Napa County Board of Supervisors should focus on the needs of Napans, not on furthering the county’s drift to becoming an amusement park for the very wealthy.

Joelle has outstanding qualifications for the position. She has run Napa organizations, including service as executive director of COPE Family Services and First Five Napa County. She currently serves as Brad Wagenknecht’s appointment on the County Planning Commission. I trust Joelle Gallagher to be a skillful and independent watchdog who will work to protect our endangered county. Joelle has my full support.

Vote for Joelle Gallagher

by Andy Beckstoffer, Rutherford (Sept. 17, 2022)
It is not often that we have a candidate so qualified for Napa County supervisor as Joelle Gallagher.
Joelle has lived in Napa for over 30 years and graduated from Justin-Siena High School. She was executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and the Napa Valley Grapegrowers for five years.
Joelle has been on the Napa County Planning Commission for five years, and her activity there showed a balance of concerns for agriculture, hospitality, traffic and housing. She was one of the founders of the Napa Housing Coalition which promoted affordable housing throughout Napa County. She served as executive director of Cope Family Center for 16 years, providing health and social services.
We are so proud of all that Joelle has done in the past and sincerely hope that she gets to continue her work on the Napa County Board of Supervisors.

Napa mayor supports Joelle Gallagher for county supervisor seat

by Scott Sedgley, Napa Mayor (Sept. 26, 2022)

As both the Mayor and a lifelong resident of Napa, I am excited to endorse Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor.

Joelle has dedicated the past 30 years of her career to supporting children, families and our agricultural community in Napa County. Her knowledge and experience of the issues facing Napa County are truly unmatched. She has served as executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau, Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, Cope Family Center, and First 5 Napa County. Not to mention she already is actively involved in county decision making as a member of the Napa County Planning Commission.

It is rare to have a candidate with such broad and deep understanding of key county issues, ready to assume the mantle of leadership.

Perhaps most importantly, Joelle is a good friend and someone who cares deeply about ensuring our county is protected and enhanced for future generations.

After spending decades working for the Napa Fire Department, I’m proud to see that she also earned the support of Napa City Firefighters Association.

I hope you will join me in supporting a true champion of our community, Joelle Gallagher, for the Napa County Board of Supervisors.

Vote for Joelle Gallagher

by Chuck Shinnamon, Napa Resident (Sept. 22, 2022)

I would like to add my name to those who have already endorsed Joelle Gallagher for District 1 supervisor.

I have known Joelle for many years and in many roles. I first met her when she was executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau when she was working on issues of sustainable agriculture and farmland protection in Napa County.

I was delighted when she was chosen to become the executive director of Cope Family Center, a vital Napa community organization that we have supported for many years. And, for the last five years she has been executive director of First Five Napa County. Those roles have given her substantial experience in running an organization, managing a team, and managing tight budgets.

For the last five years, Joelle has been serving on the County Planning Commission having been appointed by Brad Wagenknecht as his chosen representative on that important body. Her work on the commission has added to her experience in important community issues including groundwater sustainability, land preservation, winery operations and visitation, and other critical topics.

Finally, Joelle understands housing issues having served as the co-chair of the Napa Housing Coalition. Although housing needs to be focused in urban areas, it is essential that our next District 1 supervisor has deep knowledge of the dynamics of housing, state requirements that may impact our agricultural lands, and the county’s relationships with our cities and towns.

Joelle will be a superb supervisor and I wholeheartedly endorse her!

Gallagher has the integrity, values to represent Napa County

by Heather Bailie, District 1 Napa Resident (June 4, 2022)

As we elect new county supervisors, it is crucial that Napa County families have a strong voice on our board. That’s why I wholeheartedly support Joelle Gallagher for District 1 Supervisor.

As a District 1 resident and voter, I seek a leader who not only has the experience, knowledge, and skills for the job, but who also has the integrity and values to represent our diverse population. County decisions have a profound impact on our quality of life, including our safety, access to public support systems, housing affordability, and our rights as Napa County residents.

Joelle is the rare sort of public servant who gets straight to the point about problems and speaks honestly about what needs to be done. She is a collaborative listener and coalition builder with a nuanced understanding of how to work with people across the valley to serve our county’s unique needs. And, she deeply understands the impact of her decisions.

Napa County residents will be well served by Joelle as an elected official; we already have benefited from her commitment to our community for the past 30 years. As a board member of coalitions focused on key county initiatives, Joelle understands the issues facing her constituents, especially those living on the margins: homelessness, affordable housing, youth mental health, access to healthcare, racial injustice and LGBTQ+ visibility to name a few. As an executive director of family-serving organizations like First 5 Napa County and Cope Family Center, Joelle’s leadership brought forward thoughtful solutions to ensure local families receive the support they need.

When it comes to understanding land use, development, and agriculture, Joelle’s experience as a Napa County Planning Commissioner is indispensable as we navigate the complex growth and climate challenges ahead. This extensive background gives Joelle the experience and connections to cut through red tape and advocate for Napa’s priorities at the state and federal levels while understanding how those decisions will impact us locally.

Napa County needs new leadership and someone with the courage to do what’s right for our residents and the precious land we occupy. Joelle is a leader who has the passion and right mix of skills and experience to guide us through these uncertain times. She will be a strong county-level advocate for everyone, and her competence, inclusivity, creativity, and optimism for an equitable future are exactly the right fit for Napa County!

I look forward to voting for Joelle Gallagher for District 1 Supervisor and I encourage my neighbors to do the same.

Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor in District 1 

by Nick Cheranich, Chair, Sierra Club Napa Group (Mar. 9, 2022)

The Sierra Club has endorsed Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor in District 1. As a Planning Commissioner, Joelle Gallagher has shown her commitment to protecting Napa County's natural resources. She understands the critical need to reassess land use and water use in light of the pressures of drought and wildfire brought on by climate change. Equally important is her work on behalf of Napa’s families as Executive Director of First Five and as Co-Chair of the Napa Housing Coalition. She is the candidate with the best understanding of the day-to-day issues facing Napa County’s residents from working families to winery owners and she has spent her career advocating for solutions. Gallagher will provide the bold yet steady, competent and knowledgeable leadership our county needs to move forward.

We need an ethical, thoughtful, and compassionate supervisor

by (May 16, 2022)

Joelle Gallagher’s 30-year career as executive director at First 5 Napa County, COPE Family Center, the Napa County Farm Bureau, the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, and as a county planning commissioner, has given her a unique perspective on the sometimes-conflicting needs our diverse community. Joelle has worked to protect agricultural land and ensure that Napa continues to have a thriving economy, while tirelessly working on behalf of the community-at-large to provide mental health services, increase affordable housing, and make sure that Napa County is a safe, healthy, and welcoming place for all our citizens and visitors.

I urge you to remember that the supervisor’s race is not a popularity contest, but an opportunity to elect a candidate who will make decisions about the future of Napa County for many years to come. We need a leader like Joelle, who is ethical, thoughtful, smart, compassionate and willing to listen to differing points of view. Please join me in supporting Joelle Gallagher for Supervisor.

Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor in District 1

by (Apr. 1, 2022)

...In two decades, I have seen first-hand how Joelle has championed for our families with her leadership at COPE and now, as the executive director for First 5 Napa County, whose mission is also around creating a healthy, safe, and thriving Napa County for children.

As the name suggests, much research has shown how the first 5 years of a child's life defines the outcome of their future, hence where establishing stability and wellness for the child (and family) is critical. I'll add, that when I became a new mother in 2005, when I was without the support of a bigger family network, I went to COPE for help, utilizing the parent education seminars and group gatherings. It was such a critical time for me and my needs that I was beyond grateful in knowing such an organization was present here in Napa County.

Professionally, I've worked with Joelle and her agencies as a creative partner in building out campaigns and messaging and recently as part of First 5 Napa Network, a division of First 5 Napa County’s first cohort — a network of community leaders working together to tackle some of the most challenging problems facing children and families here in Napa County. And, as you might have already guessed, to problem solve through innovative sustainable solutions. I am proud to be part of this community today and am grateful to Joelle for creating it.

...Joelle’s track record is proof and testament for advocating a healthier Napa County in all ways — past, present and future.

...Joelle is the candidate who has the most in-depth understanding of what our county needs with the experience to provide expert leadership to move into our future in the most healthiest and sustainable way possible.

When I consider my future here in Napa and that of my family, it is without a doubt that I support and endorse Joelle Gallagher for Supervisor in District 1. Joelle is hands down the most qualified candidate.


Joelle Gallagher will improve Napa Valley's quality of life

by (Apr. 2, 2022)

Quality of life is a crucial aspect of living in Napa County. Fresh water and clean air is important to our quality of life. This is why I am endorsing Joelle Gallagher.

Joelle has great integrity, has a lot of experience working in the public and private sectors and has served on many committees which have improved the quality of life in the Napa Valley.

She is very well rounded and cares greatly about the environment and the economic vitality of Napa Valley. Please join me and vote for Joelle Gallagher.


Joelle Gallagher stands with the LGBTQ community in Napa County

by Carol Whichard, Napa Resident (Apr. 24, 2022)

As the executive director of First 5 Napa County, Joelle has led, funded, and supported the following activities in support of the LGBTQ community.

Joelle is one of several leaders who formed the Rainbow Action Network in 2019. Rainbow Action Network is a group of LGBTQ youth and allies who aim to make Napa Valley a welcoming and supportive place for LGBTQ families, families of color, community members and visitors. RAN’s first action was to advocate for the Pride flag to be flown in June across all jurisdictions in Napa County. Now, the Pride flag is flown all over the county and in every city in June!

Joelle’s First 5 team and members of the First 5 Napa Network have brought families together, especially during the pandemic, by holding Rainbow Play Dates, Zoom story times, diverse winter holiday celebrations and Black History Month events. First 5 also established over twenty Rainbow Little Libraries throughout Napa County to give families access to bilingual, children’s books, including books about anti-racism, non-traditional families, families of color, LGBTQ families and gender diverse characters.

The First 5 team also created Rainbow Kits, which are distributed throughout the county to help preschool teachers and caregivers create more inclusive classrooms and teach children about the beauty of diversity. These Kits are now moving into First 5 groups throughout the Bay Area under the leadership of First 5 Napa County.

Joelle also was the founding board and chair of Teens Connect, now a part of Mentis, and has been an important advocate for teen mental health and LGBTQ teens in our community.

By her actions we can see that Joelle Gallagher is a fierce advocate for our LGBTQ community of adults, families and youth. Every community should be so lucky to have a Joelle Gallagher


Gallagher knows how to get the job done

by (Apr. 25, 2022)

I have been a Napa resident for 30 years. As a former board member for Cope Family Center, I dealt directly with Joelle Gallagher. She led a multimillion-dollar organization in a highly competitive market with a finely-tuned view of what the community needed.

She responded with compassion and caring and a well-thought-out business model. Her attention to detail in business processes created a viable and stable environment for Cope and the staff after she left. She knows how to get the job done. I recommend her in the highest manner for District 1 Supervisor.


Please vote for Joelle Gallagher

by (Apr. 27, 2022)

Many people know Joelle for her tireless work for our Napa community and its families who most need our support. I applaud and admire her for this work. My admiration for Joelle, however, goes back to her days as executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau. As its advocate, Joelle led the Farm Bureau to be a strong and determined voice for the Agricultural Preserve and all of the land within the county. Defending the Ag Preserve has always meant walking a fine line between the needs of the land and the business and farming interests of the people who control this environment. As those who created it in 1968 and have advocated for it ever since know, the Ag Preserve could easily be lost if we don't creatively and passionately defend it.

In one way or another, our unique and progressive land-use policies that protect this land are always under threat. We need people like Joelle who understand the long-term value of protecting our environment and educating the next generation of those who will live here. To be the effective leader that Joelle has become, she has had to develop the diplomatic acumen as well as the tenacity and perseverance to balance the long-term needs of both the environment and all of the residents of the county. I believe there could be no better steward of our agriculture and open space than Joelle Gallagher.


It all changed when we met Joelle Gallagher

by (Apr. 28, 2022)

I am writing to enthusiastically support Joelle Gallagher for Napa County supervisor.

Not a Napa native, my husband and I are among many military families relocated here over the years. We fell in love with the valley and had our first child at Queen of the Valley.

As both a psychotherapist and new mother, I was dismayed by the lack of attention for pregnant and postpartum moms experiencing depression and anxiety. A local moms club gave me an opportunity to strengthen their peer support, and we needed the backing of the community to further our outreach efforts. It all changed when we met Joelle Gallagher.

Joelle heard about how we were trying to target maternal mental health in Napa. She contacted longtime community advocates to hear about our vision. She learned about our struggles, our needs and our hopes to support new parents from conception through birth, and those grieving losses along the way. Joelle welcomed us as allies and connected us to like-minded agencies who championed our cause alongside her.

Through Joelle, we were invited to sit down with First 5 Napa, Napa County Public Health, Queen of the Valley’s Community Outreach and the Cope Family Center. She fostered personal connections and elevated our efforts to bridge our message of support to the Latinx community, LGBTQ folks and women of color.

Having worked as a social worker in large cities and across the globe, I am well-acquainted with the red tape that often sinks a good idea. Joelle Gallagher proves there are still leaders committed to listening to our needs, bringing us to the table and facilitating positive change. I hope you vote for her, and I hope you take your ideas to her so you can see them shine as brightly as I have.

Gallagher, Chouteau endorsed by Napa County Democratic Central Committee

by (Apr. 29, 2022)

Joelle Gallagher, candidate for supervisor District 1, and Anna Chouteau, candidate for supervisor District 3, were endorsed by members of the Napa County Democratic Central Committee at the group’s April meeting. After hearing from candidates and hearing pro and con presentations on Measure L, the Central Committee also made a unanimous endorsement of Measure L. The fire protection sales tax, also called the Napa County Wildfire Prevention and Suppression Measure, will be on the June primary ballot. Authorizing an additional sales tax of 0.25% for 10 years will generate an estimated $10-15 million per year for fire protection, fuel reduction and fire prevention.

Ballots will be arriving in the mail soon for this important election. We urge all eligible voters to make their voices heard now and again in November.

Joelle Gallagher, leader and community advocate

by Carole Rehbock, Napa Resident (May 1, 2022)

I met Joelle Gallagher over 10 years ago when I moved to Napa and started volunteering at Cope Family Center and soon became a board member for seven years. I had the privilege of seeing Joelle’s leadership skills as she worked with the board, staff and community. She exemplifies the qualities of what a true leader should be. In my role as leadership consultant for many years I quickly could see that Joelle’s leadership mastery was rare, exceptional and she was a role model for her staff and the non-profit organizations where she participated.

She is an excellent communicator; listens actively, engages collaboratively with all the people she comes into contact with, holds a vision and motivates those around her to want to work with her and for her. She consistently provided a positive, trusting, supportive, environment which led to a very high functioning organization. Cope’s growth throughout Joelle’s tenure stemmed from her strong beliefs that in order to make the most successful contribution the organization needed to create employee satisfaction and development, be visible and impactful to the larger community and increase the services that Cope could provide.

My interactions with staff were always congenial and work-focused so we had a good time while getting things done, and this atmosphere permeated throughout Cope. What most impresses me about Joelle over all these years is her commitment to making Napa a better place to live and work. She cares deeply and is passionate about children and families and works each day to find resources and services to help those who need it. This is why I think Joelle Gallagher is the best candidate for supervisor.

Joelle Gallagher can’t be bought

by Joan Bennett, American Canyon Resident (May 4, 2022)

It is a sad comment to make, but political offices can still be bought with large donations from donors who hope to have influence over willing electors. This seems to be somewhat the case in the District 1 supervisorial race.

It takes a lot of money to run a campaign and many people think the more money a candidate can raise, the more likely they are to win. Sadly, many people value affluency over experience no matter where the money comes from.

In the case of the District 1 Supervisorial race, Trouchard has raised most of her money from outside the county and from giants in the wine industry like Darioush, Ceja and Peju.

Joelle Gallager’s grassroots donations come from people who know her from her long history in the valley. She has been executive director of Cope Family Center, executive director of Napa County Farm Bureau and Grape Growers Association, and currently serves as the executive director of First 5. That’s why City of Napa mayor Scott Sedgley, superintendent of Napa County Office of Education Barbara Nemko, city councilmember Liz Alessio and Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht have endorsed her.

Joelle is the most qualified to be a Napa County supervisor. Her knowledge of how the government works, or doesn’t, is invaluable.

I want a supervisor who will represent not just District 1 residents, but all of Napa County, because decisions made by the Board of Supervisors impact all of us.

I know Joelle and her passion for serving to make a better life for all people. Who will be your choice?

Joelle Gallagher has the compassion, experience Napa needs

by Kathryn Winter, Former Napa County Supervisor, District 4 (May 5, 2022)

I have known and worked with Joelle Gallagher for over 30 years and have the utmost respect for her intelligence, compassion, and common sense. I first met Joelle when I served on the Napa County Planning Commission and Joelle was the director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, a job now held by two people! I admired the way Joelle balanced advocacy for agriculture with the preservation of the environment, a perspective she maintains today.

Years later when we both directed nonprofit agencies, we served as board members of the Napa Valley Coalition of Nonprofit Agencies. Together we attended public meetings to advocate for living wages and affordable housing for our underserved clients. Joelle’s unique grasp of community needs as well as complex land use issues makes her a superior candidate. Joelle will serve with passion, and she has the courage to make the right decisions for the entire community.

Gallagher has the experience, values needed to be supervisor

by Teresa Zimny, Napa Resident (May 6, 2022)

I am writing this letter to express my enthusiastic support of Joelle Gallagher for District 1 supervisor. I grew up in Napa, worked and raised my family here, and have voted in every local election since I was old enough to do so. Napa is special to me, and I am deliberate in my homework when determining the candidates I vote for. I know with my mind, heart and soul that Joelle is the right candidate for supervisor for our district at this time.

I have known Joelle for about 30 years, first through her work as the executive director of Cope Family Center and then as a community leader with First 5 Napa County and the Napa Housing Coalition. As the executive director of Cope, Joelle teamed with business and elected leaders, as well as partners across community sectors including the Health and Human Services department in which she and I collaborated regularly on programs that benefited working families. Her understanding of the issues that Napans care about is as deep as it is broad.

Joelle was also executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and is currently a county planning commissioner, demonstrating her breadth of experience in land-use issues. Land-use issues tend to get the spotlight as a key focus area of county supervisors. However, the purview of a supervisor is much more than land use and includes public safety, public health and human services. Joelle’s span of knowledge and experience across equity, social justice, working family issues and land use is unparalleled in my opinion.

Joelle’s leadership and management acumen are well documented through her various roles in the county over the years. More importantly, Joelle is a caring and highly empathetic person who reaches out to others to collaboratively solve problems. Her established relationships within the county and non-profit community will enable her to “hit the ground running,” when elected.

Additionally, she has forged relationships with members of the city council that will go a long way to enhancing the county-city relationship necessary to innovate and solve the problems facing residents. She understands that the role of a supervisor is to ask the important questions and to thoroughly understand the outcomes of her votes on her constituents and the public at large. Critical to our times is that Joelle’s primary interest is in making decisions that are in the best interest of her community and to not be solely influenced by any individual or special interests. I am confident she will take her public role seriously, will lead with transparency and will demonstrate care and pride for all the staff who make the county work.

We need authentic leadership. Joelle says what she means and means what she says, is humble and approachable. She is the leader we need now making the tough decisions on behalf of Napa residents. Join me and vote for Joelle Gallagher for Supervisor District 1 on June 7.

Joelle Gallagher hosts Peter Coyote

by Eric Zimny, Napa Resident (May 6, 2022)

Joelle Gallagher, Board of Supervisors candidate for District 1, hosted an afternoon meet-and-greet with legendary actor, narrator, author and biographer Peter Coyote. For those not familiar with his 50-plus years of work, his voice narration on documentaries such as those produced by Ken Burns is most distinctive and iconic.

I must admit that I was initially unclear what Mr. Coyote could add to a local campaign in Napa County. I found out soon enough during his question and answer with KVYN-FM’s Barry Martin and the audience present at Churchill Manor on Brown Street. He was able to translate his life long efforts to grapple with the dilemmas that still plague us today.

As he made clear in his remarks, he is neither a politician nor an activist. He is someone who stresses lifelong learning and the importance of one's personal successes and failures and to take responsibility for them; being assiduous (showing great care and perseverance) is one of his favorite adjectives.

I had formulated a question for him when the time for audience queries elapsed. After contending with many others seeking his company, I was finally able to have my moment.

I asked him, “former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill is known for the aphorism, ‘all politics is local.’ How do you think that applies to Joelle Gallagher?”

He responded “I think that fits her philosophy perfectly. She is justifiably proud of her many years of successful leadership in Napa County and it is clear that she would represent the residents of Napa from that local perspective. The citizens of Napa would be well served by her.”

And I wholeheartedly agree. I would dare say that Joelle is a very assiduous person.

Joelle Gallagher cares about Napa County

by Karen L. Smith, Napa Resident (May 6, 2022)

I would like to add my voice in support of Joelle Gallagher for Napa County supervisor for District 1. I had the privilege of working closely with Joelle while I served as the Napa County public health officer and she was the executive director of COPE Family Services. Joelle built COPE from a small agency providing home visiting services to struggling families with young children to the large multi-service agency now called the COPE Family Center. Her service to children and families most in need in Napa County continued when she left COPE to serve as executive director of First 5 Napa County.

Joelle’s long standing service and commitment to improving the lives of the people who call Napa County home is well known to many people, but Joelle brings much more than this to the table. As county health officer, I first worked with Joelle on the implementation of a very technically complex new, state-funded home visiting program. I was incredibly impressed with Joelle’s strategic assessment of the potential pitfalls of the program as envisioned by the state and the strong management skills she employed in implementing the program in a way that maximized its benefit to the families being served while avoiding many of pitfalls that led to the program’s failure in other counties. Whether it was issues of workforce or data collection, or grants management, Joelle’s knowledge, skills and creativity were the key to success.

Over the years, I have watched Joelle employ many of these same skills in her work at First 5 and as a Napa County Planning Commissioner. I know that being a good manager and understanding how county and state governments work and how the money flows aren’t “sexy,” and don’t lend themselves to campaign slogans or yard signs, but these are exactly the skills we need in our elected officials.

Vision, commitment, and compassion go a long way – and Joelle clearly has these – but understanding the complexity of how government works and what goes into managing a complex organization like Napa County will be essential to getting things done and making changes that benefit the people who live in Napa County.

I believe that Joelle Gallagher is a leader who has the knowledge, skills and experience to ensure the county makes the best use of the millions of dollars currently flowing from the state to the county and to ensure that the Napa County Board of Supervisors keeps the needs and wants of the residents of Napa County front and center.

Joelle Gallagher’s experience in human-centered design will benefit Napa County

by (May 7, 2022)

We live in momentous times and face many critical and urgent issues both locally, nationally and globally. In our beloved Napa community these include the climate crisis, increasing drought and wildfire danger, water shortages, land use issues, affordable housing and more. We urgently need new leadership from leaders who are knowledgeable, innovative, courageous, compassionate, inclusive and ethical.

Joelle Gallagher is such a leader and can provide the new kind of leadership needed for these challenging times. I urge everyone in District 1 to vote for Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Board of Supervisor in the upcoming election in June 2022.

I have recently retired from Napa County Public Health after 32 years of public service. I have known Joelle as a trusted colleague and friend for over 20 years, and in my role as director of Public Health Nursing, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health director, and a Napa County First 5 children and families commissioner, have worked closely with Joelle on numerous projects, initiatives and collaboratives to improve the health and well-being of our community members and community.

Joelle has a unique and diverse set of skills, experience, knowledge and expertise that far exceeds those of any of her fellow candidates. She has been dedicated to and worked in the community for over 25 years and has a deep understanding of our community from many different perspectives and has forged many important working relationships. This includes working on behalf of children and families as executive director of First 5, creating safe and nurturing environments for families as the executive director of Cope Family Center, protecting agriculture as the executive director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, and serving as a Napa County planning commissioner.

Joelle is highly intelligent, self-aware, brave, inclusive, just and an authentic servant leader who believes in and embodies true shared and collaborative leadership.

Most importantly for our times, Joelle has expertise in human-centered design after attending training at the renowned Stanford University in 2017. Joelle has been instrumental in bringing human centered design as an approach to the First 5 commission and many other sectors in the community and using it to address a number of complicated issues. Human-centered design uses empathy as a foundation to solve complex problems for people who are part of and use social systems. This requires going to people inside of systems and really listening deeply, being curious and understanding their own experiences, what motivates them, what they believe in and is most meaningful to them.

From this deep understanding and knowledge gained from empathic interviewing, solutions can be created to better serve everyone in the system and to address both intended and unintended consequences of our problem solving.

Two examples of Joelle’s human-centered design work include working with medical providers, hospitals, community-based organizations, and clients to address perinatal mood disorders and substance abuse during pregnancy, and working with the school district, parent liaisons and Latinx families to remove obstacles and improve kindergarten entry.

This is not business as usual, such as using needs assessments and surveys which are valuable tools but often do not result in sustainable change.

Humans and human systems grow and change in the context of meaningful and supportive relationships, and human centered design is a way to understand people deeply and create sustainable solutions that address the complexity of our times and result in inclusive benefits for everyone in our community.

We can no longer afford to make decisions and solve problems for the benefit of only certain individuals, groups or sectors in our community. All the issues we currently face, we must face together. Joelle is a visionary leader who has the gifts and talents to lead us during these difficult and divisive times when we have the responsibility and opportunity to create a healthy and thriving community now and for the future.

Please join me in supporting and voting for Joelle Gallagher as District 1 supervisor.

Gallagher is deeply involved in the Napa community

by (May 9, 2022)

Napa Valley residents want to be heard by their elected supervisors and trust that decisions will be made on their behalf after careful consideration.

Joelle Gallagher has been deeply involved in the Napa community as a member of the agriculture sector with the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association and Napa County Farm Bureau, executive director of First 5 which offers support for young children, former executive director of the Cope Family Center, and as a current member of the Napa County Planning Commission. Her credentials are broad and informative. She has served extensively as a community contributor and a Napa Valley leader.

Joelle listens carefully before taking a position that may have an individual and collective impact, regardless of a person’s financial means, language, culture, political position, or personal orientation. Her priorities include land and resources protection, workforce housing, quality jobs, community health and resilience, and the potential impacts of climate change.

Joelle’s approach to problem-solving and concerns for the community embrace equity, empathy, and inclusion. It means more than ever before to honor these qualities and expect them in our leaders.

Choose Joelle Gallagher on your ballot as you vote for District 1 supervisor.

What a fresh idea cannot do

by (May 14, 2022)

I read the May 2 opinion piece “Napa County needs fresh ideas.” The narrative about Napa being “stuck in the status quo,” needs unraveling. Where did this come from?

Napa is not stuck. Status quo? It’s more like status go! Napa is in a period of high growth, with enormous challenges for jobs, housing, elementary school education, understaffed city services, extreme weather conditions, and more. We are not stuck. Not by a long shot.

So where is this narrative about Napa being “stuck in the status quo,” coming from? It’s a page from a political handbook. It’s a ploy that first time candidates can use to suggest that a fresh idea is a better bet than solid experience. I’m not buying it. I want experience, and the more, the better.

I want a county supervisor with decades of experience. This is no easy job. This is a position that requires a deep understanding of the biggest issues facing Napa County: Housing and the health, education and well-being of working families and children. I want a county supervisor who’s been working on housing solutions for over a decade. Someone who’s already on the job providing early childhood education and opportunities for children in Napa.

I want a county supervisor who understands how our county government works. I want someone who’s read hundreds of thousands of pages of state, city and county documents over the past 30 years. This is experience that brings context to complex situations. Understanding how each component piece works is essential to understanding how the whole County mechanism works. This is something a fresh idea cannot do.

I want someone who’s not just saying the words. I want someone who’s doing the work. Joelle Gallagher is doing the work, and she’s committed to more work ahead.

Joelle Gallagher just gets it

by (May 23, 2022)

Leadership whose foundation comes from hard work, trust, empathy and connection is what Joelle Gallagher, candidate for Napa County Board of Supervisors District 1 has meant to me the 13 years I have known her. In my early twenties I was craving to see strong women in leadership and that I could see myself in them. Joelle was definitely that person.

As a Latina, Mexicana, Chicana, queer and proud American, it is important to me and my family to seek leadership that acknowledges the importance of diversity and connection to the community as a pillar to support building a strong and healthy community. Mexicans, indigenous and people of color are more likely to live in poverty, lack access to food, are a household burden and have higher risks of health issues. Joelle may not be Latina but she gets it, and many times more than me. Her track record demonstrates she is ready to do the work, has been doing the work and she sees the possibilities, that’s experience.

Hard work is easier said than done, Joelle has dedicated more than 20 years of her career to be part of the hard conversations and has advocated for communities in need of child care and housing, a living wage and the environment. Her proposed and implemented solutions are based on inclusion of all perspectives, she bridges people and listens. I feel heard by her and invite you to experience what it is like to be heard by her and have her work hard to find the possibilities of solving our most pressing issues in our community. She has my full confidence and trust. Vote for Joelle! !Vota por Joelle!

Joelle Gallagher has unwavering integrity, empathy

by (May 23, 2022)

For most of my professional career, I have been involved in issues affecting the aging people of our community. In this regard, I have sat on many committees, attended countless meetings and slogged through hours of conversations about what "should" be done, versus what actually "could" be done, to solve many of the dilemmas facing people and families as we age. In this capacity, I often crossed paths with Joelle Gallagher and knew her to be a recognized and trusted resource. Joelle was always a person of integrity.

After living in Napa for over thirty years, I have seen how money and power sway decision making and influence those we elect. I warn not to believe campaign rhetoric and smiling photos. Look at where the money is coming from, who is accumulating the most and ask for details on what is meant by broad, general statements. Transparency is integral to this job, and so is a recognition of and clear perspectives on the major issues of our valley.

Also to consider is approachability and interest points of view outside of the status quo. I've experienced the politicians' apathy and "busyness" after achieving office, and how egos often play into a self-created celebrity status.

Since retiring from Share the Care, I have become more involved in researching/investigating and advocating for environmental concerns in Napa Valley. What I have discovered has been harrowing. I have also discovered that my concerns/influence or comments are of absolutely no interest to most of those running our government.

Joelle Gallagher has proven to be one exception. She responds to phone calls, promises and follows through on questions, and clearly has a broad view on sensing what is important to the future of our community.

Joelle has been involved in all aspects of community building in Napa Valley. Her run for political office is courageous and true to who she is as a representative of our people's interests in our community. Money should not buy this seat. We need people, like Joelle, to make decisions for the good of us all.

I support Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor, and hope you will too. She is the best candidate for the job.

Joelle Gallagher is the best choice

by (May 31, 2022)

In Napa County, we have been challenged by earthquakes, wildfires, a pandemic, power outages, water shortages, unaffordable housing, and more. Napa County needs strong leadership who is experienced and equipped to proactively prepare for what is coming next. We need leaders who are innovative, courageous, compassionate, and ethical. Leaders who are committed to building better systems that prioritize the safety, health, and well-being of all our community members.

Our Black, Latino, Indigenous, Immigrant, Spanish-speaking, and LGBTQ community members are disproportionately impacted by the many challenges that Napa County experiences. Napa County needs leadership that understands our systems are not adequately serving a large part of our community. We need leaders who value and uplift diverse voices and experiences and lead WITH community. Leaders who are #NapaStrongEnough to stand up to racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism.

Joelle is a proactive and responsive leader. She works to connect community leaders – for example, through Community Leaders Coalition, Live Healthy Napa County, and First 5 Napa Network – to address systemic issues the only way they can truly be addressed – through innovation and collaboration with diverse leaders. She has been leading work for over 25 years to address root causes rather than simply reacting to the next disaster.

Joelle is one of several leaders who formed the Rainbow Action Network (RAN) as part of a First 5 Napa Network (F5NN) initiative to build visibility, safety, and connection for LGBTQ families in 2019. Before RAN was RAN, Joelle and other F5NN leaders (including me) advocated for Pride Flags to be flown in June 2019 across all jurisdictions in Napa County for the first time.

Her support for the LGBTQ community did not stop there. Under Joelle’s leadership, RAN Rainbow Play Dates hosted virtual story times during the pandemic, trained early childhood providers to utilize Rainbow Kits in preschools, and hosted opportunities for families to practice activism and advocacy. RAN installed Rainbow Little Libraries in little library deserts throughout the County and added more than 500 diverse children’s books (many bilingual or in Spanish) directly into the community. RAN brings diverse families together to learn from one another and to work together to create a more inclusive and equitable community.

Joelle is an authentic leader who embodies shared and collaborative leadership. As an LGBTQ parent, I felt supported and empowered by Joelle’s leadership. I felt like we were in this together. Her support gave me strength to raise my voice time and time again. She is willing to listen – even when it might be difficult to hear – and open to learning or adjusting her position based on a new perspective she hasn’t considered before. Her advocacy is powerful, yet quiet. She isn’t leading and advocating to be seen and heard or to receive credit. She leads by encouraging others to share their strengths and voices.

Napa County is so fortunate to have Joelle Gallagher and I encourage you to support and vote for her as District 1 Supervisor.