Blake’s plan for Sonoma County

Learn more about Blake's vision and plans.

I’ve spent months talking to people around South Sonoma County and beyond to build this platform. If you want to find out more, please email me so we can find time to talk.

The time for change is now. The people to make it happen are in this campaign. Please read below, and then join us!

Want to know more? Reach out and someone from the campaign will answer your questions.

Current Events




Housing that’s in reach for everyone

To build a life in Sonoma County, you need a home in Sonoma County. Everyone in Sonoma County deserves the dignity of secure, affordable, and safe housing. We’ve been in a housing crisis for over a decade: young people who grew up in South County have to move out to find a home they can afford. Seniors in South County are increasingly unable to keep their homes, let alone retire here near their families. Service workers have to commute for hours from neighboring counties, while many of us commute the opposite way to stay here. More and more people find themselves homeless in South County.

We need a leader who can bring the county and our cities together to build a regional approach to housing that will let more people imagine their future in Sonoma County.

As your Supervisor, I will work to:

  • Fast-track housing projects that focus on easy access to public and active transit over the next 4 years by building meaningful partnerships between cities and the county
  • Develop a general plan update to take effect within 4-6 years to enable development of more affordable housing through infill projects, and the transit corridors to support that housing, while minimizing sprawl
  • Turn the county into a region-wide funding body for affordable housing
  • Provide tools to our cities so that they can be effective partners in meeting our region’s housing needs
  • Build a regional approach to housing with our cities so new development aligns regional transit, equity, and climate goals
  • Plan for our future water supply to allow for equitable housing growth, even in drought years
  • Pass countywide tenant rights so that more people have the opportunity to live in stable, long-term housing
  • Lead at the county level with our cities to address the homelessness crisis in South County

Building resilience to our changed climate

Our climate is changing and Sonoma County has already felt the impact of that change. Our summers are longer, hotter, and drier than ever, and we’re now in our second once-in-a-lifetime drought in the last decade. We could predict the current drought was coming. Our county should have planned in advance for this moment, but we lacked the leadership to do so. Let’s not make that mistake again.

We need a leader who understands that we need to mitigate and adapt to our changing climate right now, a leader who will work with our cities and communities to reduce our impacts on climate change and work to reach, and move beyond, net zero carbon emissions.

As your Supervisor, I will work to:

  • Immediately plan how we can shore up our water supply when rain returns, so we’re better prepared for the next drought
  • Ensure that our housing growth isn’t at odds with our climate response
  • Support Sonoma Clean Power to invest in large-scale solar projects, and work with businesses to get more solar installations on industrial and commercial properties
  • Lead development of more grid-scale batteries, and encourage municipal microgrids, so we can be resilient during PG&E power shutoffs
  • Increase incentives for residential solar, especially on rental properties
  • Build public engagement programs to help South County residents understand how they can contribute to reducing climate change
  • Include climate and drought-restricting goals as part of the county’s binding planning processes, and build alignment to make sure our cities do the same
  • Grow our EV (electric vehicle) charging network, especially in remote coastal areas, to make sure drivers are supported following the City of Petaluma gas station moratorium
  • Investigate a gas station moratorium in unincorporated areas
  • Help build sustainable agricultural and dairy practices throughout Sonoma County, to ensure our land, and our dairy and agriculture industries thrive for generations to come

Accountability for Law Enforcement

Building a life here means everyone feeling safe here, and actually being safe here. Effective law enforcement requires mutual accountability: for law enforcement to fulfill its special position of ensuring accountability in society, society needs to trust that law enforcement is also accountable to the public. We have a culture where our Sheriff’s Office is unwilling to be subject to scrutiny, let alone be held accountable to the public.

We need a leader who will stand up for transparency and accountability over our law enforcement agencies, and will stand up for South County’s overwhelming demand for effective oversight of our Sheriff’s Office.

As your Supervisor, I will work to:

  • Encourage a culture of mutual accountability between our community and law enforcement
  • Ensure success of our Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) as a meaningful and effective community oversight body for our Sheriff’s Office
  • Provide that future IOLERO directors are recruited through a nationwide search
  • Increase the scrutiny of expensive settlements of law enforcement-related lawsuits
  • Build IOLERO’s capability to offer contract services that support city’s police oversight boards
  • Increase the scrutiny of the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s budgets
  • Create specialized response teams for mental health incidents independent from law enforcement units, and offer these as a contract service to our cities and towns

Inclusive, Transparent and Accountable Community Engagement

Building a life here means trusting that your leaders will have your back, and be there for you. In South County, our Supervisor doesn’t show up at community meetings or during crises, doesn’t take the time to understand our concerns, and has a habit of blaming other people when things go wrong.

We need a leader who is ready to show up for you, who understands the value of accountability, and understands that we need to work together if we want to build a better community together.

As your Supervisor, I will work to:

  • Provide equitable language access in all public events that I host or am invited to, in Spanish, ASL, and other languages commonly spoken in each community as needed
  • Build a true community-focused engagement process for board appointments I oversee, with proactive outreach to historically underserved and relevant community groups
  • Hold regular town halls in each city and unincorporated community in the district, scheduled in advance, even when we’re not in a crisis
  • Increase access to the Supervisor’s office by meeting people where they are, holding regular office hours throughout the district, Coffees with your Supervisor, emailing a regular newsletter and remaining active on social media
  • Encourage a publish-by-default attitude throughout the County, so that vital information isn’t hindered by the records request process
  • Propose a Sunshine Ordinance to improve the community’s trust in the county by increasing community awareness of the time and purpose of county meetings, decision-making timetables, access to records, and access to participation in meetings
  • Establish clear, accessible language standards in county communication, making sure important documents are easy for the public to read and understand, with translations easily available whenever people need them
  • Create municipal, city-style representation for unincorporated neighborhoods in District 2

Real Leadership, Before, During, and After Disasters

Sonoma County has seen a constant stream of disasters since 2017, from wildfires, floods, and now the pandemic. While our first responders – firefighters, doctors, nurses – have met every challenge that has come their way, our leadership hasn’t held up its end of the deal. The county needs to expect crises, proactively prepare for them, and give our cities and first responders the tools they need to handle them, rather than treating every disaster like it’s the last one that will ever happen.

We need a leader who can help prepare us for disasters before they happen, who can lead the community in South County when disaster strikes, and will be caring and empathetic when we need to rebuild. Because it’s not enough for us to just survive. Our community has to be able to thrive.

As your Supervisor, I will work to:

  • Coordinate a region-wide approach to wildfire response by working with our cities, school districts, and community organizations.
  • Directly engage rural and urban communities, with regular training, to make sure our response plans are tested, effective, and up to date.
  • Support our local leaders when disaster strikes, while focusing my leadership on helping South County respond.
  • Work with the agencies and organizations closest to the community to build rapid response plans for parents, seniors, working people, and those most often left out during a crisis.
  • Improve county communication during disasters, ensuring that language accessibility and multi-cultural media are prioritized during emergencies.
  • Work with businesses to make sure that their sites have evacuation plans that include everyone, including residents and workers.
  • Prioritize South County in proactive regional fire suppression programs, such as year-round vegetation management.
  • Work with organizations and property owners in South County to proactively develop community wildfire mitigation programs in South County.
  • Update county code to require home hardening, vegetation management, and evacuation planning, in all new projects, and make sure Permit Sonoma has the staff to make this happen.
  • Update our permitting procedures to ensure new developments in fire-prone areas only happen if they are insurable.
  • Build a coordination and casework office in the county to help residents and businesses rebuild and repair after disasters, and to help improve understanding and access to state and federal programs.
  • Increase funding for our family resource centers for immediate and long term disaster response.
  • Work with the Economic Development Board to offer micro grants for small businesses in need of recovery help following a wildfire.
  • Ensure our county’s businesses get the State and Federal economic resources that they are entitled to, during long-term disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smarter Journeys with Smarter Transit and Infrastructure Investments

Building a life here means connecting to jobs, schools, community, and recreation. In Sonoma County, that means traveling from city to city, and to our many green spaces. Getting around Sonoma County usually means driving on a congested freeway, dodging potholes on the backroads, braving often disconnected bicycle paths, or using public transit that usually falls short of meeting the needs of people who depend on buses and trains for their journeys.

As the Highway 101 widening project draws to a close in Sonoma County, we need a leader who is ready to build out the public, private, and active transit systems our county needs, so that we don’t have to start widening 101 again as soon as the third lane is done.

As your Supervisor, I will work to:

  • Use county committee appointments to increase cooperation between transit agencies, to expand access to public transit in South County, rather than fighting against it.
  • Continue Sonoma County’s increased levels of investment in repairing our aging road network.
  • Advocate for a regional plan to reduce unnecessary car journeys, that connects county, city, SMART, and Golden Gate Transit, so we can make our three-lane freeway last as long as possible.
  • Advocate for a countywide public transit system built around fast, frequent, and affordable rail transit on SMART, serving the entire 101 Corridor in Sonoma County from Petaluma to Cloverdale, with bus connections to put it in reach of everyone who needs it.
  • Expand Sonoma County bus transit in Rohnert Park to link new housing developments with the SMART line.
  • Work with cities to connect our high traffic job centers and tourist destinations with SMART, through frequent shuttle and van service.
  • Unlock more active transit journeys by finally funding and building the rest of the SMART’s multi–use path.
  • Lead by example and commute to county business, including Board of Supervisors meetings, by public transit whenever possible, and be transparent when this is not possible.
  • Bring together our region’s transit agencies to increase access to public transit, and encourage routes and frequencies that meaningfully connect to SMART and Golden Gate buses.
  • Work with agencies to simplify connecting between city buses, SMART, and regional buses with aligned schedules and region-wide fares.
  • Expand county bus routes into rural areas in South County, allowing community members to remain in their community regardless of their access to a car, and reducing car journeys through Downtown Petaluma.
  • Expand fare-free transit programs for students, the elderly, veterans, and those with low incomes.

Empathetic Service Delivery

To build a life here, you need to be confident that you’ll get the services you need to live here, when you need them. In Sonoma County, too many county programs are often difficult to find, and are provided by a workforce in a demoralizing environment that has been cut back too far to deliver the programs it’s meant to. County leaders have created a culture of blame in our service delivery programs, instead of a culture of listening and of empathy.

We need a leader who knows first-hand how our county’s services impact people, and knows that government service delivery works best when it is delivered with care and understanding, focused on successfully getting people to the next step in their journey.

As your Supervisor, I will work to:

  • Encourage a culture that empowers frontline workers to help people in need to find the Government services that will help them, no matter whether they’re offered by the county, or by state or federal Government.
  • Help overhaul our county’s communication channels, including the website and outbound channels, so that it’s easier for people to solve their own problems by going to the county as a one stop point of entry.
  • Support pilot programs for wrap-around case management for County services, from homelessness to mental health to elder care, with performance measured on successful management of long-term cases.
  • Work to ensure that county-employed front-line service staff are paid competitively, comparing compensation with nearby counties and the private and nonprofit sector, to ensure we can attract the qualified people we need.
  • Support a full review of county service delivery metrics, ensuring that frontline workers are empowered to deliver actual help to people, and to prevent burn out.
  • Conduct a full review of diversity and equity goals within county service departments, to ensure that programs are reaching all of the people they’re meant to serve.
  • Strengthen our behavioural health unit, giving them the resources, priority, and logistical overhaul it needs, so that the county jail is no longer the largest mental health resource for our most vulnerable residents.
  • Support a full review of the county org chart to ensure that key programs are delivered by properly qualified staff and fit into long-term county goals.
  • Review county contracts to identify overheads that aren’t in contractors’ core competencies, and work with contractors to return any functions to the county if they can be more efficiently delivered in-house.

Securing the Future for Agriculture, Business Owners, and Workers

Building a life here means building a career here. Sonoma County is famous for its friendly people, its natural beauty, and high-quality local products. But without leadership, unique and authentic local businesses and agricultural operations don’t have the support to thrive here. Poor leadership on housing and career opportunities mean that the people who make our great Sonoma County products are leaving and building their lives, careers, and an economic engine, somewhere else.

Meanwhile, as our climate changes, natural disasters and the pandemic have put our businesses through sudden, frequent, and overwhelming changes to the way they work.

We need leadership that can embrace the opportunity and talent that come with emerging industries, before we miss out, and can disaster-proof and sustain the established industries that are a part of South County’s identity now, and for generations to come.

As your Supervisor, I will work to:

  • Support transit, infrastructure, affordable housing development, and County ordinances to help people who work in Sonoma County afford to live in Sonoma County.
  • Make sure that County-funded contract projects ensure that workers can afford to live in Sonoma County, through project agreements.
  • Assist our agricultural and dairy industries as they adopt sustainable practices throughout Sonoma County, ensuring that these industries have the tools to withstand our changing climate, droughts, and encroachment of housing on agricultural lands.
  • Support long-term investment in local agricultural processing to ensure that locally grown products can be processed and packaged locally.
  • Advocate for ordinances and programs that can help keep family-owned farms and dairies in family hands, even in the face of new and hostile tax law.
  • Work to ensure financing and grants are available to new family-owned agricultural projects, with the help of our local financial services sector.
  • Build opportunities for emerging and innovative industries to find a home in Sonoma County, including capital investment programs, and streamlining the processes required to open a business.
  • Ensure our Economic Development office works effectively with our Public Health department to ensure that businesses can thrive, regardless of what policies are needed to keep people safe through the continued pandemic.