Eyes on Napa - April 30, 2022
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Napa Vision 2050 Endorses Candidate
Joelle Gallagher
Board of Supervisors, District 1
Napa Vision 2050 is excited to endorse Joelle Gallagher for Supervisor of District 1. 

Joelle Gallagher brings extensive experience in both community work and land use, having served as Executive Director of the Farm Bureau, as Planning Commissioner, and in various community organizations serving vulnerable populations. For more information about her background and philosophy, visit her website and her interview with Napa Vision 2050.

Follow the money: we are looking at who funds each candidate. A candidate becomes vulnerable to becoming a puppet to special interests when supported primarily by a few individuals or one industry. Joelle Gallagher's supporters reflect a diversity of individuals, organizations, and industries, a situation we find balanced and reassuring. Click here to get her latest report on campaign donations. 
“My vision is an engaged and empowered community, a place that is safe and inclusive, where everyone has a sense of belonging and economic security; a healthy and thriving workforce that can afford to live where they work and raise their families; and bold responses to climate change that ensure the protection of our agricultural heritage and natural resources. This will ensure the economic vitality for our county for generations to come."
— Joelle Gallagher
My Five Minutes with Peter Coyote
A Fundraiser for Joelle Gallagher for Napa County Supervisor
What does a fundraising event say about a candidate?
by Patricia Damery
I wasn’t sure that I would attend Joelle Gallagher’s April 26 fundraiser for District 1 supervisor, at which Peter Coyote was to speak. I am still crowd-averse these waning days of the pandemic. I have groceries delivered, and I wear my mask in the very few grocery stores I do enter, darting in and out like a thief. But I wanted to support Joelle’s campaign. When I finally decided to purchase the ticket online, the event was closed. “I will put you on the list,” Joelle texted to my inquiry, “you can pay later.”

The event was held on the generous grounds of the Churchill Manor. Two women greeted us at a table with name tags and a program for the late afternoon. Yes, my name tag was there. I cautiously circulated among the growing crowd. The atmosphere was as inviting as the late afternoon sun.

At 4:30 pm, we quickly found a seat in the south garden, and Joelle introduced Peter Coyote. For the next hour, a KVYN radio announcer interviewed Mr. Coyote about his life and decisions that sometimes felt contradictory: how did he view his work in Hollywood with his earlier Beat history and more recent Buddhist priesthood?

He was funny, present, and honest, all qualities, I might say, that our hostess Joelle Gallagher also has. He had participated in a kind of revolution since the 60s, being a participant and advocate of community-based arts. He did what he had to do to support kids and marriages, mortgages, and divorces.  In answer to a question about how a Buddhist manages the violence we are meeting in our culture, he replied, by confronting the violent thoughts and impulses within ourselves. If we can do this, the atmosphere around us shifts and impacts others (paraphrased). As a Jungian psychoanalyst, I appreciate that.  

I found myself inspired by his way of approaching life, inclusive, kind, compassionate, and, yes, evolved. How many political events have I attended that are merely pep rallies for the candidate? Here, Peter spoke of a way of life that could sustain us on a troubled planet, helping us back to a balance that might make life on earth possible—make life in our county possible.

But back to my five minutes: Before I left, I told Joelle how lovely the event was, that I felt nurtured, not only by the superb wine and food but also by Mr. Coyote’s presentation. “He’s right over there,” she said, taking my hand and leading me across the lawn. “I’ll introduce you.” 

Peter Coyote is tall. He wore a brown, wide-brimmed hat with feathers, which he removed at my approach in a disarming, increasingly uncommon way. Joelle introduced me as a writer and a farmer of grapes and lavender. He immediately engaged, interested in why we planted lavender; what about groundcover, and did I process acorns? He told me of his acorn flour work each year and that he had planted two young black oaks, the gold standard for acorns, although he conceded the unlikelihood he would ever enjoy acorns from these trees in his lifetime. We need this forward-thinking in our culture, which considers our future generations, whether those are of oaks or children.

Peter Coyote is a man who can meet anyone regardless of profession or orientation and make that person feel at ease.

And so is Joelle Gallagher.

Her expertise is not limited to government and leadership. Just look at her experience with everyday people in Napa County. She isn't about ensuring the prevailing industries continue to dominate our county government, regardless of the impact on the environment. She considers housing and health care for those people who make things work for the prevailing industries, people who often can't find affordable housing in Napa County. She knows land use issues from the days of Volker Eisele when the Farm Bureau was about farming and preserving land. Her work reflects the truth that if we are going to make it on our planet, we have to address climate and social justice issues. They go together. She is the kind of person who can bring balance to our Board of Supervisors. 
Photo by Richard Bruns 
Joelle with friends at the fundraiser. Left to right, James, Joelle, Constancia, and speaker, Peter Coyote
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Eyes on Napa: Co-editors, Patricia Damery and Debby Fortune, Editorial Board: Eve Kahn, Gary Margadant, Rusty Cohn, Iris Barrie. Contact the editors at