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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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State of CaliforniaCandidate for Governor

Photo of Reinette Senum

Reinette Senum

Former 2-time mayor and council member
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • homelessness and crime
  • cost of living
  • natural resources

Experience

Experience

Profession:Former 2-time mayor and council member
Vice Mayor/Mayor, Nevada City City Council, CA — Appointed position (2019–2020)
City Council Member, Nevada City City Council, CA — Elected position (2016–2020)
Vice Mayor/Mayor, Nevada City City Council, CA — Appointed position (2019–2020)
Vice Mayor/Mayor, Nevada City City Council, CA — Appointed position (2019–2020)
House Painter, Self Employed (1986–2016)
City Council Member, Nevada City City Council, CA — Elected position (2008–2012)
Cellular Phone Store, Owner (1990–1993)
Commercial Fisher, The Big Valley, Kodiak Island, AK (1993–1993)

Education

Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley, CA High School Degree (1984)

Community Activities

Co-founder/board member/market manager (2008/09), The Nevada City Farmers Market – the first organic farmers market in Nevada County, CA (2008–2016)
Co-founder/board member, Sierra Roots, homeless advocacy organization, which launched the county’s first Extreme Weather Shelter for the Homeless (2011–2015)
Co-Founder, Co-founded APPLE (Alliance for a Post-Petroleum World) to promote a more self-reliant, local economy in Nevada County, CA (2005–2011)
Chair, USDA Biomass Task Force (a five county coalition) Assessed and produced white paper on Northern California biomass feasibility (2009–2011)
Co-founder, Co-founded the 501c3 PowerUp-NC, bringing energy efficiency programs and incentives to the city as well as businesses and agencies in Nevada City, CA (2007–2010)

Biography

I’m a fourth-generation Californian, born in San Francisco and raised in Nevada County, California by my adoptive parents.

 

At 11 years old I began a quest to find my natural family, a goal that would remain entirely unrealized throughout my teenage years. Left with a continued sense of searching, I was spurred toward a life of adventure. As soon as I graduated from high school, and following the death of my adoptive mother from cancer, I set to travel. Ultimately, I explored nearly 60 countries, getting by on $10 a day while climbing mountains, hitchhiking, and experiencing every adventure I could find.

 

One such adventure was my joining a co-ed team training to ski to the South Pole. Despite giving the training my all, I was unable to raise the necessary $70,000 and could not join the expedition.

 

In response, I founded The American Women’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition and began pulling together the best female outdoor adventurers in the country, including Ann Bancroft, the first woman to reach the North Pole by foot, and other top Himalayan climbers. Ten months after organizing the team, however, I was told by the other members that as a beginner I lacked their experience of 15-20 years and as such, they kicked me off the team and went to the South Pole without me.

 

This time it took a year to recover from the blow, but when I did it was with the decision to cross Alaska by myself. First, though, I chose commercial fishing as a test of my fortitude. Thus my Alaskan adventure began on The Big Valley, an ill-fated vessel, which I would watch sink twelve years later along with my captain, Gary Edwards, and four other crew members, on a television show called The Deadliest Catch.

 

Satisfied with what commercial fishing taught me both about Alaska and myself, I moved to Homer in 1993, securing a job training Iditarod sled dogs, while I organized my trans-Alaskan journey. I also trained with two retired sled dogs who would help to pull my sled while I cross-country skied down the frozen Yukon River. In yet another setback though, the owner took the dogs back five days before I was to leave. He intended for me to give up.

 

I did not. Five days later, at 27 years old, at 55F below, I attached myself to the 160-pound sled. Filming for National Geographic, I skied and pulled my supplies down the frozen river. As it would turn out, I encountered another dog along the way who became my travel companion after I saved him from being shot.  

 

Much of what I faced along the journey was surmountable with minor adjustments. That was until halfway across the state, when the only “road” I knew, the frozen Yukon River, began melting prematurely below my feet. I had two options: give up or find a different way.

 

While I waited for the ice to finish melting, I stayed in a tiny log cabin along the bank of the river offered to me by the local Athabascan villagers. As the weather continued to warm, I pondered my next steps, the first of which, it would turn out, was just a few steps away.  Outside my front door, an old birch bark-style canoe that had been hidden under a snowbank slowly became visible. I finished digging it out before going to the elders of the village with my announcement: I was going to build my own canoe, all I needed were some tools. Unfortunately, the elders’ response was an emphatic, “No! Women don’t build canoes!”

 

Once again, I made the rounds in the village, but this time explaining to each of the elders, “No, you don’t understand. Where I come from, in California, that’s what women do! We’re canoe-builders! That’s our thing!”

 

Despite their initial reluctance, they lent me the necessary tools. I then proceeded to cut down three trees, split the trunks, and plane the 18-foot-long planks of birch and spruce. The villagers watched me, doubtful at first, but becoming increasingly interested in this odd white lady, building her own wooden canoe. Only after I completed planning and began assembling the wood, their skepticism was replaced with enthusiasm and support. Keeping my eye on the goal, I modified the boat for rough waters, and the locals began to offer advice, C-clamps, galvanized screws, and oil-based marine paint, helping me to improve and fortify the canoe.

 

The children were particularly engaged in what I was doing because it had no longer been customary to hand-build canoes in the village for the last two decades. Together, we would learn and relearn how to build a canoe, tapping into lost and primitive knowledge.

 

In this way, the canoe became the catalyst for deeper insights into our humanity. Our collective power and ability to share knowledge had not only created something both practical and poignant, it had greatly expanded my understanding and appreciation of what humanity is capable of. It also highlighted for me the real value of leadership and the inherent power and wisdom of our collective-genius when properly harnessed.

 

In a canoe fortified by a collective effort of young and old, an endeavor that blended the venerable knowledge of the Athabascans with the creativity and enthusiasm of those willing to undertake what seemed impossible, I was able to continue the final - and unexpected - leg of my journey. This 18-foot canoe, generally reserved for the calm waters of a muskrat pond, would now be able to endure the dangerous and pounding four-foot white-capped waves of the treacherous Bering Sea, allowing me to complete my 1,500-mile odyssey in four months and six days.

 

During this isolated winter solo trek, I learned, of all things, the exponential power of community and the human spirit. Lessons that came to serve as both the catalyst and guide for my community work.

 

For the rest of the story, and the lessons of legacy learned along the way, go to: https://www.thefoghornexpress.com/reinette-s-solo-alaskan-crossing

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

What policies or proposals would you support to reduce the number of people who are homeless and to prevent people from becoming homeless in California?
Answer from Reinette Senum:

In order to seriously address the humanitarian crisis known as homelessness, we need to be smart with the assets that we currently have and retrofit our commercial buildings into mental facilities and drug/alcohol centers, as well as interim low-income housing. 

As this gets underway, we must also conduct triage on the streets, utilizing the most current data from our homeless shelters and county Continuum of Care committees, and identify those who are on the streets and most at risk to themselves, the surrounding businesses, and residents. Those who are in crisis on the streets will never be able to lift themselves up if they continue to stay in the very environment that is keeping them down.

For those who are not grappling with mental issues or drug/alcohol addiction, we need to provide interim low-income housing while providing reskilling opportunities and job placement. 

We have many successful models that provide different opportunities for providing a way out of homelessness and living on the streets. One such example can be found in San Antonio, TX, called Haven for Hope. This is a 22-acre all-inclusive campus that provides a one-stop shopping of 183 different service providers so as to increase accessibility and efficiency of resources. Haven for Hope is currently serving 1,700 people daily on their campus. In addition, Haven for Hope serves over 700 people daily through their low-barrier, emergency shelter program, called The Courtyard. This offers guests a safe place to sleep, hot meals and showers, laundry services, and outreach services including mental health care and housing services. 

We also need to look at the root causes of why many Californians are unable to afford the quality of life of their grandparents and parents. Over-taxation is one reason why Californians are struggling. California's taxation needs a massive overhaul. The inability to make ends meet is only exacerbated by the lack of affordable housing.

Most Californians don’t know there are massive corporate companies buying single-family homes under the auspices of home rental companies like Invitation Homes (and larger ownership companies like BlackRock and Blackstone) which collectively own more than 180,000 single-family homes in California. The companies purchase homes with cash offers, paying over the asking price, with the intention of having them be forever-rentals, and the average potential home-buyer (even with two incomes) is unable to compete.

We need legislation to bring an end to this hostile corporate takeover of Californian homes as well as reduce the cost of building permits. We would also be wise to universally incentivize different types of building materials such as hempcrete, cob, superadobe, and other alternative building materials. We need to start utilizing the resources in our respective regions. This can keep the price of building materials down, as well as make housing more fireproof in a fire-prone state.

 

 

 

What policies or proposals would you support to encourage and develop sources of electrical power that will reduce the release of carbon into the atmosphere while still being affordable for all residential consumers?
Answer from Reinette Senum:

To get to this answer, Californians need to first conduct what is known as “cradle to grave” calculations on everything that is considered “alternative energy” and green, including transportation. If we don’t do this, we could be committing what is known as Jevons paradox whereby “you make matters worse by trying to make them better.”

I have personally worked in the green economy and have come to find out that many of the alternative energy solutions have never had their impacts fully calculated. This is called the  “Cradle to Grave,” or Lifecycle Assessment (LCA); a methodology “used to evaluate natural effects linked to all the phases in the life of the product from obtaining of raw materials, processing of these materials, manufacturing, dissemination, usage, maintenance, and repair, and selling or reusing.” Until these calculations are applied, we will never have a true answer as to which modality of energy production truly benefits humanity and the environment. 

If we are concerned about carbon, we should turn to soil regeneration to sequester it. The most powerful and effective carbon-sequestering action Californians could undertake, and one that receives little to no attention is the benefits of restoring our topsoil. There is a multitude of positive impacts of healthy, living topsoil beyond the fact that it naturally sinks carbon. It also recharges our aquifers, increases rainfall, increases food yield, protects biodiversity including the pollinator population, reduces catastrophic fires, increases nutritionally dense foods, and the list goes on....

What policies or proposals would you support to help those who have lost homes and jobs to wildfire?
Answer from Reinette Senum:

It’s time we rebuild California communities devastated by catastrophic fire by utilizing California’s Infrastructure Bank (IBank) as a driving economic force, and begin restoring fire-devastated areas, industries, farms, mom-and-pop businesses, manufacturing, and revitalizing local/regional economies without ever having to go to Big Banks to do this. Now more than ever we need California’s Infrastructure Bank to meet its fullest potential, jumpstart California’s economy, rebuild after a catastrophe, and provide much-needed jobs by doing so.

 

The IBank was created to finance public infrastructure and private development that promote job growth, contribute to a strong economy and improve the quality of life in California communities. But the bank has never been fully or properly funded. It is long past time to dramatically expand the IBank, increase per-project caps, and use our own in-state resources to invest in our future. Rather than spend billions of dollars in interest payments to borrow money from Wall Street.

 

Two major reforms are required. First, we have to broaden the charter of the IBank and remove the exceedingly low financing caps that prevent the IBank from supporting any projects of real significance, particularly in areas struck by catastrophic fire. Second, we also must remove the exceedingly low financing caps that prevent the Ibank from supporting any projects of real significance.

 

If we structure a new California Main Street microloan and grant program to target quick money to families and individuals with a dream and a need, we will spur a massive wave of recovery while headed on a path to resilient, local economic growth, for pennies on the dollar.

California has some of the richest people in the country and some of the poorest. What policies or programs do you support to help those in the lower income categories in California?
Answer from Reinette Senum:

 

This would require a multi-prong approach that focuses on healthy eating/living no matter one’s income, community building, and job training. 

 

As governor, I will instruct the Secretary of Education and Secretary of Natural Resources to establish a dual Secretary-level administered program to ensure that every neighborhood in the state has the resources and support for the people who live in that neighborhood to develop community gardens tied to a school or group of schools. This provides ample opportunities for children and families in their respective neighborhoods who wish to participate in growing and harvesting food and sharing in the bounty of the garden. This is a key program to enlist the participation and leadership of our veterans, service members, and their families. This is one of the best tools for struggling families; this provides healthy food, creates, community, and improves the overall well-beings of neighborhoods.

 

Community and family gardens are essential to healthy living. California is one of the most fertile and favorable growing regions in the world yet in many neighborhoods across this state, it has become almost impossible for most residents to participate in the process of growing at least some of their own food. This must change. It will be a foundational piece of a truly healthy California populace going forward.

 

We need to expand CalFresh, California’s implementation of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Many low-income families simply do not have easy access to fresh produce from local grocery stores or farmers markets. We need to ensure that the program supports the provision of stores and markets where participants can actually use the financial support to purchase healthy foods.

 

We also need to ensure that participants have opportunities to learn how to prepare healthy meals. Many of our people and communities have lost what used to be basic common knowledge about how to grow, prepare, preserve and store certain basic foods. Under my administration, we will expand CalFresh to support a rebirth of common-sense local food production and access.

 

When it comes to employment, it’s time to jumpstart trade schools. In addition, every person who turns 18 in California should have an opportunity to do one to two years of public service. CaliforniaVolunteers coordinates volunteer activities across the state but there is tremendous room for expansion and improvement of the program. The CCC is a beloved state agency that enrolls young men and women, ages 18 to 25, for a year of natural resource work and emergency response.

 

We will expand the work and funding for both CaliforniaVolunteers and the California Conservation Corps (CCC), providing improved pay and benefits as well as expanded opportunities to participants. The work of CaliforniaVolunteers and the CCC will include:

→ programs to support the growth of living soils on farmland and natural landscapes,

→ more robust forest restoration and fire suppression efforts,

→ development of pollinator migratory zones, and

→ neighborhood and school-based organic gardens, and composting sites.

 

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $169,208

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

1
Employees of Folio Properties, Inc.
$27,300
2
Employees of Global Water Farms
$22,510
3
Employees of Susan Nance Mariage and Family Therapist
$7,710
4
Employees of Diane Lewis, Wellness Ambassador
$5,000
4
Employees of Loren Merritt, Author and Life Coach
$5,000
4
Employees of Purestyle Living LLC
$5,000

More information about contributions

By State:

California 88.71%
Nevada 3.92%
New York 3.60%
Indiana 1.29%
Other 2.47%
88.71%

By Size:

Large contributions (91.87%)
Small contributions (8.13%)
91.87%8.13%

By Type:

From organizations (4.52%)
From individuals (95.48%)
95.48%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

The extreme polarization of our current politics has blinded many of us to our common challenges and to our common cause in forging durable solutions. Our current politics has also left numerous communities, relationships, and economies in tatters.  We must stop this madness.  In order to bridge the dangerous chasm of this politically manufactured divide and mend the deep wounds inflicted over the last two years, we must focus our sights, collectively, on a far-reaching common goal that lifts us from our present myopic disharmony.

 

What most Californians don’t realize is that 80% of people agree on 90% of the issues. Not only is this a rule of thumb, but I have personally experienced this over and over again on the campaign trail.

 

Californians want to be able to make ends meet, and know that their children have a solid education and opportunities in the future. Californians want clean water, soil, air, and healthy food. They also want transparency and accountability within their government. They also want to know that their hard-earned dollars, and retirement, aren’t going to be usurped by over-taxation and inflation. 

 

We have everything and everyone we need to fix all that is wrong with our state.  We must tend to all the resources we have more carefully, wisely, and efficiently — our young people, our elders, our lands and waters, our communities, our creativity, and our finances — protecting the most vulnerable while supporting everyone to thrive in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I commit to you, all the people of California, that this will be my charge every day: to empower each and every one of you to lead a free and fulfilling life. This is why I am running for Governor as a decline-to-state, common-sense candidate, focused on core values and ethics and on implementing pragmatic solutions.  

 

When I am governor, Californians will once again have the freedom to manage their own day-to-day lives and the lives of their families. I will ensure that the state always provides comprehensive, transparent information in a clear manner, allowing Californians and their communities the ability to make informed decisions.  

Now is the time to commit to a common-sense, purpose-driven, local control system of self-governance that is centered around the health and well-being of all children, their parents, and caregivers, and all of the business owners, farmers, teachers, and workers who make this state golden.

 

This is why I have focused on rebuilding California’s economy based upon healing and restoration: Rebuilding our topsoil and pollinator populations, expanding regenerative farming, ensuring the legacy of family farms and ranches, expanding Indigenous stewardship, ensuring equitable water allocation, expanding community gardens and intergenerational centers, and restoring our forests.

 

In addition, it's time we bring back common-sense education that includes teaching the trades, critical thinking, and ultimately making "better humans" by graduation day. 

 

Along with my candidacy, I offer the Contract with California to empower all of us to rebuild our lives and our state.  Under my Contract with California, a 30-page blueprint, I weave together many of the best ideas from across California and beyond, to focus on a new foundation of common purpose and ideals for the people of California.

 

In 1988, the US Congress and Senate finally recognized the fundamental role that the principles of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy — the Great Law of the Iroquois — played in the creation of the US Constitution.  My Contract with California has been crafted in the same spirit, but with the re-inclusion of two of the most critical principles from the Great Law of the Iroquois that were not included in the Constitution: the Seventh Generation Principle and the Wisdom of Grandmothers and Elders Principle. 

 

“Every decision we make today 

should serve seven generations from now.”

 

My Contract with California embodies and celebrates the inherent value of always making decisions with an eye to the next seven generations—with an ear to our elders and the last seven generations.  Focusing on what is best for our children and using the basic wisdom that we have acquired over generations provides us with the means to step out of our current destructive trajectory, set aside our differences, and realign our priorities.  

 

This campaign supersedes politics and election cycles. This is about creating a cultural shift within California itself. We are much more powerful than we realize. Our leaders have led us to believe that our destiny is forged by their policies and legislation. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

 

On average, a person has 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day, many of which are connected to actions. This is where we stand in our leadership; realizing these tiny, and what seems like insignificant decisions add up over time. The more we realize this, the more we can embrace our power, and be effective in creating the future we all desire for ourselves and our children’s children.

 

It's time we provide measurement and a guiding light for our leadership and the decisions we make as a society: The Seventh General principle. 

 

Join me, as we forge this path together.

 

Position Papers

A Contract With Californians

Summary

My Contract with Californians (CWC) is a living document that embodies and celebrates the inherent value of always making decisions with an eye on the next seven generations and with an ear to our elders and the last seven generations.

In 1988, the US Congress finally recognized the fundamental role that the principles of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy — the Great Law of the Iroquois — played in the creation of the US Constitution. The Contract with Californians has been crafted in the same spirit, but with the re-inclusion of two of the most critical principles from the Great Law of the Iroquois that were not included in the Constitution: the Seventh Generation Principle and the Wisdom of Grandmothers and Elders Principle. 

My Contract with Californians embodies and celebrates the inherent value of always making decisions with an eye to the next seven generations and with an ear to our elders and the last seven generations. Focusing on what is best for our children and using the basic wisdom that we have acquired over generations provides us with the means to step out of our current destructive trajectory, set aside our differences, and realign our priorities. 

Under my Contract with Californians, our children — the future of our state — are at the center of our wheel, but every spoke in the wheel counts. The Contract with Californians should inspire us to consider what is possible when we work together to rebound from the last two years so our children, and the children of our children, have a future to thrive in. The Contract has seven sections: 

1. Natural Resources Stewardship


2. Food and Farms


3. Common Sense Education


4. Real Public Health and Individual Wellbeing

5. Durable Economic Growth 

6. Vibrant Communities 

7. New Civic Engagement 

This is a living document, one that is intended to expand during this campaign, based upon citizen wisdom and stakeholder input throughout California. This collaborative process ensures we stay on task and target to meet our goal of rebuilding the California dream for all of us. 

 

For the complete 30-page Contract With Californians, go to: https://www.electreinette.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/RS-for-Gov-_-Contract-With-Californians.pdf

Videos (4)

Naomi Wolf Interviews Reinette Senum, Candidate for Governor of California — May 10, 2022 Reinette Senum for California Governor 2022

In this interview, with DailyClout's Naomi Wolf, Reinette Senum describes her background in community development, energy conservation, and creating practical solutions to empower the cultural shift in California. Her focus is on answers, not on political parties.

 

This is a purpose-driven campaign: It sidesteps division and creates solutions.

 

The vast majority of environmental problems we are facing in California can be dealt with by rebuilding our topsoil. This positively impacts our water, farms, fire reduction, pollinators, weather, food, and health challenges, to name a few....

 

Join English/Spanish Political Commentator, Anthony Cabassa, as he interviews CA Governor Candidate, Reinette Senum. She dives into her community experience, time on city council when Covid hit, and where she can take California.

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Reinette Senum is a fourth-generation Californian and two-time mayor and city council member of Nevada City, California, where she has been engaging in community building for nearly 20 years.

This year, she hopes to become California’s governor.

It was in 2017 that Reinette Senum testified before the CA Assembly Hearing opposing SB 649, a very controversial bill. The bill was attempting to supersede local authority, force cities to rent out any lamppost, telephone pole or right of way (or county building) to telecoms to place their cell towers as they saw fit. At that time, all cell antennas had been 4G (4th Generation). 

 

Ultimately, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the bill at the 11th hour. Today, the  5G radiowave-microwave radiation technology remains untested on humans under its currently ubiquitous use throughout California. 

 

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