Hometown California tells the Rural California story through the eyes of those who live, work, and play in the rural communities of the Golden State. Hometown California is a production of the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), a thirty-seven member county strong organization, advocating on behalf of California’s rural counties for nearly fifty years.
Episode 31 - The Western Governors Association and the Intersection with Rural California
On this episode of Hometown California our host, Paul A. Smith, sits down for a conversation with Jim Ogsbury, Executive Director of the Western Governors Association (WGA). Together, Paul and Jim discuss the work of the WGA, who they are, and the intersection with rural California and the Rural County Representatives of California.
With membership that includes the Governors of the 22 western-most states and territories of the United States, including California Governor Gavin Newsom, WGA is largely an instrument of bi-partisan policy development, information exchange, and collective action on mutual interests.
Listen in to hear about how Executive Director Jim Ogsbury came to lead an organization of twenty-two elected Governors, how the organization operates, and how such an ideologically diverse group of members come together to develop policies that drive the organization forward, Find out about some of WGA's successes influencing federal policymaking in the areas of forest and federal lands management, endangered species, and more. And learn what is on the horizon as WGA continues to collaborate on issues impacting the western United States,
Find out more about WGA:
On the website
Follow on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn
Episode 30 - From Rural California to the State Assembly, A Conversation with Assembly Member Jim Wood
In the latest episode of Hometown California, our host, Paul A. Smith, sits down for a conversation with California State Assembly Member, Jim Wood. Learn about his path to politics-- from dentistry to the State Assembly— and how his experiences in rural California have influenced his priorities in the Legislature. Listen as Assembly Member Wood discusses healthcare, cannabis, vegetation management, wildfire, and so much more.
Episode 29- Up Close with Rich Gordon, President and CEO of the California Forestry Association
In this episode of Hometown California, our host, Paul A. Smith, speaks with Rich Gordon, President and CEO of the California Forestry Association (soon-to-be retired). Aside from being at the CA Forestry Association, Mr. Gordon has a long history service in California.
Back to the early days of his political career when he was elected to the San Mateo County Board of Education, what sparked his interest in getting involved with public education and public policy making?
After 13 years on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, find out why Rich still describes it as "the best electoral job in California." And, find out what motivated him to become President of the statewide association, a sister organization of RCRC, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), and hear about highlights of his leadership years.
Listen to learn how Rich fell in love with rural California, went on to serve in the California State Assembly, and so much more. His fascinating journey, from his first elected position nearly 20 years ago to his current role, will give you a glimpse of how his experiences have impacted Rich Gordon's understanding of California’s rural counties.
Find out more about the California Forestry Association
On the Web: calforests.org
Follow on Twitter: @CalForests
Find on Facebook: @CalForestsCFA
Episode 28- Meet Patrick Blacklock, RCRC President and CEO
In this episode, our host, Paul A. Smith, sits down for a conversation with Patrick "Pat" Blacklock, the new President and CEO of RCRC. Learn how Pat's journey in the county family began, what led him to RCRC, and his vision for RCRC's advocacy and support of rural counties. At what Californians hope may be the tail end of pandemic shutdowns, in a redistricting year with new challenges brought about by the pandemic, and with a gubernatorial recall election on the horizon, hear how Pat is looking toward the future as he begins to lead RCRC in these unique times.
Having worked as CAO of both Amador and Yolo counties, Pat shares his perspective on the similarities and differences of rural California counties. Listen in to hear what Pat sees as priorities for RCRC, his plans for setting the organization’s path for the future, and his secret to maintaining work/life balance when counties run 24/7.
on the Web: rcrcnet.org
on Twitter: @ruralcounties
on Facebook: @ruralcounties
on Instagram: @ca_ruralcounties
Redistricting webinar recordings and other resources
Episode 27 - Meeting the Challenge of California’s Perennial Wildfires
On this episode of Hometown California, our host, Paul A. Smith, speaks with Staci Heaton, the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) Acting Vice President of Governmental Affairs, about California’s perennial wildfires.
As an RCRC advocate for more than 15 years, Staci’s focus has primarily been fire and forestry issues, things involving climate change, and managing the wildfire issues of California. Together, Paul and Staci discuss factors contributing to the ferocity of the fires, and potential solutions to address this growing problem.
RCRC has worked tirelessly on the issue of forest management and wildfire prevention for decades. This year, RCRC’s Board of Directors adopted a Wildfire Package, a multipronged collection of legislative proposals, to address the systemic needs forest management and wildfire prevention in the State.
Listen in to hear why more state leaders seem to be taking notice, how short-term needs are being addressed, and what more remains to be done.
Find Rural County Representatives of California
On the web: rcrcnet.org
Episode 26- The Early Days of the 117th Congress
In this episode of Hometown California, recorded in Washington D.C., our host, Paul A. Smith, sits down with Sheryl Cohen and Chris Israel of American Continental Group (ACG), to give listeners a deeper look at the early days of the 117th Congress. Together they discuss a myriad of issues, including
the politics of the recovery package;the twin priorities of infrastructure and climate;politics under the dome: leadership, bipartisanship, and looking ahead to 2022; andthe differences and similarities in the White House under the Biden Administration.
Find ACG Advocacy online.
Smart and insightful rural perspective
This show feels like a good conversation with friends over coffee. It’s easy to get caught up in everyday life and take things for granted living in a bigger city. I love hearing the rural story. It broadens my understanding of California’s beauty and uniqueness.