While state redistricting created headaches for many incumbents, Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, merely shifted her focus west.
The biggest change, Wolk said, is losing the Stockton area while gaining Napa and surrounding areas. Other changes include losing West Sacramento and now representing all of Solano County. Wolk said she has good relationships in her new areas and will continue to do similar work if re-elected.
Wolk faces Republican Frank Miranda for the 3rd Senate District seat on Nov. 6. The new district includes all of Solano County, most of Yolo County, parts of Napa and Sonoma counties as well as a small piece of Contra Costa County.
“At first blush, it doesn’t look like they have much in common. But there’s an incredible connection between the cities,” Wolk said. “You can talk about the importance of water, agriculture, community colleges and strong chambers of commerce.”
Another connection Wolk sees is the other side of Highway 12, where work for safety and to ease commuter woes has been taking place. It was Wolk, while still a member of the state Assembly, who led efforts to change speed limits and increase fines on Highway 12, which was nicknamed “blood alley” after regular deadly accidents.
Usually widely popular among local officials, Wolk took some heat in the last couple of years as she advocated for the removal of redevelopment funding. She said the drain on schools and the state were too much and a new mechanism needed to be in place. She said she hoped for an amended system, not total elimination.
“That was a hard vote for me,” she said. “One of the hardest I’ve ever made.”
Wolk said partisan games still take place in Sacramento, but she said some of the newer representatives are less bound by what their party’s stance is. She said the influx of new Senate and Assembly members has created more instances where someone suggests an idea that has been tried before.