CHICO – District 2 Supervisor Debra Lucero is ready to move on.
With major health incidents and disasters in Butte County looming, and the local government’s subsequent response, Lucero said he is ready to move toward a return to ruling outside response efforts.
“In the first term, the first year, you’re just getting your feet down,” Lucero said. “Two months before I came to my office, there was a Camp Fire and then there was a fire in the North Complex, pandemic, labor shortage, supply chain issues, you name it. So it’s been a tough road. I think I literally got enrolled by fire, and we just had to do a whole chapter on emergency ordinances. ,
Lucero said that while these events certainly created a difficult task for him in his first term, it also came with experience. During his first term, Lucero was appointed as the chairman of the Resilient Counties Advisory Board of the National Association of Counties.
In this position, Lucero expanded his knowledge on the effects of climate change, such as conditions affecting counties across the United States. Lucero said this additional knowledge has helped him in his role as supervisor.
“I’m ready,” said Lucero.
Joining the board didn’t come without some surprising challenges. Lucero said that one of the most unexpected difficulties was how often male-oriented government could be.
“We need more women in government,” Lucero said. “I think we make good decisions and I think it’s taken us a long time to get to where we are. Still only 25 percent of all state offices are filled with women and we still make up 50 percent of the population.” So until we reach that 50 percent mark, it’s not enough.”
In his first term, Lucero has pushed for greater collaboration, whether between municipalities or with community organizations.
Lucero said part of his work includes quarterly meetings between Butte County officials and the people of the city of Chico.
In addition to creating more collaborations, Lucero said there’s a big focus on housing.
“We’ve all lost 17,500 homes in the fires,” Lucero said, adding that very few affordable housing has been developed in the past 8 years. “So we have an 8-year period where we haven’t developed any affordable housing.”
Tying housing for mental health issues, Lucero said he has spent a lot of time working with teams to help people in need of treatment or other aspects.
“I believe in a Housing First model,” Lucero said, “because I’ve been out with crisis teams, spending hours trying to get one person to give them their meds or give them their checks. I consider it a sustainable system.” We need people where we can find them.”
In terms of political division, Lucero said the issue is vast and complex, although in general, the board has voted together. An example given by Lucero where she may differ is the controversial Tuscan Water District.
“It’s a national issue,” Lucero said. “I think people differ a lot from their beliefs. It’s either one way or the other. I think if you look at our board, most of the time we vote together. The things we separate , they are usually things like water. I was not in favor of the Tuscan Water District because I believe that the one-acre-one vote was not a democratic system. And in this day and age, to create a water district where An owner of 11,000 acres may have 11,000 votes and an acre on a domestic well may have one vote, which does not seem like a democratic, constitutionally sound decision.
Lucero is running to retain her position as District 2 supervisor against Peter Durphy and Carl Jeffries and will vote on June 7.