Issues and News

Wildfire in California and Economic Development

With a blanket of smoke in the air from multiple fires raging across California, policy-makers, investors and the business community gathered together to have a conversation. I was in Santa Rosa last week attending the California Economic Summit. I was inspired by the message of inclusivity and resiliency.

The location of the Summit this year was not an accident.  After devastating fires in the Sonoma region last year, Sonoma County wanted to highlight the region’s destruction and their subsequent fortitude.

As a rural Californian and as a progressive, I have high expectations for my peers. I attend these conferences in order to serve as a voice that demands inclusivity for under-served communities. Our issues need to be a distinct part of the conversation.

I came home inspired.

In spite of the rhetoric coming out of the national conversation, this year’s summit unabashedly focused on some of the most pressing issues facing California today: climate change, income inequality, workforce development, watershed restoration, affordable housing, and elevating rural California—including wildfire prevention, forest management, and rural broadband.

After attending the conference, I know that one thing is clear: key players understand that economic development in our Golden State will continue to rely on whole-systems thinking that must address all aspects of our economy. Where there were gaps, I raised my hand and stood as a voice for rural California.

Policy makers, investors, and businesses are weighing in on how to move forward with our advantages, while mitigating our risks in order to make our communities sustainable for everyone. This was an underlying current throughout the entire conference.

Given the recent events in our own community of the Sierra Foothills, I have found hope in the spirit of the people of Santa Rosa, who suffered last year from the Tubbs fire which burned more than 36,000 acres and destroyed over 3,600 structures, changing the landscape within the city limits of Santa Rosa and destroying landscapes inside Sonoma, Napa and Lake Counties.

Seeing the devastation of the Camp Fire has been terrifying and overwhelming.  This cannot be understated. Our friends in Butte County are on all of our minds. The relief effort is proof of that.

The heart-felt relief effort has been nothing short of an out-pouring. Our neighbors and all surrounding community members stand with Butte County in their time of need.

The people of Grass Valley and Nevada County know that what our communities to the North are facing today, is the terrifying possibility that we might face tomorrow.

What I didn’t realize until last week is that fire danger is on the forefront of the minds of everyone up and down California. We are not alone.

As wildfire is becoming more and more common, and as more communities are effected by crumbling infrastructure and increasing risk, the conversations about prevention and resiliency have shifted. This is no longer a rural conversation.  This is a California conversation.

In Santa Rosa, just a year later, neighborhoods are being put back together, houses are being rebuilt, burnt hillsides are cleared of dead trees and brush. The grass has come back green.

The natural world is resilient and so are the people who inhabit it.

The folks in Sonoma County have a saying: “The love in the air is thicker than the smoke.”

As our neighbors continue to rebuild, and as we continue to help, let us hold that saying in our hearts. Let us bring that sentiment to community gatherings. Let us show up with our best selves.

To donate to the relief effort in Northern California click here.

Hilary Hodge: Grass Valley City Council Member – elect

We set out on this journey more than year ago with an entirely different race.  People told me over and over that I was “too young,” that I needed “more experience,” that I should wait my turn.

I knew that I was qualified. I knew that I was the right voice at the right time. I knew that I would work for my community.

After our race for Nevada County Supervisor and our narrow defeat, I decided to persist. With encouragement from my friends and family and from you, I threw my hat in the race for Grass Valley City Council.

As of last night, we were leading with the most votes.  This afternoon, my friend Bob Branstrom called to concede, guaranteeing my spot on Grass Valley’s City Council.

I cannot thank this community enough for your commitment to our message and for your continued support.  I would like to invite all of you to my swearing-in on Tuesday, December 11th at 7pm at Grass Valley City Hall on E. Main Street in Grass Valley, CA.

Please stay tuned for information about an appreciation party! It’s in the works!

Again, thank you.

With deepest gratitude,
Hilary Hodge Grass Valley City Councilwoman-elect

Volunteer Opportunities


Are you interested in volunteering? Please pick something that is comfortable for you. There are a variety of opportunities and any way that you can help is meaningful. Click on an opportunity below:


Display a Lawn Sign
I live in Grass Valley and I will display a lawn sign,
  Or pick a lawn sign up at 138 E Main Street in Grass Valley

Sign up to table, all tablers will go in groups of two or three. Supplies will be provided. (Click on date and time to confirm)
Thursday October 18th 2-4 at the Grocery Outlet on Sutton Way
Thursday October 18th 2-4 at Safeway on Neal Street
Friday October 19th 11-1 at the Grocery Outlet on Sutton Way
Friday October 19th 11-1 at Safeway on Neal Street
Tuesday, October 23rd 11am-1pm at Briar Patch
Tuesday, October 23rd1pm-3pm at Briar Patch

Phone Bank – from the privacy of your own home and at your own pace.
Click to register and get started.

Knock Doors (Click on date and time to confirm)
Saturday October 27th 10am-12pm
Saturday October 27th 1pm-3pm
Sunday November 4th 10am-12pm
Sunday November 4th 1pm-3pm

Wave Signs (Click on date and time to confirm)
Sunday October 21st 2pm-4pm
Friday October 26th 4:30pm-6pm
Monday, November 5th 2pm-4pm

Meal Train – cook something for Hilary or drop off a casserole. (From Hilary: “I’m the cook in my family and I’m going to need help.”)
Click here to pick to a day to deliver food.

Give money

Endorse Hilary Hodge
  I endorse Hilary Hodge

Hilary Hodge To Run For Grass Valley City Council

Grass Valley resident Hilary Hodge, who just completed a race for Nevada County Supervisor and missed her election bid by less than 1 point, has announced her intention to run for Grass Valley City Council. Hodge has completed and submitted the appropriate paperwork to form a campaign committee and enter the race.

“My resolve to serve and to work for the people of Grass Valley has never been stronger,” says Hilary Hodge. “My bid for Nevada County District 3 Supervisor gave me the opportunity to talk with our community in a deep and meaningful way. The people of Grass Valley are ready for innovative ideas and new opportunities and I am ready to lead for the people of Grass Valley.”

Hodge, a first-time candidate in the Supervisor’s race narrowly missed beating long-time incumbent Dan Miller.  “It’s clear to me that there is momentum for new leadership at all levels of government,” notes Hodge. “I’m ready to take what I learned on the campaign trail for Supervisor and move forward for my city.”  The City of Grass Valley lies entirely within the boundary of Supervisory District 3.

Hodge will still need to pull the appropriate paperwork from the City of Grass Valley and submit valid signatures by the filing date.

Where Does Our Funding Come From?

We are happy to announce that we are supported by individuals and organizations from our Nevada County community. We are running a community-based campaign.

Our campaign is corporate-free. We have pledged not to take any money from corporate interests. Unlike our opponent, we haven’t taken any Corporate PAC money.

Our expenses:

Throughout our campaign we have supported small, local businesses, union-labor, and local people.

We have worked to raise money so that the people who are working on our campaign are paid for their time and talent because working people deserve to be paid for their contribution.

Our donors:

As of the last reporting period, we have once again out-fundraised our opponent and we have done so with small donations, recurring donations, and donations from dedicated local people and local or regional organizations who represent Nevada County’s families and interests.  

Our fundraising report is almost twice as long as our opponent’s report because we received nearly twice the amount of small, grassroots donations.  

To date, we have nearly three-times the local donors than our opponent, with the average contribution being between $50 and $150.

We welcome participation at all levels and our grassroots supporters have donated in amounts starting at $1.60. We appreciate any amount our supporters have to give including time, heart, kindness, and money.

In summary:

Our campaign is supported by local and regional organizations who support Nevada County’s working families and local interests. Laborers Local 185 chose to endorse Hilary Hodge for Supervisor because “”Hilary Hodge is a leader who understands the issues facing working families and who is willing to make housing and job creation a top priority.”  Laborers Local 185 represents over 5,000 members throughout its 20-county area and many working families in Nevada County.

We have been honored to receive endorsements and support from organizations like Generation Change, a statewide organization that supports millennial candidates and Sacramento Stonewall, a regional organization that supports LGBTQ candidates.

We’ve been fortunate that some of Hilary’s fellow UC Davis Aggies have given a little money. We have also received donations from some of Hilary’s friends and family members who live in other locales. Of the few Bay Area residents who have given to Hilary’s campaign, many of them are Nevada Union grads who have moved out of the county and who are looking for an opportunity to move home and raise their families in Nevada County. They support Hilary Hodge because she supports economic development, affordable housing, and high-speed internet for our entire community.

In conclusion:

All of the contributions to Hilary Hodge’s campaign have come from Nevada County, from organizations with ties to Nevada County, from people with ties to Nevada County, or from people who know Hilary Hodge personally and support her vision and dedication to our community.

Hilary Hodge has reached across the aisle in order to foster interest in the health of Nevada County. Hilary Hodge will continue to leverage her experience and relationships in order ensure Nevada County’s future.

As Supervisor, Hilary Hodge will continue to support working families in our community.  She will continue to foster relationships that will bring opportunities for success for all the people in Nevada County.