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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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Napa CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 1

Photo of Joelle Gallagher

Joelle Gallagher

Napa County Planning Commissioner
2,602 votes (42.7%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Declare a Climate Emergency and complete and implement a robust Climate Action Plan
  • Begin work on the new General Plan EIR using a "health in all policies" framework; use current science to drive policy making; add an Environmental Justice Element;
  • Assure a transparent, communicative, responsive County government. Make public meetings accessible and language friendly. Meaningfully engage our community by creating and implementing an Immigrant Engagment and Language Access Plan



Joelle Gallagher is a seasoned leader with a 30-year career dedicated to working on the most pressing issues facing Napa County residents. Her experience reflects the diversity of our community and its needs.  She has worked on behalf of children and families as the Executive Director of First 5 Napa County since 2017, an organization dedicated to the unique issues facing young families with children ages 0-5. She served as the Executive Director of Cope Family Center in Napa, for 16 years prior to that.  Cope provides essential support to families with a focus on preventing child abuse and neglect. Prior to her work on behalf of families and children, Joelle was the Executive Director of the Napa County Farm Bureau and the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, where she collaborated with industry and government to protect and promote agricultural resources.    

In addition to her professional roles leading key organizations across Napa County, Joelle has gained a deep understanding of the unique land use issues in Napa County as a County Planning Commissioner since 2017.   

Joelle’s volunteer Board Member and Board Chair roles further reflect the wide range of issues she has committed to: 


Joelle grew up in Sonoma and attended Justin-Siena High School in Napa and holds a degree in psychology from the University of Santa Clara. She lives in Napa with her husband, Bill Chadwick, and has two grown children, Katie and Will. She is running for Napa County Supervisor in District 1.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • see website: Gallagher4Supervisor

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

My political "philosophy" is values-based. People and planet must come first, for our economy to truly thrive and work for everyone.


There is a statement in the current County General Plan that says, quote, “Napa will continue to be a place with abundant natural resources, a vibrant agriculture-centric economy, an enviable quality of life, and a responsible and inclusive government.” One of my primary goals in running for County Supervisor, is to pursue these aspirations for all of Napa County’s residents. “Abundant natural resources” rely on policies and people who are willing to protect them. “A vibrant agriculture-centric economy” has at its foundation the protection of resources: land, water, and workers. An “enviable quality of life,” means that every resident of napa county should have a safe and stable home, enough healthy food to feed their family, opportunities for education, a job that pays a living wage, access to healthcare and freedom from discrimination. A “responsible and inclusive government” should provide many opportunities for civic engagement, including accessible and welcoming public meetings that occur outside of the typical workday, and the ability for all residents to comfortably express themselves in their own language!


For 30 years I have been serving the community in a variety of leadership roles. I have the skills and experience in the two main focus areas of the Board of Supervisors, land use and health and human services. I’ve led organizations and served on many boards, so I understand the role of the board is to be aspirational, and make policies that reflect the values of the community. The staff has the expertise to implement those policies, and should be well-supported by the board. I’ve also collaborated across sectors (business, government, and community-based organizations), and know that trusting relationships are critical to doing work that requires brave decision-making.


On the Planning Commission, our commissioners have worked together with a true sense of comradery, even when we disagree. I’ve proven that I can make the tough and sometimes unpopular choices, in order to protect the long-term health of our ag preserve and our natural environment.


With over 40% of our residents carrying a housing burden, 1 out of 3 households not earning enough income to make ends meet, and 80% of our workforce commuting from outside of Napa county, we must work across our county to build more housing that is affordable and assure people earn a living wage and adequate benefits. Our ecosystem is fragile and the quality and quantity of water available in California is one of the most difficult issues we face. In Napa County we need to better understand water availability, because we cannot manage what we do not measure. We need to fund our wildfire protection plan, because we cannot continue to endure catastrophic wildfires, which traumatize our communities, burden our economy and endanger public health.


With our next General Plan on the horizon, we have an opportunity to build it on the foundation of current science, include an environmental justice element and shape the entire plan using a health in all policies framework. This will ensure that every policy is shaped with an eye to equity and every policy will have at its core the protection of the health and wellbeing of ALL residents.


As the daughter of a school teacher and a police officer, I have lived democratic values since day one. My vision is to live those values every day as a County supervisor, by listening to all perspectives and co-creating solutions that work for all community members. 

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