With over 35 years of state and local government experience and a long career in public interest law, Jim Provenza is now completing his second four year term on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. He currently serves as chair of the board. For the past 23 years, he has also worked as a Special Assistant District Attorney.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Jim’s family moved to San Diego, California, where he spent his childhood. As a teenager and young adult, he lived in Camarillo, CA in Ventura County. For several years, he worked as an advocate for the rights of mental patients at the Camarillo State Hospital. Jim received a B.A. in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara and earned his law degree from UC Davis. Since then, he has been a member of the California State Bar Association.
After law school, Jim married his wife, Donna, and the couple returned to Santa Barbara, where they welcomed their first child, Jennifer. During this time, Jim worked as the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County, managing countywide programs and providing legal representation to victims of domestic violence, consumer fraud, and civil rights violations. His office also assisted elderly clients with many legal issues. Jim and his wife soon had a second child, James, and the family moved to Sacramento, where Jim began working as the managing attorney for Legal Services of Northern California, representing victims of housing discrimination in federal civil rights actions.
Following that, Jim served as counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Bill Lockyer. In that position, Jim wrote California’s hate crime law and legislation related to the reform of the criminal justice system. He later served as chief counsel to the Assembly Public Safety Committee, where he conducted an investigation of medical conditions for AIDS patients at Vacaville Prison. Soon after, he was hired to represent district attorneys at the California State Capitol.
Jim then returned to Davis with his wife and family. They purchased a home in the Mace Ranch development, where they have lived for 22 years.
Jim first entered public office in 2003 as a Member of the Davis Joint Unified School District. He served as President of the Board of Education from 2006-2007. During his time on the Board, he supported excellence in education for all Davis students, advocated for special needs and at-risk children, and helped the Davis School District revamp budgeting systems to assure continued quality education.
As a county supervisor, Jim has worked hard to maintain a strong county budget with substantial reserves, while ensuring both public safety and vital services for children, seniors and others who need help. He was instrumental in the enactment of Yolo County’s model farmland protection ordinance and he has promoted local job growth and economic development.
As chair of the Yolo Habitat Conservancy and the Delta Conservancy, he has developed policies to protect open space and habitat that complement the agricultural economy.
Jim also serves children as chair of Yolo First 5 and the Yolo County Children’s Alliance and has developed programs to benefit the elderly as chair of the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance. In addition, he is a liaison to the Yolo Crisis Nursery and is working to establish a family justice center to assist victims of domestic violence and child abuse.
On June 7, 2016, Jim was elected for a third term on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.