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  • Caylen Hartwell

Reinette for Governor

Have you ever met someone who ignited all of your passions of how to make a better world? When I was in junior high I had a best friend who shared my excitement and we would stay up until three am discussing how to resolve the world’s problems. The focus was solutions - not boys. Those were the days. I never met anyone who shared the same vision - until now.

Well, I didn’t actually meet Reinette Senum in person, but I did participate in a couple of her town hall zoom calls. Those old feelings stirred. Could it be possible that someone like my best friend could be running for office of governor of California - my beloved state? Reinette talks with such poise, passion and integrity about real pragmatic solutions for EVERYTHING - not just one or two hot issues that voters might key into. I had to know more.

So I just finished reading her 23 page “Reinette Senum for Governor: Contract with Californians” ( and am awed at the scope and depth of issues she addresses. At the get-go she declares that she will follow the Seventh Generation Principle and the Wisdom of Grandmothers and Elders Principle. The Seventh Generation Principle makes it incumbent upon us to make decisions that take into account how they will affect seven generations in the future. So naturally this also means that we need to be good stewards of the land. Environmentalism is one of my passions as well as humanitarianism. Honoring all people and the land is so dear to me - and to Reinette.

Then she elaborates that “our children - the future of our state - are at the center of our wheel…” At reading these words, my heart burst open. As a mother, grandmother and teacher I have always felt that our children need our strong commitment to guide them and protect them while being attentive to honoring who they are and who they may become. Not only are children the future of human civilization, they are precious beings that remind us of where we came from and so awaken our gentler side. They need our fierce protection like the symbol of the bear on our state flag.

Reinette has a very clear vision of the way forward in natural resources stewardship, on food and farms, “common sense education”, “real” public health and individual wellbeing, durable economic growth, vibrant communities and what she calls “new civic engagement.” She declares that this contract is a living document - meaning that it can grow according to new input and collaboration. In her vision, everyone has a role to play. I also believe in teamwork - that it takes everyone’s involvement to really make things happen. Not only that, people feel a sense of purpose when they are engaged.

Ah such wonderful ideas, but how does she deal with adversity? She listens. She seeks to understand. She looks for common ground and is open to more information that can shed light on the issue. She pays attention to nuances that have been overlooked. This is so refreshing as it is more typical for a politician to be content with the polarization game and oversimplification of matters believing that the public cannot handle thinking more deeply.

In short, for me, Reinette is a dream come true for California. She is ready to serve. The question is - are we ready to rise up to the occasion?

For more on Reinette go to

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