Chris Howard, Supervisor
Del Norte County
January 18, 2021
What motivated you to enter public service?
My own children and the children in our community motivate me. Del Norte County has the same statistical poverty rates per capita as inner cities; and top five ranking in the state for child abuse and neglect, teen pregnancy rates and drug and alcohol abuse. This gives me an overwhelming call to action. This is not the rural California I choose for my children or their classmates. No child should grow up believing this was an unavoidable fate. We can and must do better for the next generation.
What’s the most interesting or fulfilling part of your job?
Working with my constituents and helping to find solutions to our local, state and national issues which impact my rural community. A handshake, thank you and a smile are often the most satisfying part of my position.
What’s your proudest professional or personal accomplishment?
Born from tragedy and hope, I helped develop a Sister City relationship with Rikuzentakata, Japan after a small boat named the “Kamome” washed ashore in Del Norte County two years after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. In an act of kindness and love, local Del Norte youth returned the boat to the Takate High School in Japan, forever linking our communities and children. The formal relationship was solidified in 2018 and is memorialized in a feature documentary for the 2021 Olympic Games viewable on NBC Peacock under “Kamome.”
What makes your county special?
Del Norte is where the Redwoods meet the sea, and one of the State’s most beautiful Counties. You can get lost in just a short 10 minute drive from anywhere in Del Norte and still find elk and bear being the only traffic impediments on your morning drive to the office.
Do you have any words of advice for someone interested in becoming a Supervisor?
You will never be able to make everyone happy, nor should you try. Stick to the ethics, principles and values which made you who you are and don’t be afraid to be transparent with your views. Surprisingly many may share them.