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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election

Napa CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 4

Photo of Diane Shepp

Diane Shepp

Nonprofit Consultant/Educator
1,108 votes (30.72%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Advocate for responsible planning to ensure the sustainability of the finite resources of Napa County and protect our agricultural-based economy, our watersheds, open space and sustainable resources
  • Promote a living wage, expanding affordable housing and affordable-proximity housing for local workers (teachers, hospitality and wine industry employees among others) so they may call Napa their home too
  • Promote needed investment in infrastructure, road repair, waste water systems, and public transportation



Profession:Nonprofit Consultant/Educator
President and Chief Financial Officer, SIEPPE, INC (1988–2015)
Development Director, Ag 4 Youth ~ Upvalley Ranchers, Inc. (2006–2013)
Art Commissioner, Vice Chair (2007-2010) and Chair (2010-2012), Napa County Art & Culture Commission — Appointed position (2007–2012)
Grand Juror Including 1 Year as Pro Tempore, Napa County Superior Court — Appointed position (2007–2009)
Development Director, Napa Emergency Women’s Services (2004–2005)
Executive Director, John Muir Festival Center, Martinez (2003–2004)
Executive Director, Solano County Arts Alliance-Solano Arts (1993–1995)


Chapman University Certificate, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Crosscultural Language & Academic Development Emphasis, Authorization - Art (2001)
University of San Diego MCLAD (1999)
Getty Leadership Institute, University of California, Berkeley Certificate (1982)
University of California, Berkeley Certificate, Supervisory Training (1978)
University of California, Berkeley Bachelor of Arts, Art (1977)

Community Activities

Founding Board Member, Napa Vision 2050 and Protect Rural Napa (affiliate of Napa Vision 2050) (2015–current)
Board of Directors, Vice President and Vice Chair of Napa Chapter, California Grand Jurors’ Association (2009–current)
General Member, Capital Access Group – a Premier SBA Lender (2007–2011)
Founding Board Member, Vice President, Napa Valley Opera House, Inc. (1985–1997)
Founding Board Member; Past President, California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies and National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies (affiliate) (1986–1992)


Community development and education are the primary focus of Diane's professional career as a teacher (Vichy Elementary), nonprofit administrator, fund developer and artist. Shepp, a third generation Californian, is the first and only member of her immediate family to graduate from college. She and her husband have raised two daughters since moving to the Napa Valley in 1984.

Diane served on the Napa County Grand Jury 2007-2008 and as Pro-Tempore of the 2008-2009 Grand Jury; President of the Napa County Chapter of the California Grand Jurors Association (CGJA) 2010-2011 and 2012-15; and the Vice President of the statewide California Grand Jurors’ Association 2014-15. 

A highlight of her CGJA tenure was in 2013. She was honored as the Angelo Rolando Memorial Award recipient, one of CGJA’s most prestigious awards. The award is presented each year to the person who has demonstrated outstanding participation at both the state and county level in support of CGJA’s goals and objectives, applied excellent leadership skills and effectively accomplished goals and projects.

Appointed by the Napa County Board of Supervisors in 2007 to the Napa County Commission for Arts and Culture, Shepp sat as Chair of the Commission 2009-2012. She has held executive positions with the John Muir Festival Center, the Napa County Arts Council, the Solano County Arts Alliance, the University Art Museum Council-University of California, Berkeley, Napa Emergency Women’s Services and the Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County.

Active at the local, state and national levels, Shepp is a founding board member of the Napa Valley Opera House Inc., Ag 4 Youth- Upvalley Ranchers, Napa Vision 2050, Protect Rural Napa and the Soda Canyon/Loma Vista Land Stewards. Shepp also served as a founding board member and Past President of the California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies; Past President of the Volunteer Council of the di Rosa Preserve: Art & Nature; Past President of Vichy Elementary Alternative PTA; served on the original faculty of Leadership Napa; and a former member of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies Leadership Committee. 

Shepp is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Getty Leadership Institute. A charter member of the Golden West Women Flyfishers, Shepp enjoys fly-fishing, and travel when not in her art studio.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Sierra Club
  • Lake Berryessa News
  • Napa Vision 2050

Organizations (5)

  • Protect Rural Napa
  • Get a Grip on Growth
  • Evolve, a Community Organization
  • Grupp Family Vineyards, LLC
  • Pintail Roofing

Elected Officials (3)

  • Virginia H. Simms, former Napa County Supervisor
  • Kathryn J. Winter, former Napa County Supervisor
  • Harold R. Kelly, former Napa City Councilmember

Individuals (3)

  • James H. Hickey, former Director Napa County Planning Department
  • Daniel McFadden, Nobel Laureate-Economics
  • Ron Rhyno, MS, MA, Past President Mexican American Political Association

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I moved to Napa over 30 years ago for the quality of life of a rural community…a good place to raise a family. It was a place of natural beauty, spectacular dark night skies, uncluttered agriculture and forested hillsides.

In the past decade we have witnessed a dramatic change in the Napa Valley. We have witnessed tremendous growth, however at what cost? I have been listening to what neighborhood groups and local citizens are saying: 

• The trucking of Napa City water to support hillside vineyard development while city residents are asked to let their lawns go brown is not an equitable solution.

• Napa County is #1 in California in childhood cancers, why? 

• Near gridlock traffic worsens everyday (not good for residents, local businesses, the wine industry or visitors). 

• Locals cannot easily drive to and from their jobs, to the grocery store or to their doctor’s appointment.

• The working middle class, the backbone of our county cannot afford to live here, nor can our hospitality, minimum-wage earners. The Napa real estate market is one of the highest in the State and rents average $2500+ per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

• Our children cannot afford to move back to Napa after college, nor are there jobs for them.

• They feel Napa isn’t for the locals anymore. To quote one youth, “It’s become an adult Disneyland.”

I believe it is the job of government to protect the health, welfare and safety of its citizens. We need to be represented by someone who isn’t afraid to take on the special interests to put Napa families and local businesses first. That’s why I’m running for the Napa County Board of Supervisors. We need a supervisor who will be for the people of the District. We need a leader who has not taken donations from special interests. As your County Supervisor, I will give you a voice for your concerns. 

• I will always put the needs of residents, families and children FIRST in all decision making.

• I will pursue the issue of cancer rates in Napa County and find reasons and remedies.

• I believe in keeping it local...keeping jobs in Napa. I will promote a living wage NOW, affordable-proximity housing for local workers (teachers, police, fire fighters, hospitality and wine industry employees among others), so they may call Napa their home too. 

• I will work to protect our agricultural-based economy, our watersheds, open space and sustainable resources. 

• I will promote needed investment in infrastructure, road repair, waste water systems, ground water management, and water quality. For too long ‘deferred maintenance’ has been put off. We must address these issues now and not pass them onto the next generation.

• Together we will preserve a more vibrant, economically sustainable community and quality of life in Napa County for current residents and future generations alike.

My campaign is a grassroots campaign. We will succeed with your participation and input. I have a long, successful civic service history as a coalition and consensus builder. Politics shouldn’t be a career. It should be about sharing your passion and experience to get things done for the community. I look forward to hearing your concerns.

Position Papers

Diversification of Our Economy – Revitalize Lake Berryessa


Napa County’s economy is based on agriculture and primarily the cultivation of one crop – grapes. A diversified funding base is a primary tenant of sustainable business operations. To rely on a monoculture economy, however world famous, does not make good business sense particularly when that source is reliant on Mother Nature. Climate change and the predictions that the Napa Valley will become more arid, with more and frequent violent weather in the near future must be considered.

Napa County’s economy is based on agriculture and primarily the cultivation of one crop – grapes. A diversified funding base is a primary tenant of sustainable business operations. To rely on a monoculture economy, however world famous, does not make good business sense particularly when that source is reliant on Mother Nature. Climate change and the predictions that the Napa Valley will become more arid, with more and frequent violent weather in the near future must be considered.  

In an April 19, 2016, Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, "A New Dark Age Looms", Denver meteorologist William B. Gail states we are heading into a time in which our accumulated knowledge about Earth's cycles is becoming obsolete. "Nature's longstanding, repeatable patterns-- relied on for millenniums by humanity to plan everything from infrastructure to agriculture -- are no longer so reliable. Cycles that have been largely unwavering during modern human history are disrupted by substantial changes in temperature and precipitation." 

As we contemplate the push by corporations and wealthy investors to develop our hillsides, forests, and watersheds of Napa County, we need to heed the warning of this prediction. Already significant global warming has occurred. This same Op-Ed piece cites a recent report of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, documenting the changes that we already see in extreme weather events. Our California drought is a result of warming global temperatures. According to the California National Resources Department, in just 30 years our climate will be 2-4˚F warmer. As many as 60% of our vines now planted will not be viable.                                  Patricia Damery, Editor, Eyes on Napa


Lake Berryessa, Napa County, is a forgotten jewel, Napa’s best kept secret and has the potential to be THE premiere outdoor recreation area in the Bay Area. As the third largest lake in California, Lake Berryessa has tremendous potential as a nature-based, family friendly, tourist destination. Eco-tourism and family outdoor recreation are lucrative and popular businesses that could thrive in eastern Napa County, and particularly when linked to the 3.3 million tourists currently visiting the Napa Valley each year. Visitors to the Napa Valley resorts/hotels could be shuttled to Lake Berryessa for special day or overnight tours of the Lake on a house-boat coupled with local wine tastings and food pairings. Other possible visitor activities are numerous and could include: hiking, biking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, and numerous water sports.  

Napa County needs to take back management of the Lake and develop smart contracts with qualified recreation companies to operate resorts for the good of the public and the good of Napa County. A little history:  

Napa County managed the Lake Berryessa resorts from 1958 to 1975 through a Lake Berryessa Parks Commission. The County developed the basically successful system of seven resorts operated by concessionaires, using revenue from leased mobile homes, to pay for the day uses services provided to the general recreating public. In 1975 to the Federal Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) took over management of the area. However since 1999, when the concessionaires’ contracts were set to expire, the BOR began a planning process to determine the future of the Lake’s recreation areas.  This process, expected to take two or three years, instead took six. With the failure, over 16 years to close a deal for reopening the resorts, the BOR has shown that, whatever its expertise in management of water resources, it lacks the capacity to manage Lake Berryessa’s visitor amenities.    

It is time to find another manager for Lake Berryessa’s recreational resources. As a coalition builder, I would strongly encourage the Napa County Board of Supervisors to take back management of the Lake Berryessa visitor amenities. As your Supervisor I would encourage bringing various interested parties together to discuss and create a plan that will work, including: the county, local residents, local business owners, Visit Napa Valley, potential developers, Napa Open Space District, the Sierra Club and others.

Diversification of Napa County’s economy and revitalizing Lake Berryessa as a premiere eco-friendly/family tourist destination makes for good, smart business and benefits everyone. 

Videos (2)

Lake Berryessa — May 16, 2016 Committee to Elect Shepp for Supervisor

Urban | Rural .. Those two words define Napa County, California. And District 4 showcases the spirit of those words in a very profound way. Your Supervisor must be able to provide leadership to invigorate areas like Lake Berryessa . Many in this area feel forgotten, that their needs are not addressed. We have to do better for the people of Berryessa, for this beautiful resource, and for all of us who live in Napa County.

We Support Diane Shepp — May 23, 2016 Committee to Elect Diane Shepp for Supervisor, 2016

Courage | Intelligence | Wisdom ...Sustainability and leadership that is focused on the whole community depends on these three traits. Who will you choose to lead Napa County, District 4 toward a brighter future? I am grateful for the support of so many, and encourage you to join us on June 7th. 

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