Francesca’s Qualifications


  • B.S in Early Childhood Education and Development, Wheelock College, 1977
  • Masters in Public Education, University of Southern California, 2006


  • 10 years non-profit administration (Children’s Creative Response to Conflict, Witness for Peace)
  • 18 years program evaluation experience, including qualitative and quantitative data collection, focus groups, interviews, use of standardized assessments and survey research
  • 20 years policy and data analysis experience, particularly for local governments including First 5 Commissions, cities, counties and school districts
  • Expertise in family support models and progress monitoring
  • Career facilitator of participatory processes, collaboration-building, strategic planning, peer-learning and executive decision-making
  • 15 years owning a private consulting business. Clients have included: the Agriculture Sustainability Institute at UC Davis; the California Center for Child Abuse Prevention; the California Department of Education; the California Institute for Mental Health; California State University at Chico; Cities Counties Schools Partnership; California Latino Caucus Institute; Community Alliance for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services; First 5 Butte, First 5 Solano; First 5 Yolo; First Five Yuba; Kiely Group; Local Government Commission; Institute for Local Government; Prevent Child Abuse California; Public Health Advocates Healthy Eating Active Living Campaign; San Mateo County Office of Education; Social Entrepreneurs, Inc.; The Children’s Partnership; UC Davis Arab Region Consortium; WestEd; Yolo Crisis Nursery; Yolo County Children’s Alliance.
  • City of Davis 2021 Thong Hy Huynh Memorial Award in Civil Rights Advocacy.
  • Co-founder and coordinator of Yolo People Power (2018-present)
  • Volunteer service
  • Member and Chair of the Holmes Junior High Site Council (2013-2015)
  • Founder and leader of Girls Scout Troop #1226 (2012-2016)
  • Board Member and Chair of Threshold Choir, an international service organization (2011-2016)
  • Founding member of Women in Leadership Davis (2019-present)

Francesa’s Story

I have often asked the question, how can we govern more wisely? The answers have guided my work and led to more questions.

The Catholic nuns of my childhood taught me the preciousness of each person. As I grew and witnessed extreme poverty, racism, war, poor education, hatred, addiction, and the dehumanization of others…I knew something was amiss.

So, I put on my boots and went out to address one problem at a time. I studied early childhood education to help expand access to quality childcare. I learned earth-based solar construction and helped build affordable housing using local materials. I tromped in the woods with sixth-graders to instill appreciation for natural ecological systems. I brought art and drama activities to teachers and elementary students to explore what helps to avert and to resolve conflict.

Each activity was rich, but begged for a more systemic approach. My guiding questions grew. What are the patterns and policies that enhance well-being? How are policies conceived and established and then improved?

Under the tutelage of senior organizers from communities of faith, I learned the power of clarity of purpose, strategic actions, and organizing for results. As staff to Witness for Peace, I led delegations into war zones of Nicaragua and coached returning delegates on how to tell their stories in local media and to their representatives in Washington. The organizing and training of groups like Witness for Peace defunded the war.

In 1996 I moved to Davis. As the sole provider for myself and my two young children, I was able to buy a modest home in Muir Commons Co-Housing in West Davis. I had moved to the Sacramento region to work with the Foundation Consortium for California Children and Youth. The Consortium focused on the conditions children need to do well in school: parental support, safety, nutrition, shelter, and access to health care. The solutions we promoted crossed jurisdictional lines and relied on collaborative community-based approaches.

In 2018 I helped found Yolo People Power. We helped the city of Davis create a new model of police oversight. This included both a civilian Police Accountability Commission and an Independent Police Auditor. We worked with the Davis police chief to pass one of the most thorough municipal surveillance transparency ordinances in the state. I was a leader in the coalition to create the new Department of Housing and Social Services.

I am married to Lee Bartholomew, a gentle soul and retired real estate appraiser. You can often find us with our dog Habibi walking the arboretum. My amazing children Ayala and Caleb are out making the world a better place.