Julie Winter Emphasizes Jobs, Hope and Leadership Skills at City Council Campaign Rally

Julie Winter.

Julie Winter.

Promising to tackle Redding’s problems like she approaches her work as a nurse practitioner—by collecting data and focusing on the root diseases, not the symptoms—Julie Winter kicked off her Redding City Council campaign on Friday with a noon rally on the Civic Auditorium lawn.

The lack of good-paying jobs is affecting Redding’s health, she said, and she promised a treatment plan centered on transforming Redding into a business-friendly haven for high-tech companies and manufacturers.

Those savvy entrepreneurs and owners of job-generating businesses can be lured to Redding if the city can do a better job of touting its many assets, including the Sacramento River which flows through the heart of the city.

Winter said Redding struggles in the areas of branding and marketing, and as a result, “we don’t tell our story very well, so others do it for us.” If Redding can capitalize on its natural resources and the “generous, talented and creative” people who live here, it can finally shed its image as a “wide spot in the road” and a convenient spot to fill up the gas tank.

Winter admitted she can’t single-handedly increase the number of good-paying jobs in Redding as a lone council member, but said her leadership skills and business experience have her well prepared to advance economic development programs, similar to the work of council members Brent Weaver (Blueprint for Public Safety) and Kristen Schreder (Redding Area Homeless Coalition).

One of government’s primary functions is to create the “healthy soil” from which beneficial projects can grow, she said. “I’m running for the council because I dream big and I ask: why not Redding?”

When the city was considering closing the Redding Convention Center to staunch a $700,000 annual deficit, Winter said she began working on a solution and ultimately asked fellow board members at Bethel Church to help with a strategic plan to keep the 2,000-seat facility open.


Ultimately, Advance Redding, a nonprofit arm of Bethel, was established and entered into a five-year lease to operate the building and renamed it the Civic Auditorium. Now in its second five-year lease, Winter said Advance Redding has turned a $700,000-a-year liability into a revenue source for the city, while offering residents a facility with dramatically improved seating, lighting and sound.

Winter said she was an early supporter of Turtle Bay Exploration Park’s plans to build a Sheraton Hotel and joined Rocky Slaughter in walking precincts to drum up support for Measure B, the successful ballot measure that cleared the way for the sale of city land to make the hotel project possible.

Focusing on solutions is much more productive than focusing on problems and barriers, Winter said.

“There is much more that needs to be done and I’m up to the task,” Winter said. “The story of Redding has not been told. It’s not finished, guys.”

Bruce Dean, president and CEO of Black Bear Diner, introduces the candidate.

Bruce Dean, president and CEO of Black Bear Diner, introduces the candidate.

In his introductory remarks, Bruce Dean, president and CEO of Redding-based Black Bear Diner, said he met Winter in the Redding Rotary Club and was immediately impressed with her leadership abilities.

Dean, whose restaurant chain now has 77 diners and 4,000 employees throughout the western United States, said he met with Winter to discuss the concerns and challenges business owners have, “and she was the first person I met who wrote things down. She actually listened to me.”

Winter is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Redding and currently serves on the Redding Community Development Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Women’s Fund of Shasta Regional Community Foundation, Turtle Bay, Friends of the Library, Shasta Historical Society, Shasta Living Streets and the Shasta Arts Council.

Winter and her husband of 33 years, Mike, a nuclear medicine tech, have two adult sons.

Winter joins candidates Adam McElvain, a business owner, and Lea Tate, a Redding psychologist, in a race for two seats on the council. Mayor Missy McArthur has already announced she will not seek re-election and freshman Councilor Gary Cadd has yet to decide if he will seek a second term.

The election is Nov. 8.

Photos by Jon Lewis.

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.
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20 Responses

    • Avatar A Brady says:

      That site is totally devoid of religious mentions or affiliation. Since it is well-publicized that she is part of the Bethel Church Community, I am curious why she avoids mention of it. I, personally, am very concerned about the subtle, almost subversive inroads that the members of this religious cult are making into the financial, educational and governmental control of this county.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I’ve questioned some of Julie Winter’s ideas on economic development, but I really don’t see how her religious affiliation has anything to do with her suitability for sitting on the council, any more than membership in the Catholic, Mormon, or Baptist churches has bearing.  Bethel is a big influence on this community—personally, I would trade Bethel in an instant for the influence of a UC campus—but that ain’t gonna happen thanks to the backward thinking of the town fathers about 25 years ago, who didn’t want the politics of the area to be influenced by a public university.  I long ago concluded that if you can’t live with Bethel’s influence on Redding, it’s time to move on.

      • Avatar Michael Powell says:

        I’m sure they know that the community is seriously concerned with their strategic agenda to implant themselves in local Government.


  1. Randall R. Smith Randall R. Smith says:

    Julie Winter is as grounded as she is genuinely interested in the welfare of this village.  We are lucky to have her taking this chance to make things better.  She will be a tireless worker to bring opportunity and develop improvements to what is here already.  Win with Winter!



  2. Avatar Breakfast Guy says:

    The notion of a “Supernatural Power” cult follower bringing fresh progressive change to Redding City Council sounds unlikely to me. Over recent years we have seen members of this group open a lot of small restaurant businesses though they seem to close up as quickly as they opened. Are they considered good contributing examples of “economic development”? I think not.

  3. Randall R. Smith Randall R. Smith says:

    The notion that Julie Winter hides her church affiliation is completely false.  However, that facet of her existence is not material to her seeking office or her proposed economic platform except as it provides insight to her character and wholesomeness.

    The facts of Bethel’s multiple economic and social contributions are significant and extend far beyond a salvaged Civic Auditorium and a dynamic and growing following.  Here are some examples of many which those of us outside this organization benefit from without knowing or contributing.  Each Bethel student brings $10,000 cash to Redding each year.  $4,000 of that money is tuition.  The rest is spent on rent, food and other expenses.  Do the simple math on 1200 students and understand the gift to Redding.  Aside from the dollars, figure the worth of those same students donating each year 20,000 hours of time at state figures of $20/hour of value to our open spaces and parks.   These are not trivial or worthless examples of economic impact, big time value being added to our community for which nothing is asked in return.   The City Projects Tool Van contains over $100,000 of equipment those student purchased so they can effectively volunteer to save our precious public places.

    If another organization, individual, group or cause is doing more for our village that information should be made available in these pages.

    • Avatar cheyenne says:

      I very much would like to know how these students buy food, pay rent and other expenses for $6,000 a year.  As I am retired and on a fixed income, even living in a less expensive area Cheyenne Wyoming, I could definitely use the economic knowledge.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I would guess that most of them work.  I took out some student loans as an undergrad and a grad student, but I worked at least part-time the entire way through college, and full-time as much as I could.

      • Avatar Michael Powell says:

        You might do some research, and check with Shasta County  Social Services ?

        Seek and ye shall find…

  4. Avatar bemebe says:

    Please tell me why bethel has not hosted a top christian rock band at the convention center yet?

  5. Jon Lewis Jon Lewis says:

    In her speech, Julie Winter very clearly (and proudly) mentioned she was a board member at Bethel. To suggest she was actively withholding her affiliation is not correct.

  6. Avatar KarenC says:

    Isn’t Julie Winter also a Physicians Assistant in the office of Dr. Andre Van Mol?

  7. Randall Smith Randall Smith says:

    Just for the record, Redding was second to Merced in the mentioned activity to obtain a four year UC expansion.  We did all we could, just like a hundred years earlier when Chico won, same result, same reason: politics.  C. C. Bush was not John Bidwell, nor did Redding have a Regent as did Merced.

    Yes, Julie is an FNP in the office referenced.

    Bethel students are required to bring the money listed.  Many live together, all frugally, some have support from home, some find supplements, all work very hard.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I was a lecturer in the UC system at the time of the selection process. For selfish reasons, my lower-echelon colleagues and I at UCD and UCB were pulling hard for Redding.  From our perspectives as keenly interested outsiders, the lobbying efforts by politicians from Merced and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley counties were energetic and rabidly in favor of landing the 10th campus.  Redding and Shasta County’s efforts were notably ambivalent, with undercurrents of hostility.  When we read the comments of one of the local Shasta County politicians stating that he and others in the community were not thrilled about the prospect of having the liberalizing influence of a UC Campus in Shasta County, we were gobsmacked.  At that point, we knew that it was over.  Later, Redding didn’t even make the three-site short list.

      I don’t doubt there were many up here who desperately wanted that 10th UC in Shasta County, but from our vantage point on the Sacramento-Bay Area axis, it didn’t look that way at all. The collective message from Shasta County was an equivocal:  “Meh.”

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        An aside:  Years ago Redding’s local newspaper published a nice piece of investigative journalism comparing Redding with Flagstaff, AZ.  The point of the series of articles was to determine why Redding forever sucked left hind teat economically, while Flagstaff thrived.  The two towns were similar in many regards, including population, distances from large cities, locations on Interstate Highways, historical reliance on resource-extraction industries, etc.

        Of course, the take-home was that Flagstaff was prosperous because it has a public university, and Redding does not.  The series of articles went into detail explaining how Flagstaff’s prosperity is bolstered and multiplied by its university.

  8. Avatar cheyenne says:

    Redding sits at the base of Mt. Shasta and can be seen miles from Redding.  Flagstaff sits at the base of Mt. Humphries and can be seen miles from Flagstaff.  That is the only similarity between the two towns.

    Redding sits on I5 150 miles north of Sacramento and 450 miles south of Portland.  Flagstaff sits on the intersection of I17 coming from Phoenix 130 miles south and on I40 the main interstate between Albuquerque and Los Angeles.  HWY 89 takes off north out of Flagstaff past the Grand Canyon and into the natural park area of southern Utah, Bryce, Arches, Monument Valley.  HWY 89 goes south out of Flagstaff through the Sedona Canyon.  50 miles west of Flagstaff sits Williams where Route 66 is a top tourist attraction.  In fact Williams is the only town on Route 66 that has a MMJ store.  For any one interested on the eastern edge of Williams is a wildlife center for sale.  Rents are actually higher in Flagstaff than in many parts of Phoenix.  Flagstaff sits at 7000 ft level and has enough snow to support skiing all year.  In fact driving north on I17 out of Phoenix in the winter one will encounter snow long before reaching Flagstaff.

    It would take a lot more than an university to have Redding reach Flagstaff status.

  9. Randall R. Smith Randall R. Smith says:

    Hope the folks in land locked UCMerced are happy with the toxic dump and other troubles of that choice.  This wrong selection despite a number of four year schools within less than a hundred miles is another example of doing what is easy rather than what is right.  Ask Lou Gerard how close we were before a Regent pulled his trump card.


  10. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Randall — Since I don’t know Lou Gerard, I’ll have to take your word that Redding came closer than what we underlings in the UC system thought we were witnessing.  All I know is that Redding didn’t make the final three candidate cities, and that the UC Regents vote to approve Merced as the site of the 10th campus passed 14-to-5.  I also know that the San Joaquin Valley’s U.S. congressmen and state legislators put intense pressure on the Regents to select a site in the SJV.  If the north state’s pols did likewise, they were stealthy about it.

    I know for a fact that the people of Merced are quite happy to have a UC campus, and happier still that the Regents just approved a $1 billion expansion of the campus.   In its first decade, UC Merced contributed $650 million to the local economy.  That included more than $400 million in local wages and compensation, more than $100 million in construction contracts to local businesses, and about $125 million in goods and services purchased from local businesses.

    When I was offered the opportunity to move to Redding, my wife and I discussed at length that quote by the local politician (as reported in the Sacramento Bee) that he and others didn’t really want a UC Campus messing up Redding’s solidly conservative politics.  We asked ourselves if we really wanted to raise our kids in a place where good-old-boy politicians expressed hostility toward higher education right out loud, on the grounds that universities attract pointy-headed liberal intellectuals.  I spent the next two decades struggling to convince college graduates to move to Redding to work for me, and it was an incredibly hard sell—so difficult that our company opened satellite offices in Mt. Shasta and Chico primarily to overcome the staffing issue.  Only in the last 10 years or so has it become easier to convince people to move here—and yes, I credit Mike Warren, The McConnell Foundation, and Bethel for many of the changes that make Redding a much easier sell to young professionals.

  11. Avatar Mimi Moseley says:

    I am so excited about Julie’s goals to help our city.   The accusations about Bethel have not held up.  Their contribution to our community has been huge. They have rented large spaces which had been empty for many years as well as turned our Civic into a place we can enjoy and be proud of. I often wonder if Bethel and the McConnell Foundation ever pulled out of Redding where we would be. For me, I love all Julie is working on and her plan to help our city. She has my vote and I am excited to see the changes which will take place as a result.