Autumn Labbe-Renault's blog

COVID-19 Community Report, April 27, 2021 - Yolo Food Bank

Epsiode 62 is the final episode of this series. I want to thank everyone who has listened, participated, shared, and supported this effort.

If you have enough food, you tend to take it for granted. Mealtimes happen at regular intervals, grocery stores and local markets are nearby and readily accessible. If you've ever experienced food insecurity, however, food looms large as one of the biggest problems in need of a fix. It's hard to take care of other basic needs if you're too hungry to think clearly, or if you're worried about where the next meal comes from.

COVID-19 Community Report, April 20, 2021 - Voices of the Pandemic

Since launching this show on March 17, 2020. I’ve interviewed just shy of 100 people representing a breadth of experiences across Yolo County. We’ve heard from elected officials ranging from Congress to school board; from Yolo County’s public health staff, and from teachers, students, and parents. I’ve interviewed artists and musicians; journalists, businesses, and nonprofit leaders. I’ve focused on the science, interviewing epidemiologists, virologists, and hospital administrators. We’ve talked about mental health, homelessness, hopelessness, and resiliency. And through it all, I’ve tried to illustrate that the pandemic has meant many things to many people, and to highlight the ways it has illuminated the holes in our safety net, and the extra burdens borne by marginalized communities. Today I’ve pulled out what I thought were particularly poignant passages from the past 13 months.

COVID-19 Community Report, April 13, 2021 - Don Saylor

As I am winding down this series (last show airs April 27), I wanted to circle back with someone at the county level, and I chose Don Saylor, whom I last interviewed in June 2020.

Supervisor Saylor represents District 2, including the cities of Davis and Winters, the campus of the University of California at Davis, and the farm land of southwestern Yolo County. His public service career spans over 45 years and includes 25 years elected in office, administrative, planning and analytical positions in local government and both the legislative and executive branches of California state government.

We’ve spoken a couple of times over the course of the pandemic, but it had been a while, and much has happened. Join us for  conversation spanning his key takewaways from the pandemic;  how the American Rescue Act funds wil be used; and how the county is grappling with a  mandated overhaul of the juvenile justice system, envisoning new approaches and new purpose for the Juvenile Justice Facility.

Tune in live Tuesday, April 13 at noon PST on KDRT 95.7 FM, or catch the show in my archive anytime, anywhere.


COVID-19 Community Report, April 6, 2021 - Heather Caswell


Heather Caswell, Owner of The Wardrobe in Davis, CA

 This month I’m touching base with folks in a few key sectors - business, local government and nonprofit - to talk about what’s next as we begin to emerge from the pandemic.  My guest today is Heather Caswell, who’s celebrating 34 years operating The Wardrobe in Downtown Davis. We’ll talk about business during a pandemic, what she’s learned in more than three decades of operating a small business in Davis, and what her work is centering on now, including the Davis Community Vision Alliance.

Also, I  want to announce that I’ll be wrapping this series at the end of this month, with the last episode airing April 27. I started the show more than a year ago, thinking I’d continue it for a few months. It’s been purposeful work, and I hope it’s been of service, and  I need to begin reclaiming the chunk of time it takes to produce live public affairs radio each week. Thank you to all who have taken the time to speak with me, listened to the show, and provided feedback. I am truly grateful on many levels. As need dictates, I may offer up an occasional interview as a podcast only, but I’m freeing up this spot for someone else.

COVID-19 Community Report, March 30, 2021 - Anne Ternus-Bellamy


Anne Ternus-Bellamy, Reporter, The Davis Enterprise

This past year, Anne Ternus-Bellamy and I have sent each other occasional notes of encouragement as we've both covered the pandemic and its impact here in Yolo County. I talk to people about their experiences, while Anne has been deeply immersed in the phenomenal rate of daily information generated by public health agencies and local government.

Anne grew up in San Anselmo, CA, where she first started writing for newspapers. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and afterwards headed to Sacramento to work for a legal newspaper covering the state Capitol and courts. She took a long break from working full time — about 10 years — to stay home with her kids, though she still freelanced for the Enterprise and other publications and spent many years volunteering with Davis schools.

COVID-19 Community Report, March 23, 2021 - Jeneba Lahai

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Jeneba Lahai

I first became aware of Jeneba Lahai and her work with Yolo County Children's Alliance (YCCA) a few weeks ago when she spoke on a panel hosted by Yolo Community Foundation. She is the Director of Programs for YCCA, which helps families, particularly non-English speaking families, access services, learn valuable parenting skills, and find support. As an immigrant herself (she is originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa), Jeneba has particular insight into immigrant families' needs during the pandemic.

Her work focuses on interagency collaboration, establishing relationships with key partners in Yolo County, and developing programs to meet the needs of the community. Jeneba also serves as the vice chair of the Yolo County Health Council, and board member of the Yolo County’s Homeless and Poverty Action Coalition and the West Sacramento Housing Development Corporation.

Show airs live at noon PST on KDRT 95.7FM in Davis, and worldwide on


COVID-19 Community Report, March 16, 2021

Everyone has their story about what they were doing one year ago at the start of the pandemic. On March 17, 2020, I walked into the radio booth at KDRT  and recorded the first episode of this show. One year and 56 shows later, we’re still at it, and I find there are still conversations to be had and stories to be told. Thank you to all who have supported the show during the past year.

My guests today are Lisa Yep Salinas and Dotty Pritchard. Lisa and I will talk about the rise of anti-Asian and Pacific Islander racism and xenophobia during the pandemic. Dotty and I will chat about the longtime Yolo County Women’s History Month luncheon, usually held this time of year. I'll also provide the weekly updates from Yoolo County Public Health.

Live at noon PST on 97.5FM in Davis, and worldwide at

COVID-19 Community Report, March 9, 2021 - Student Voices

Episode 55 wraps up my monthlong series on reopening the schools in the Davis Joint Unified School District. Last week's chats with elementary and junior high school students, and the two segments with high-school seniors this week, are among the more important interviews I've done this year. These young folks are going to be living with the post-pandemic reality for a very long time, and their varied perspectives are fascinating to hear. I believed it was important to give them a voice at this point in time.

This week we hear from Emme Dunning, who has lived in Davis her whole life, and is a senior at Davis High school. We also hear from DHS senior Daniel Engotto, who starts the interview by letting us know what we're about to hear is an unapologetic experience of what it's like to be a young black man, the son of immigrants, and a media and changemaker during this time. Both provided thoughtful and insightful interviews.

Episode airs live Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at noon PST on KDRT 95.7 FM amd, where it is archived for online listening and podcast download.


COVID-19 Community Report, March 2, 2021: Student Voices Part 1

This month, I’ve been focusing on the return to in-person instruction in the Davis Joint Unified School District. I’ve interviewed administrators, teachers, and parents, and now, I’m speaking with students from various grades throughout the DJUSD. This week you’ll hear from Harper Pfeifer and Henry Schumaker, who are 6th and 7th graders respectively, and on March 9, I’ll chat with two high school seniors who have had very different pandemic experiences, Emme Dunning and Daniel Engotto.

In the youth advocacy and mentoring work I do, I believe it’s critical to hear directly from young folks, especially when they’re so deeply impacted by decisions that adults are making for and around them. I want to be clear that I had no agenda when I talked with these kids around school reopening — I just wanted to know how they were feeling about it. And with the two student voices you’ll hear today, they have very different perspectives on the matter.

COVID-19 Community Report, Feb. 23, 2021 - Speaking with parents

This month, I’ve been focusing on the return to in-person instruction in the Davis Joint Unified School District. I’ve interviewed administration, teachers, and this week in Episode 53, I’m speaking with parents who represent different viewpoints on reopening. Dr. Audrey Pan with Safe Classrooms, Safe Community - Davis joins me in the first interview, and Dr. Rachel Klein of DJUSD Parent Coalition/Open Schools California joins me in a second interview. Over the next 1-2 weeks, I will wrap this monthlong series by speaking with several DJUSD students. Tune in today at noon via KDRT95.7 FM or