Alice Yoder on the Issues

Rehabilitation, Not Punishment

With vision, we can create a jail for our county that focuses on rehabilitation, not punishment, so folks go back to their families sooner and stay out of jail for good. Alice will work with treatment providers, the DA, and other stakeholders to create a jail for our county that supports justice and helps people rebuild their lives. We have a real golden opportunity with this new construction to create a physical space and programs that center recovery and reconnection.

Alice will take a data-informed approach to the size of the new jail so we don’t replicate the issues we have with the juvenile detention center. On any given day, more than half of the population of our jail is in pre-trial detention. For non-violent crimes, we want to keep families and lives together knowing how catastrophic even just a few days in jail can be.

Although the county commissioners don’t have a direct hand in the jail population, Alice has a long history of bringing people together to solve complex problems.

A County Health Department

As a nurse and healthcare administrator, Alice has the experience to help create the first Lancaster County Health Department that will allow us track public health data in real time and take action sooner to protect our residents so they can thrive in safe and healthy communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic threw into sharp relief the need for centralized planning for large scale health events and we can get ahead of the next problem before it happens.

Smart Planning

As the former chair of the Lancaster County Planning Commission and a key creator of the County’s Comprehensive Plan, Places 2040, Alice has the knowledge and background to help us step into the next phase of growth in Lancaster County. She knows how important it is to strike a balance between preserving open spaces for future generations, protecting our agriculture heritage, developing housing for people of all incomes, and improving our transportation network.

Strong County Government

Our county’s staffing crisis isn’t just affecting our human resources department– the employees at the county are true professionals and public servants working with our county’s most vulnerable. We need to compensate them fairly and work to retain good staff for our most important programs. It is also more cost effective to retain quality employees than it is to consistently be dealing with turnover.

Ballot Access for All

Your right to vote is a keystone of our democracy and it must be protected. Increasing access to the ballot by placing ballot collection boxes at safe and secure locations around the county makes voting easier and your voice heard.

An Equity Lens

With over two decades of experience, Alice has conducted many community needs assessments and developed plans to address problems and fill identified gaps. Those plans have been focused on solutions for all, but with unique solutions for those disproportionately affected by an issue.

She has extensive experience with identifying and eliminating barriers to achieve equitable outcomes. As just some examples, she developed the first language services program at Lancaster General Health, implemented and expanded special outreach programs for low-income pregnant folks, initiated the prison gardens program, chaired the LGBTQ+ Steering Committee at LGH to help employees and patients be better supported and affirmed in their care, was lead administrator for COVID-19 vaccine outreach to primarily BIPOC churches and rural fire halls, and much, much more.

Alice strongly believes and acts on the premise that rising tides only “lift all boats” when we acknowledge and support those who have been left behind due to previous and existing structural policies and systems that prevent some boats from ever getting or staying afloat.

A Changing Climate

Climate change is an urgent environmental challenge, perhaps the most pressing issue of all, in our world and here in Lancaster County. It is already impacting Lancaster County’s natural land, agricultural resources, economic stability, and the health of our residents. With current trends in our use of greenhouse gasses, we will experience increased heat, droughts, more severe storms, floods, fires and other extreme weather. Smart and successful climate change planning, implementation, and monitoring can help our Lancaster County community be more resilient and remain healthy.

As I have approached County problems for decades, I would recommend that we create a coalition or task force to focus on building local capacity to address climate change and take advantage of Federal and State grants.