Council Member Early

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Councilmember Dawnte Early headshot

Dawnté Early

Email, (916) 617-4500.

Dr. Dawnté Early was elected to the West Sacramento City Council in October 2021 and was voted in as Mayor Pro Tem in March 2024. 

She is a well-respected thought leader in health equity, public health and mental health. Dawnté started her career with the State of California serving as a public health researcher. At the Department of Public Health, she supported the Maternal Infant Health Assessment project, guiding health policies and programs for California women, infants and families. Results from this project were used by state and local programs, and other maternal, child, and adolescent health stakeholders to monitor health outcomes and identify emerging health issues.

While in a dual role at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Dawnté led important research on the Affordable Care Act and the impact of health care services on the recidivism of individuals released from prison. Dawnté developed policy recommendations to help ensure people with behavioral health needs are provided the health care services they need. Dawnté also served as Chief of Research and Evaluation for the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. In this role, she guided the Commission’s evaluation activities to transform California’s mental health system.

Dr. Early currently serves as the President and CEO of United Way California Capital Region, leading the organization into its 100th-anniversary year of building stronger, healthier and more compassionate communities. She was also actively involved in initiatives such as President Obama's My Brother's Keeper, West Sacramento Aging Commission, and the Yolo County First 5 Commission.

She earned a master’s degree in child development and a PhD in human development with a minor in quantitative psychology from UC Davis. As an active community member and passionate volunteer, she leads her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, and coaches’ basketball for the West Sacramento Parks and Recreation league.