Each Friday we have a chance to see, in 250 words, how all nine candidates line up. Here's my week four answer.
Earlier this year, the council approved the leasing of a city property to BrightNight? Did the council make the right decision? Discuss that decision as well as issues that have been raised with regards to transparency and process.
The closed-door Bright Night negotiations led to a subpar outcome, but I am far more concerned with the process than the outcome. Doing business in private means that five Council members, who are not necessarily experienced with leasing land or knowledgeable about clean energy, are making less informed decisions than are possible. If other city decisions are made using this private process, decisions will be suboptimal for our community.
However, this issue of communication, transparency, and process extends past these specifically private decisions. The general interactions between the Council, commissions, and public fall short. I would like direct interaction between commissions and Council in meetings. Council should also address public concern and provide the community with explanations of their thoughts during and after decisions.
I recently read an opinion concerning public safety that made a false comparison between elected officials and car mechanics. The purpose of a Council member is not to know everything but to listen to the needs and wants of diverse groups of community members, pair this with expert input, and lead the community to the best, creative solutions.
I always come back to the fact we all have blind spots which can be identified through inclusive conversations. As a Council member, I will purposefully engage with those who may be impacted by my decisions. I will write regular explanations of my positions. I will have regular “office hours” like I am doing now, so anyone can have a conversation with their representative. I am listening.
Below you can find a video from the Yolo Committee for Diverse and Inclusive Elections Forum a few weeks ago.
YCDIE Candidate Forum
Each Friday we have a chance to see, in 250 words, how all nine candidates line up. Here's my week one answer.
Do you support or oppose the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus, why or why not?
I do not support DISC. What is sustainable about 5000 new commuters? Jobs without housing will only exacerbate Davis’ housing crisis and increase emissions. Perhaps a business park seemed like a move forward in 2008, but it is not the future I see. Picture a business park. Do you see boring buildings, endless seas of parking, and no people? Me too.
This project is not all bad. There is a need to create space in Davis for jobs that build on the human capital created at the university, and the inclusion of some housing is a clear improvement on a typical business park. There is also a commitment to fund some much-needed bicycle infrastructure. Currently, the costs outweigh these benefits.
Instead of adding up the costs, here are the changes that would be necessary for DISC to earn my support.
In Exhibit B of the 20-110 - DISC Project General Plan Amendment, we see the land use map we will be approving, and it tells us nothing. After developers have repeatedly taken advantage of Davis by proffering vague promises of grandeur, Measure B hands the same opportunity to the developers of DISC.
Each Friday we have a chance to see, in 250 words, how all nine candidates line up. Here's my week two answer.
What do you see as the biggest problem facing Davis?
Climate change. There are many problems that may seem more pressing, including the Covid-19 pandemic, deadly fires across the western U.S., public safety reform, fiscal shortfalls, housing shortages, homelessness, and crime. However, climate change will be the defining issue of our generation, and action begins with us.
As individuals, we must recognize, learn, act, and educate. There are many ways to contribute, driving less, introducing drought-tolerant landscaping, transitioning from natural gas to electrical energy, composting, taking shorter showers, eating less meat, limiting electricity use during peak hours, supporting businesses that follow best practice, and working together with our neighbors. We must use our energy to normalize actions that push people and businesses to put the planet before themselves.
Local government must lead by building, legislating, and collaborating. We need a commission on the climate. We need to implement proper incentives to encourage the reduction of our collective environmental footprint. We need to set high standards for new development. We need to invest in green infrastructure. We need to work with other cities to promote these policies beyond Davis.
Many issues face us, but nearly all are exacerbated by climate change. We need a Green New Deal for Davis, and we need it now.
The Davis Vanguard published their first question and the answers of all City Council candidates. Each Friday we have a chance to see, in 250 words, how all nine candidates line up. Here's my week one answer.
What is your vision for Davis if elected to the council?
My vision for Davis builds on the work we have already done. Our community is passionate about
Check out my Q&A with Tracy from this past weekend. I would much prefer to have conversations with people rather than answer a long list of questions in a set amount of time, but these times don't exactly allow us to get together. Huge thanks to Tracy for setting this up!
Sunday, September 6th Individual Forum
One Last Question (September 30th)
Have follow up questions or curious about a topic we didn't cover? Why not ask questions in the comments below?
We have amazing, involved citizens in Davis putting together forums for our community. Last weekend Jodi Leiderman organized a small, outdoor, distanced, in-person event for her neighbors, and Tracy De Wit organized the first in a series of Zoom forums for South Davis candidates. If you missed our first Zoom forum, you can watch it below.
Tracy and I will have an individual forum on Zoom this Sunday, September 6th, at 2 pm. The other candidates for Davis' District 5 will chat will Tracy in following weeks. I am happy to get past introductions and talk policy with Tracy! Make sure you register below to join our call.
See you Sunday!
Sunday 8/30 District 5 Candidate Forum
Last week I had a lovely chat with David Greenwald of the Davis Vanguard. We talked about how I came to run for City Council and my priorities as a candidate.
We also talked briefly about an idea that Will Alpers has to create more connection between the city and the university through a university branch of the Vanguard. I believe that by drawing on existing structures, like the Vanguard, we can build community that bridges the gaps between student and non-student Davisites. This would be a step in the right direction.
Check out David's article here.
I’m running for office, but this election is far bigger than my city council campaign. This election is about continuing to elect smart, strong, ambitious, female leaders at every level. After Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running mate last week, I phonebanked for the first time.
On Saturday morning, I joined Indivisible Yolo and Sister District CA-3 to call voters in swing states, one of which is Wisconsin, my first home. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was greeted with a supportive community and amazing female leaders making their voices heard across the nation. Kelly and Rebekka created a welcoming environment for us newbies and a space for everyone to come together to share our wins for motivation. It was a fantastic and rewarding experience.
As Kamala said tonight as she accepted the vice presidential nomination, her mother taught her the purpose of life is service to others. My mother taught me the same. Let’s make our mothers proud and finally put a woman in the White House. Join me, Indivisible Yolo, and Sister District CA-3 each Saturday morning from 10 am to noon to phonebank for Joe and Kamala.
Together we can change the world.