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October 2018

Much of WDAAC will be on “Prime Farm Land” as Classified under the Yolo County Agricultural Conservation and Mitigation Program

Another “Untruth” by the Yes on Measure L Campaign

By Alan Pryor and Pam Nieberg


The Yes on Measure L campaign has been falsely characterizing the soils on which the WDAAC project is to be built as “unproductive” or “low quality alkaline soils solely used for winter animal feed crops”. Their most recent mailer contained the following graphic:


These claims are demonstrably untrue. In fact, the soil is suitable for a variety of human crops as characterized by the Yolo Co Agricultural Conservation and Mitigation Program. In summary, according to the EIR certified by the City Council, the lower approximately 50% (36.2 acres) of the site is Brentwood clay loam. Approximately a third of the soils (26.75 acres ) on the site directly above the Brentwood soils are Marvin silty clay. Above that are Willows clay (11.44 acres), and only a tiny piece (0.56 acres) in the upper north west piece of the site is Pescadero silty clay/saline-alkaline.

Continue reading "Much of WDAAC will be on “Prime Farm Land” as Classified under the Yolo County Agricultural Conservation and Mitigation Program " »

Healing Service of Solidarity

Healing 2Tuesday, October 30th from 6pm-7pm
Location: Congregation Bet Haverim, 1715 Anderson Rd

Celebration of Abraham, Hillel at Davis and Sacramento, and Congregation Bet Haverim will coordinate a community-wide service of healing and solidarity. This is a sacred gathering to lift up our prayers through song and spoken word, with the focus on healing and unity.

If you have questions, please contact: Rabbi Greg Wolfe
Email: rabbi@bethaverim.org
Phone: (530) 758-0842

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2235174793160887/

Send the West Davis Active Adult Community Plan Back to the Drawing Board.

WestdavisLet’s Meet the City’s Real Internal Housing Needs, Including for Low-Income Seniors

By Nancy and Don Price

In October 2002, the City Council appointed a subcommittee to study housing needs in Davis. In particular, the Council wanted to consider providing housing opportunities for the local workforce as the primary reason for city residential growth.

In this context, the phrase “internal housing need”  was incorporated in City policy framework, documents, and studies to refer primarily to low and moderate income workforce housing. Indeed, work force housing is the only category of housing specifically mentioned as “internal needs” in the City’s General Plan and for which specific policies have been crafted to meet the need.

For instance, Measure J (voter approved in 2000) and Measure R (voter approved in 2010) as an update of Measure J was intended to “further” and “implement” meeting this “internal housing need” based on local employment growth, UCD growth, and “natural” growth. Indeed, meeting this “internal housing need” is the only justification provided in Measures J/R for converting agricultural lands on the periphery of the city.

Unfortunately, the Yes on Measure L campaign has erroneously misappropriated the term, “internal housing needs,” to otherwise claim the WDAAC project, providing low-income subsidized senior housing and much larger and expensive homes  for senior purchase, meets these needs and thus should be approved by voters. This is a false claim and is not supported anywhere in City documents.

Continue reading "Send the West Davis Active Adult Community Plan Back to the Drawing Board." »

Making America Blue Again Has Never Been So Important. Can You Help?

Blue-waveBy Dan Cornford

A couple of weeks ago after many of us in were in despair at the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh and asking what we could do, I suggested that we could help get out the vote (GOTV) in one of the Congressional districts relatively nearby where the race was close. I also mentioned that one such place is CD10 (broadly Stanislaus County and Modesto). CD10 has for the last few elections been narrowly won by Republican Jeff Denham, and in 2016 HRC got more votes than Trump in this district. [See Dan's comment on Roberta Millstein's article].

In the midterms, Democrat Josh Harder is challenging Denham (as you may have picked up for the TV ads saturating us). The race is rated as a “toss-up” with JH holding a very narrow lead in most polls. Without taking any corporate donations, JH has raised almost $7 million (at two different house fund raising parties a Berkeley friend of mine raised almost $100,000 for him). JH was endorsed by the Modesto Bee in late September but it is going to be a brutally close race.

Volunteers are badly needed to help get out the vote, phone bank, and do office work (and yes, you are given a choice as to what kind of work you want to do, as well as appropriate training where needed). Because of my personal connections (I lived in Berkeley 1980-2000), I am working with Indivisible Berkeley (IB). IB is focusing on Tracy as they think that is where the most swing votes are. For well over a year they have been canvassing Tracy with busloads of people going there every weekend. So with the Tracy Democrats they have laid the groundwork well.

Continue reading "Making America Blue Again Has Never Been So Important. Can You Help?" »

Letter of Support for David Murphy, Candidate YCBOE

I support and endorse David Murphy for Yolo County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2, and I hope you will too.

I encourage you to vote for David Murphy, as the YCBOE, Trustee Area 2, as he has been involved in education, in a variety of ways, for a very long time.  David is a resident of Davis who has many years of cumulative service, in and out of Davis, ranging from being the principal of Davis Senior High School to being the superintendent of Davis Joint Unified School District.

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Letter of Endorsement: Four for November

I am delighted to endorse David Murphy for the Yolo County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2. We hired David as superintendent of the Davis schools in 1998, at the end of my first year on the school board.

Under his outstanding leadership, we passed a construction bond, built three schools (Harper, Montgomery and Korematsu), opened the Montessori program at Birch Lane, and received a grant from the Gates Foundation to open Da Vinci High School. He will bring his considerable skills and insights to support the County Office of Education and its programs, including education at the juvenile hall, Headstart and programs for high school kids expelled from local districts.

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Letter - Teacher Endorses Murphy

In this time of national political tumult, it is refreshing to celebrate local politics in Davis. And it is so important to seek out those with optimism, those who push on in the face of difficulty. This is what sparks my enthusiastic endorsement of David Murphy, who continues to work steadfastly for students and families of Yolo County.

As a longtime English teacher at Davis High School, I benefited from David’s leadership while he served as superintendent of schools. As a teacher of two of his daughters, I got to see him not only in the superintendent role, but also in the parent role. He was superb in both, always asking what more needed to be done to aid teachers like me, particularly in terms of serving our most vulnerable, at-risk students. David has a huge heart, and I have witnessed many occasions when he helped out students less fortunate, including the scholarship that the Murphys give every year to a deserving immigrant.

David has enjoyed a long and storied career. His resume is legendary – Teacher, Principal, Superintendent. He has given incredible service bringing creative solutions to complex educational challenges. We are so fortunate that he wants to continue to serve.

A recent Harvard study, “Aging Well,” concludes that the key to a long, happy, and productive life includes “building a good life, becoming a well-rounded self, and then giving back.” This describes David perfectly. We need his experience, energy, and expertise to provide solutions to the complex problems that face the Yolo County Board of Education.

Widgen Neagley

Growing in a Greenhouse

Green 1By Carey Ann Hunt

The ground was dusty and the air was bone dry. 

Midafternoon dense with heat,

Smoky with the chance of ash.

Fires blazed in hills nearby.

Engulfed in heat, I tired from merely walking   

I made my way to the three greenhouses

Just past the fire station on the left.

Continue reading "Growing in a Greenhouse" »

Voter Forum - People Power to the Polls - District 4

VoteVoter Forum

"When we rise, we vote!”

Voters’ forum focused on the issues of concern to voters in Yolo County and the region and CA state ballot initiatives, with the goal of maximizing voter turnout. This event is sponsored by the Yolo County Democratic Party.

Sunday at 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Davis Senior Center
646 A St, Davis, California 95616

<<<press release>>>

Local Democratic clubs, community groups and candidates are invited to table at the event. There may be a brief amount of time provided for speakers at the opening and closing of the event. We ask all clubs and community groups to bring a food item to share for 10-50 people. Together, we can provide some light snacks and refreshments for up to 200 people. 

More importantly, we ask that you come prepared to share facts, figures, Get Out The Vote strategies that work, and solutions that empower, either by tabling for your group or leading a breakout session. We strive to be as welcoming and empowering as possible. We are coming together as a very diverse, respectful, and progressive community.

For more details and to co-sponsor (bring your own table, lead a breakout session, or provide food), contact: Kris Edwards (writemindfulness@gmail.com), M. E. Gladis (916-248-6442, mixieups@yahoo.com), Desiree Rojas-Bates (Desflores5@gmail.com)

Continue reading "Voter Forum - People Power to the Polls - District 4" »

The “West Davis Active Adult Community” Naming is Misguided and Probably Illegal

By the No on Measure L Campaign


A letter received from the Fair Housing Council of Orange County, posted yesterday on the Davisite, advises the City of Davis of the wrongful naming of the West Davis Active Adult Community senior housing project:

“the term ‘active adult community’ is very much misguided and needs to be changed...rather than moving forward with a name that readily implies that the community is not welcoming of individuals who have a right to choose to live within in its borders.”(excerpted from letter)

Eric Gelber, a Davis resident with 26 years experience as an attorney with disability rights advocacy experience - including fair housing advocacy - made the following statement in response to this letter:

The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA) added disability and families with children as protected classes under the federal Fair Housing Act. A concession to seniors was also enacted to allow for senior housing developments, which could continue to utilize age restrictions if specified conditions were met. One of the conditions is that 20 percent of the housing in such developments must not be age-restricted, and must be available to younger households, including families with children.

Some of the earliest cases under the FHAA focused on advertising for developments, which marketed themselves as communities for “active adults.” Such advertising was determined to be a not so subtle way of discriminating against people with disabilities who were not traditionally “active.” Similarly, advertising a senior housing development as an “adult” community, gives the impression that families with children are not welcome in even the 20 percent of homes that are not age-restricted.(emphasis added)

Continue reading "The “West Davis Active Adult Community” Naming is Misguided and Probably Illegal" »

Letter from Orange County Fair Housing Council expresses concern about WDAAC

The Davisite was forwarded the following letter from the Orange County Fair Housing Council (OCFHC), a private 501(c)(3) non-profit located in Santa Ana, California. The OCFHC raises concerns about the project's use of the term  ‘active adult.'  With respect to the term 'adult,' the letter states that "fair housing and related civil rights laws...do not recognize or sanction adult-only or otherwise age restricted housing within California that falls outside of the specific definition of what constitutes senior housing" and "may give the impression that families with children are not welcome to live in that community."  They also raise the concern that the use of the term 'active' "may tend imply that, even for the properly age restricted portion of the project, people with disabilities may not be welcome."  The letter appears in its entirety below.


Continue reading "Letter from Orange County Fair Housing Council expresses concern about WDAAC" »

Fewer Parking Spaces? Paid Parking?


Paid parking will change the character of the downtown experience

By Daniel Urazandi

downtowndavis.org is an association of small businesses that oppose paid parking downtown. Here's why: (the city has been unable or unwilling to provide certain numbers upon request. Those are marked by the #? symbol)

People do not want to pay to park, everyone admits that. Forcing them to will make them visit downtown less and for shorter periods of time. The city calls this increasing parking availability, we call it driving traffic away from downtown. Less drivers means less customers, less sales, eventually less shops.

The city's plan not only doesn't add a single parking space, it takes away an undisclosed #? amount as the meters will come with ADA legislated handicapped only spaces in the streets. Since the existing handicapped spaces are not all used these will be mostly vacant spaces.

No new spaces means the only way promised space will be created will be by driving other drivers away. Who gets run off in the city's plan?

Continue reading "Fewer Parking Spaces? Paid Parking? " »

Keeping Davis White? Land Use Policy Is A Civil Rights Issue

The March on Washington, Aug. 28, 1963

By Rik Keller

“What has kept Davis so white?”

—City of Davis Mayor Pro Tempore Gloria Partida 10/3/2018

This is Part III in a series of articles about the history and ongoing patterns of housing discrimination in Davis.


In Part 1: “Why Is Davis So White? A Brief History of Housing Discrimination” and Part 2 “How White Is Davis Anyway? A Comparative Demographic Analysis” of this series, other types of housing discrimination practices were mentioned that have continued even after explicit racial discrimination practices ended; for example, subprime lending that and “exclusionary zoning” that result in development patterns that focus on low-density single family houses and exclude more affordable housing types.

 The point is, to borrow a quotation, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past”.

An article about the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act this year stated: “As Richard Rothstein explains in his groundbreaking book The Color of Law, our past segregationist policies have deep roots. Explicit discrimination may be outlawed, but indirect segregation via disinvestment and exclusionary land use policies remain common themes in our country today.” [https://www.housingvirginia.org/news/microblog-50-celebrating-the-fair-housing-act/]The history and dynamics of these issues in Sacramento have been studied by Dr. Jesus Hernandez from the Sociology Department at UC Davis. His “research focuses on understanding the connection between economic market activity in the region and the patterns of racial segregation that we have.” [https://www.capradio.org/news/the-view-from-here/2017/08/15/s10-e2-transcript-segregated-sacramento/]


Continue reading "Keeping Davis White? Land Use Policy Is A Civil Rights Issue" »

Housing Shortage: Yes on L Offers Housing Choices

Measure LGuest Commentary

By Dave Taormino, a Davis Housing Provider, WDAAC Developer 

Housing Shortage: Yes on L Offers Housing Choices


Davis is one of only a few cities in California that has a self-inflicted shortage of homes and apartments. A massive housing shortage exists in the Bay Area because of the lack of land and tremendous job growth.  The same problem occurs in Southern California.

Davis needs more housing of several types: for seniors, locally based employees and more student complexes on campus. At least student apartments have made progress, but none for seniors and others.

Continue reading "Housing Shortage: Yes on L Offers Housing Choices" »

Planning First

006by Bob Schneider

Properly planned, the northwest corner of Davis offers an important opportunity for meeting development needs in Davis in a manner that reflects Davis values. Neighborhoods, a natural habitat swale for the Covell drainage, flood water pond storage, edible vegetation, affordable co-housing, senior housing, community gardens, appropriate commercial, and live-work buildings, bordered by protected farmland and open space reflects my values and I believe our Davis values.

Working towards this vision necessitates a General Plan update or a Northwest Specific Plan.

Piecemeal development, focusing on one development at a time, may preclude this important opportunity.

I suggest  we delay  any immediate  decisions  until the new council is seated.    They can make a thorough, inclusive, and comprehensive decision without a rush to judgement on how we should best proceed.

For full disclosure- Yes, I was a builder and developer and for a time I v.,ras involved in the northwest area. My interest then, as now, was in first ensuring comprehensive planning. I no longer have any involvement or financial ties to this area.

(Originally published June 2018)

Why such deceitful attacks on affordable senior housing at the expense of the real needs of very low income Davis seniors?

By William Powell and David Thompson

We have never seen such an exaggerated litany of attacks against needed affordable housing for low income seniors in Davis. This is from the perspective of our combined 60 years of serving the needs of low income seniors in Davis.  The future needs of low income seniors in Davis should not become cannon fodder by the representative of the No campaign in their false war on affordable senior housing. We believe Davis seniors deserve better and that Davis voters deserve an honest debate.

So, as long time Davis senior housing providers, we are taking on two issues of the No on Measure L representative - keeping in mind that Winston Churchill once said: 

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its trousers on.”

Continue reading "Why such deceitful attacks on affordable senior housing at the expense of the real needs of very low income Davis seniors?" »

Sacramento Region Foundation Sends David Murphy Scholarship Award Monies to Two Colleges for 2018-19 Academic Year

The David Murphy Annual Scholarship for Immigrants/their Children

(From Press Release) When David Murphy announced his retirement in 2007 as the Davis superintendent, friends and community members asked him what he would like as a retirement gift. 

His request was for contributions towards raising $20,000 to perpetually endow an annual $1,000 scholarship for a graduate of a Davis high school, who was either an immigrant - or son/daughter of an immigrant - and who had demonstrated their academic achievement to be successful in college. He did not expect to reach that goal for several years.

Continue reading "Sacramento Region Foundation Sends David Murphy Scholarship Award Monies to Two Colleges for 2018-19 Academic Year" »

Experiencing intimidation from your landlord concerning Prop 10?

Rampart-letter(From Sacramento Tenants Union Facebook page) Are you or anyone you know experiencing intimidation from your landlord directly due to Prop 10 (Repeal Costa-Hawkins to allow cities/counties to adopt rent control) and voting for the Nov. 2018 election?

It's happening elsewhere in California; let us know if this despicable behavior is happening in the Sacramento metro area, too!

Email: SacTenantsUnion@gmail.com

[Image description: A letter from Rampart Property Management in Los Angeles, which manages more than 12+ apartment complexes. The letter informs tenants of a pending rent increase in response to the ballot measure.]

City Recruits for Advisory Commissions

The following is a press release from the City of Davis. I encourage Davisites to apply for Commissions they are interested in serving on.  I have served on the Open Space and Habitat Commission for a number of years now and find it to be a rewarding experience.  I’d be happy to chat with anyone who is interested about serving on the OSHC in particular (since we need members, as you can see from below) or on City Commissions in general.  –Roberta Millstein

The City of Davis is accepting applications from citizens, 18 years of age and older, interested in serving on one of the following commissions:

Continue reading "City Recruits for Advisory Commissions" »

Uncivil Discourse at the CivEnergy Forum

Yes-On-LThe Yes on L side did not behave well at Sunday’s CivEnergy forum. 

This inappropriate behavior certainly wasn’t CivEnergy’s fault.  They had picked an excellent moderator in the form of attorney and former City Council candidate Linda Deos, who asked fair and neutral fact-finding-oriented questions about the West Davis Active Adult Community (WDAAC) project.  And along the same lines, CivEnergy’s Bob Fung crafted from audience comment cards two more neutrally worded questions.  Actually, all were framed in terms of discussions rather than questions, a touch that I rather liked.  Deos further warned forum participants to keep their answers focused on the project and not make them personal.  Alas, that was not to be.

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