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August 2019

District Elections and "Communities of Interest"

Distrct Elections and "Communities of Interest"

Share Your "Communities of Interest" with the City to Help Shape Future Council Districts

Davis Residents:

As you may have heard, the City is shifting to district elections for our City Council members to comply with the California Voting Rights Act. This is a significant change, which may have large impact on community representation. The goal of the California Voting Rights Act is to address vote dissolution and discrimination. The City is asking for input from residents to help shape the districts in ways that reflect our community values.

The City has started outreach efforts for the conversion to district elections scheduled for November 2020. Currently, the City elects its Council Members through an at-large election system. This means that each Council Member can reside anywhere in the City and is elected by the registered voters of the entire City. In a district election system, the City is divided into separate geographic districts. Each Council Member is elected by the registered voters of the particular district in which the Council Member resides. Voters do not vote for candidates outside their district. The City has contracted with a demographer to analyze the data points allowed in the California Voting Rights Act, as well as information provided by residents, when drafting district maps.

As part of the district election process, the City is asking for community input on residents “Communities of Interest.”  A Community of Interest (COI) is any cohesive group of people that live in a geographically definable area and could be considered as a potential voting bloc in current or future elections. The California Voting Rights Act requirements are based on population in Davis, not registered voters or immigration status. We are asking for all residents to provide their Community of Interest.

Some Communities of Interest are considered “protected classes” in that they have rights through state or federal civil rights or voting rights laws. Some examples of protected classes in districting would be ethnic and racial minorities, such as a concentration of Latinx, Asian or African American people. Protected classes can be described through public input, and there is information that must be used wherever applicable to define these areas and make sure that they are not being harmed by the district boundaries.

There are other COI that can also be considered in districting, but don’t have the higher legal requirements as ethnic or racial minorities. Identifying these other COI are still critical to the process.  These could be clusters of senior citizens in one community, a group of college students living in a densely populated area near a campus, people who live in the downtown area or a specific neighborhood, or even people who share concerns such as parents with young children, bicycle enthusiasts, topic interest group, etc. 

Please take a moment to complete the Community of Interest worksheet. The worksheet can be submitted on the City's website, emailed to districts@cityofdavis.org, or dropped off at City Hall.  To have your comments included in the information used by the demographer, please submit them by September 20, 2019. The City Demographer will consider this input when drafting district maps.

The City has scheduled several public meetings that residents may attend to provide input on the process. The schedule for outreach meetings is as follows:

Tuesday, September 3 
Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. This item is scheduled to be heard at 7:20 p.m.  Actions: Receive general input, identify communities of interest, and consider district criteria.  City Staff Report (PDF).

Tuesday, September 10
Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. Actions: Receive general input, identify communities of interest, and consider district criteria.

Saturday, September 21
Community Workshops at the Davis Senior Center, 646 A Street. Drop by any time between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. There will be presentations on the process at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 8
Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. Action: Initial draft of district maps will be reviewed.

Tuesday, October 22
Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. Action: Council to select district maps.

Tuesday, November 5
Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. Action: Council to adopt ordinance establishing district elections.

City Council meetings are televised live on City of Davis Government Channel (Comcast Channel 16, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 - scroll to select "Davis Community Channels" and then select the City Government Channel).  You can also view the meeting live online.

Information Resources:

District Election website: cityofdavis.org/districts 
City Council Agendas & Staff Reports: cityofdavis.org/councilagendas
Email:  districts@cityofdavis.org
District Elections Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Elecciones De Distrito Preguntas Frecuentes (PDF)
Community of Interest Worksheet (PDF)
Formulario De Comunidades De Interés (PDF)

Denounce hate speech and invitation to interfaith community picnic in Central Park

August 2019 has brought us mass shootings based on race-hatred and important national leaders publicly making bias statements demonizing religious minorities as terrorists or people with divided loyalties implying, they are not fully citizens of this country. Americans are increasingly feeling vulnerable and afraid. This situation is untenable, and the Celebration of Abraham must respond.  

In the weeks following 9/11, a group of clergy and laypeople came together to form the Celebration of Abraham with the idea that this interfaith group would work to keep our community from descending into religiously bigoted dialogue or action. The mission of the Celebration of Abraham is to create a welcoming tent in our community of people of all faiths and beliefs to nurture a sense of compassion, respect, appreciation and foster learning and understanding among the three Abrahamic faiths while welcoming all to people to join us. The goal of the Celebration of Abraham always has been to bring our community together to celebrate or diversity. In addition to the yearly Celebration of Abraham dialogue held every January, we have called out hateful actions locally and nationally and held events like the Interfaith Walk that began at Bet Haverim, moved to the Davis Islamic Center and ended in an interfaith community meal at Davis United Methodist Church.

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BBQ Fundraiser for City Council candidate Dillan Horton

67921068_2292150010883456_8540924101710053376_oHosted by Desiree Rojas

(From press release) Come join us for a BBQ and pool party at the home of Desiree Rojas. We'll have food, drinks, and good times all for $20/person. See you there! -Dillan


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VCE public workshop, studies purchase of PG&E Assets

VCE(From press releases)

Valley Clean Energy Sponsors Public Workshop on Proposed New Residential Time-of-Use Rates

Valley Clean Energy (VCE) will conduct a public workshop this month to share information on proposed changes to PG&E’s residential electricity rates based on time of use. VCE is considering whether or not these rates would be advantageous to VCE customers and would like to hear from its customers. PG&E staff and VCE representatives will be present to discuss the proposed changes and answer questions.

The public workshop will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, in Woodland City Council Chambers, 300 First St. in downtown Woodland.

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Can We Talk?

by Larry Guenther

First, full disclosure.  I am on boards, commissions, and committees in Davis, but I am speaking on my own behalf as an individual community member.

Whether there is an issue with minority representation on the Davis City Council and, if so, whether district elections would address that issue, appear to be moot.  We are going to create districts and have district elections.

But while we’re sorting out those districts, I feel other questions with the way our city is governed should be discussed at the same time.  That discussion might include:

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Davis District Election Staff Report Has Major Deficiencies

Picture1City Council to Consider on Tuesday 

By Matthews Williams

The Staff Report for the consideration of district elections omits several important considerations, which include but are not limited to the following:

(1) The Fiscal Impact section of the Staff Report does not include/describe the worst-case-scenario, which will happen if the City agrees to go to district elections and pay the "up to $30,000 that State law requires the City to pay to the plaintiffs’ attorney" and then gets subsequently sued for failing to make a good faith effort in the steps of the districting effort. That worst-case-scenario would not only expose the City to the costs of legal defense, but also expose the City to the possibility of fines/penalties/damages.

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  • We acknowledge the happy problem that the capacity of the JDF far exceeds the demand for secure detention of Yolo County juveniles, and that the county’s ongoing operational costs for the facility are high.
  • We know detained youth benefit from personal connections and support from family and community, and therefore access and proximity to these resources is fundamental to their continued well-being.­
  • The current situation places all genders of youth together, which has its risks, but also offers significant benefits, most notably:
    • proximity to family and a very engaged community; and
    • reduced exposure of our Yolo youth to influences, likely found in the Sacramento facility, of other incarcerated youth whose knowledge, experiences, and affiliations may encourage harmful impacts;
    • no contact with adult
  • The current construction to expand and renovate the Yolo County adult jail facilities requires temporary relocation of the adult booking facility, during a construction period of an estimated 18-24 months.
  • The current expansion and renovation will increase adult jail capacity to over 450 beds and improve medical and mental health services at the adult
  • During the past five years youth from under-resourced neighborhoods in Woodland, Knight’s Landing, and West Sacramento have been disproportionately represented among JDF admissions. Most impacted is the Broderick neighborhood of West Sacramento, which has suffered years under a gang injunction, lacks youth programs, and locks its school yards to the public when school is not in session;

THEREFORE, we respectfully request the board act to:

  • Ensure any agreements to place Yolo youth in the Sacramento County JDF are restricted to not more than the time required to complete the Yolo County Jail
  • Provide transportation funding to family and encourage, through economic incentives, community support for visitation at Sacramento JDF during the construction
  • Forgo additional expansion of Yolo County adult incarceration by transferring authority for use of the JDF to the Sheriff. Rather than expand jail capacity, we should seek alternatives to pre-adjudication detention, which currently accounts for a majority of the jail
  • Preserve funding for Reinvest cost savings into meaningful community engagement and youth development resources.
  • Use this time-limited construction period to engage youth, their families, and the impacted communities to work with the Chief Probation Officer to develop recommendations for youth development and alternatives to juvenile detention options in Yolo County and to guide the community engagement

DMTC: Teen Cabaret 2019

Tylar Traum performs in DMTC Teen Cabaret, 2015.

By Rachel (Hoover) Rycerz and Marc Valdez

Tylar Traum came of age onstage at Davis Musical Theatre Company (DMTC) before heading to New York City to study Theater and New Media at Marymount Manhattan College.  This year during school breaks, she brought her skills back to her home town of Davis.  Over winter break, she taught an Audition Workshop for 7-17 year olds at DMTC.  In July, she taught singing, dancing and acting for the same age group at DMTC Summer Camp.   Her latest project has been directing DMTC’s 2019 Teen Cabaret.

The first Teen Cabaret was held in in 2006.  It was created to showcase the talents of teen performers in DMTC’s Young Performer’s Theatre (YPT), as well as to help fund DMTC’s two theater youth scholarships.  DMTC first established a scholarship in 1995, initially for the amount of $100.   A second scholarship was added in 2003.  Currently, two $500 scholarships are given annually.  Tylar herself received one of the awards in 2017 for her dedication to YPT, including performing in the cabaret.

Producers Steve and Jan Isaacson present Tylar Traum with DMTC Award, 2017.

This year, seven teens will be performing songs from “DMTC…Past & Future.”  The singers include Nora Baggarly, Katarina Detrick, Ella Del Favero, Katelyn Reeves, Stella Silver, Annie Whiteford and Lindsay Whiteford.  You can see them onstage at DMTC, 607 Pena Drive this Saturday, August 10th at 7:00 pm and Sunday August 11th at 2:00 pm.  Tickets are $10 (plus a $2 facilities fee), and proceeds go to the Teen Scholarships.




DMTC 2019 Teen Cabaret Performers. Standing, L-R: Ella Del Favero, Annie Whiteford, Katarina Detrick and Katelyn Reeves. Front Row: Stella Silver, Nora Baggarly and Lindsay Whiteford.

Rachel (Hoover) Rycerz grew up on stage in Davis, performing in 30 shows before heading to Berkeley to major in English. She returned to the stage in Davis this past November as Miss Hannigan in "Annie."  This July, she played Hannah Pitt in Angels in America at Roseville Theater Arts Academy.

Marc Valdez is a community theater volunteer, and has served on the Board of Davis Musical Theatre Company (DMTC) since 2002, and keeps a blog, Marc Valdez Weblog, at http://marcvaldez.blogspot.com


Menu announced for The Village Feast

Guests sit at long tables under the sycamore trees at Davis' Central Park at the 2018 Village Feast. Photo by Hanna Schoenberger

Annual summer sendoff is Sept. 28 in Davis’ Central Park

(From press release) The extensive menu is set. Do you have your ticket? The acclaimed Village Feast returns to Davis on Saturday, Sept. 28.

The event, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Central Park, 401 C St., Davis, is presented by Davis Farm to School and the Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Sacramento. The event celebrates September Farm to Table month in the Sacramento region.

The Village Feast follows Le Grand Aïoli tradition of late-summer feasts of Provence, France, where aïoli — golden garlic-mayonnaise — unites people and food for a gastronomic celebration. Guests bring their own best dinnerware, flatware and linen or cloth napkins, setting the scene for a long, leisurely meal under the shade of the sycamore trees. Wine glasses are provided.

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Valley Clean Energy responds to Woodland utility fraud news

VCE(From press release) Valley Clean Energy — the official, locally governed electricity provider for Woodland, Davis and unincorporated Yolo County — would like to reassure its customers that recent reports of utility fraud are not connected to the agency in any way.

Valley Clean Energy (VCE) began offering customers clean, low-carbon power in June 2018 and currently serves more than 54,000 customer accounts. The not-for-profit public agency reinvests its revenues back into the communities it serves.

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig issued a news release Friday, Aug. 2, to warn local residents to be aware of utility service providers who are switching customers’ gas or electric service without consent or authorization.

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