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February 2020

Rochelle Swanson: Unrelenting Advocate for South Davis

The March 3 primary brings an extremely important decision for voters and I encourage folks to complete their entire ballot. Jim Provenza is seeking re-election to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, District 4, and I endorse him without reservation. Here’s why:

EnterprisePic (4) - cropSouth Davis has been underrepresented for years and the move to district elections for City Council only intensifies this problem. All the while, Jim’s advocacy on our behalf has been unrelenting. He knows the issues, addresses the problems even when it means he must oppose strong interests, and is often our sole voice. We cannot afford to lose his expertise and experience.

Like others, I’m eager to see more women in elected office, but not at the expense of someone who has served women and families so well. I ask voters to study his record because it is truly exceptional and exceeds the contributions of most elected officials, regardless of their gender.

Continue reading "Rochelle Swanson: Unrelenting Advocate for South Davis" »


A Local Green New Deal – Tangible, Feasible, and Collaborative Solutions

Costanza“I support David Abramson for Yolo County Supervisor, District 4! He is bringing exactly what we need to the table — substantial, feasible, and detailed legislation and community collaboration to address the climate crisis — a local Green New Deal.

Abramson is focusing on the most complex issue of my generation and gives me hope that I will have a livable and breathable future. Although other candidates are focusing on important issues, Abramson’s platform focuses on modifying the economy in such a way that Yolo County will be more environmentally, economically and socially just.

Some may point fingers on the culprit for climate change, but we are all just victims of a faulty system. We need to focus on solutions and I believe with Abramson’s leadership, Yolo County will become a great example for others. Even though climate change is a global problem, it may only be addressed with local, tangible solutions! I study Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning at UC Davis and I am confident that the Green New Deal will advance the county’s economy while deliberately improving the well-being of the community.”

Costanza Gonzalo
Davis


Let’s Fight for our Future - Vote Abramson

Dennis-natuschby Dennis Natusch

Climate change is happening everywhere, from the hundreds of Californians had to flee their homes during the fires to the local farmers, anxiously awaiting the next dry season. Every aspect of life as we know it is threatened by climate change. Scientists maintain that if we don’t cut our emissions in the next 10 years, we’ll hit 2 degrees celsius of warming.

The only legislative document that can reverse this is The Green New Deal, as was presented by Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It‘s not enough to talk about renewable energy. We need to restructure our society to make all our lives better. The GND promises millions of high-paying, green jobs, improved infrastructure, affordable housing, cleaner air, and cheaper, publicly owned energy.

Continue reading "Let’s Fight for our Future - Vote Abramson" »


Abramson - A Local Green New Deal for a Healthier Yolo County

Arsenioby Arsenio Ndeve

“My name is Arsenio Ndeve, Plant Pathologist and currently Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis. I was born in Mozambique, a developing country in South-eastern Africa. My interest in Plant Sciences was driven by my understanding that most of the necessary resources for human and animal survival, such as food, water, medicine, energy and shelter, derive directly or indirectly from the Earth. Therefore, sound utilization and management of natural resources is crucial for our and future generations’ existence.

Globally, the pressure on natural resources has increased dramatically due to increasing population growth and lack of effective policies to support sustainable utilization and management of natural resources. Due to the disconnect between communities, research and financial institutions, food growers and policy makers; natural disasters such as high temperature, heavy rain-fall, flooding, water availability, emergence of novel human, animal and plant pest and diseases are likely to occur cyclically.

Continue reading "Abramson - A Local Green New Deal for a Healthier Yolo County" »


Provenza is a public servant of the highest order

EnterprisePic (4) - cropI’m voting for Supervisor Jim Provenza to continue his proven record delivering results for all of us in District 4. I agree with Enterprise columnist Bob Dunning’s assessment in his November 2019 column, “Put simply, Jim Provenza is a public servant of the highest order. He is a man of integrity who cares deeply about making this world a better place.”

I have witnessed this as I’ve worked with Provenza on county issues for more than five years. Jim is a local elected official who spearheads innovation and knows how to successfully advocate for those he serves. His policy approach includes both common sense and compassion, and he thoughtfully applies his deep experience to lead the Board on issues involving children, community health and prevention, our neighborhoods, and our environment.

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Provenza is a results oriented policy-maker

EnterprisePic (4) - cropDear Editor,

Supervisor Jim Provenza is a results oriented policy-maker, and as our elected representative he doesn’t merely talk about ideas, he implements solutions and accomplishes objectives to improve our lives.

I have worked with Supervisor Provenza in multiple capacities during his tenure as our District 4 representative, and as a 45-year fire service veteran (including Fire Chief of Davis) I am particularly impressed with his solutions on issues of a public safety concern. Supervisor Provenza is one of the most responsive, action-oriented elected officials I have ever had the pleasure to work with. As such, he has a robust catalog of accomplishments for the betterment of our constituency. A sampling of Supervisor Jim Provenza’s public safety accomplishments include the following:

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Head in the Clouds with Civil Air Patrol

Group
By Michelle Jillian Bailey

Growing up in Davis, I always felt a little out of place. I had my head in the clouds with a strong desire to fly. I naturally gravitate towards the military service; my maternal grandfather served 33 years and retired as a Naval O-6. I knew the risks, but I also believed in the rewards this country reaps for those willing to do its bidding. Davis had no support system for me. Thankfully, while on vacation to Ohio, I discovered Civil Air Patrol.

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Mace: The Voice of Experience

Comments regarding the ARC Business Park  delivered to the City of Davis Planning Commission on February, 26 by Charlene Henwood

Traffic

12/26/19 – 4:26 PM South El Macero to Chiles 35 minutes plus can't get through intersection at Cowell on green light

My name is Charlene Henwood and I am a South Davis resident speaking with the voice of experience from over a year watching the Mace Mess unfold.

First, let’s set the record straight – despite the use of the word "Aggie" in the project name, the Aggie Research Campus (ARC) project has nothing to do with UCD.  It is not sponsored or sanctioned by the University.  It is a City/Developer collaboration to increase tax revenues to the City. However, according to the last fiscal analysis, after all of the construction is done, the City may reap only $1M dollars per year in net revenues after expenses.  To put this into perspective, the City has blown nearly $4M on making a hash of South Mace Boulevard, and they're still spending like drunken sailors trying to fix the mess they made.

Continue reading "Mace: The Voice of Experience" »


Helen Thompson: Provenza works hard for ALL constituents

Jim Provenza-1012
Letter to the Editor

I am supporting Jim Provenza for re-election to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. I served with Jim on the Board and also worked with him when I was a member of the California Assembly.

Jim served as counsel to the California Senate Judiciary Committee and chief counsel to the California Assembly Public Safety Committee. He was later the legislative counsel at the California State Capitol for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

While working at the capitol, Jim was responsible for numerous bills expanding protection for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including California’s stalking law and the legislation permitting a court to remove guns from those who commit domestic assaults. He also drafted and was instrumental in the enactment of California’s current hate crime law.

As a member of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, Jim is a compassionate leader who works to assure that essential services, such as mental health, suicide prevention, and the Yolo Food Bank, receive the funding needed to protect our most vulnerable residents. By using tobacco settlement funds and obtaining outside funding, he has been able to do this with a balanced budget and no increase in taxes.

I was particularly impressed by Jim’s ability as chair of First 5 Yolo to obtain millions of dollars in state funding for Yolo’s early childhood prevention and intervention programs. These efforts will significantly improve the lives of our at-risk children.

Jim works hard to the meet needs of all of his constituents; rich, poor and in-between. He always does his homework and is prepared, listens

to all viewpoints and is fair and civil to all those who appear before the Board.  

Please join me in supporting Jim Provenza for re-election to the Board of Supervisors on March 3.

Helen Thomson


Letter: Provenza is a staunch advocate for at-risk children

EnterprisePic (4) - cropThroughout his years as a county supervisor, Jim Provenza has been a staunch advocate for at-risk children and an ally to community organizations that support families in crisis. Supervisor Provenza has championed progressive policies and programs that focus on providing vital services to keep children safe and struggling families intact and growing stronger. As a volunteer and advocate for our County’s youngest, most vulnerable children and their families, I’ve seen firsthand the tremendous impact Jim’s efforts have had in our community. That’s why I’m offering my wholehearted endorsement in Jim's bid to be re-elected as our Yolo County Supervisor, District 4. Please join me in supporting him.

Jane M. Eadie


Letter: Provenza’s work for children and the elderly has touched us personally

EnterprisePic (4) - crop
To the Editor,

Jim Provenza’s work for children and the elderly has touched us personally.  As a school board member, Jim was diligent in supporting the needs of all children.  He showed a special sensitivity to children in the Achievement Gap and special needs children.

Interested as we are in senior issues, we have been impressed with his efforts to establish support programs for the elderly. 

We have always been supportive of Jim due to his demonstrated leadership style encompassing integrity, responsiveness, reliability, compassion for others, and responsiveness.        

We have learned that Jim can be trusted to make decisions that benefit our community.  We support Jim Provenza in his re-election campaign for Yolo County Supervisor.

Laurie & Bob Rollins


UCD Grade Strike Starts Thursday

Screen shot 2020-02-26 at 4.35.10 PM(from press release) Dear Davis community,

Tonight at our General Assembly, we agreed to move forward in solidarity with the wildcats in Santa Cruz and see through our demands for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). On Thursday, February 27, Davis graduate students will begin a grade strike for the Winter quarter to demand a COLA and to call on the University of California to rescind its threats of retaliation against wildcat strikers at UC Santa Cruz.

A grading strike is the withholding of grades by Teaching Assistants (TAs) designed to disrupt the everyday functioning of the University.

We will be releasing more information, resources, and FAQs in the coming days. Please check out our website and follow our social media for all of that.

Continue reading "UCD Grade Strike Starts Thursday" »


Letter: Linda will Lean In

Deos-for-supervisorIn Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg noted that “[t]he laws of economics and many studies of diversity tell us that if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our collective performance would improve.”

Here in Yolo County, it has been a whole decade since any representative from half of our entire pool of human resources and talent—the female half—has served on our Board of Supervisors. It is long past time to correct this lack of adequate representation…and that’s just one of the reasons I’m so pleased to endorse Linda Deos to represent the 4th District on our Board of County Supervisors.

My other reasons have to do with Linda’s excellent qualifications for the position. Linda has been my next-door-neighbor for nearly 12 years and I know her to be extremely intelligent, knowledgeable, hard-working, open-minded, a great listener, exceptionally friendly and very focused on community. Ours is a more interactive, more informed and more friendly neighborhood now, largely due to Linda’s energy and active presence. I know she has been working even harder in our larger community and that’s why I’m very confident she will make an excellent County Supervisor.   

I agree with Sheryl Sandberg that “[c]onditions for all women will improve when there are more women in leadership roles giving strong and powerful voice to their needs and concerns.”

Linda Deos is the right woman for the 4th District’s open leadership role on the Board of Supervisors. Linda will lean in to give strong and powerful voice to the needs and concerns of women—and of all of us—here in Yolo County. Please join me in voting for Linda Deos.

Belinda Martineau
Davis

 


Letter: Deos will bring new vision

Deos-for-supervisorOur Yolo County Board of Supervisors is in need of new vision, creative collaboration, diversity, and fresh ideas to deal with the myriad of challenges this county faces.

Therefore, I will vote for Linda Deos for Yolo County Board of Supervisors. We have a growing climate emergency that has not been addressed adequately by our supervisors. Linda Deos has presented a number of creative policy proposals and ideas to tackle this crisis. Regarding the problems of mass incarceration, cash bail, and the exploding homeless population in our county, Deos has offered solutions which could be implemented if she were to be elected to the Board.

I have worked with Linda in a number of settings, and find her willingness to listen, her desire and skill in working collaboratively, and her advocacy for the disenfranchised to be exemplary and inspiring.

It is time that we update the male-dominated Board and add a fresh female voice to our county government. Linda is a proven leader. Please join me in voting for Linda Deos for Yolo County Board of Supervisor.

Karen Friis
Davis


Letter: Disagree with the Enterprise's Supervisor Recommendation

Deos-for-supervisorWhile I agree with the statement made in The Davis Enterprise “Our View” from January 31, 2020, that “We doubt that there is any district in the state that has anyone as qualified as the three candidates who are running for District 4” of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, I am not taking the advice of the all-male Enterprise Editorial Board and am instead voting for Linda Deos. We need diversity, and especially a woman’s voice, on our currently all-male Yolo County Board of Supervisors—and everywhere else in our society as well.

The Enterprise cites “experience” in the elected position as a reason for their support, but that argument effectively limits newcomers from bringing their diverse perspectives to serving our community. I, for one, do not want to wait for all the males to retire or die before bringing in new, diverse perspectives to help solve our significant societal problems. If not change/diversity now, then when? If not via District 4 voters, then how?

Please join me in voting for the highly qualified woman running for Yolo County Board of Supervisors: Linda Deos.

Robert Darragh
Davis


Soroptimists, Girl Scouts collecting diapers

DiaperDriveSIDavis
Soroptimist International of Davis members, from left, Crystal Ross O'Hara, Diana Harvey and Maggie Memmott wrap up diaper packages for Yolo Diaper Bank at a recent club meeting at Three Mile Brewing. The diaper bank, founded in 2017 by the daughter of a Soroptimist member, is keeping Yolo County dry – one bottom at a time. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis and The Davis Girl Scouts are joining forces to collect diapers for the Yolo Diaper Bank. 

One in three families in Yolo County does not have enough diapers to keep their babies clean, dry and healthy. The Yolo Diaper Bank collects and distributes diapers to local agencies serving families in need. Diapers and checks made out to Yolo Diaper Bank may be dropped off by March 15 at any of these locations: Avid Reader Active (605 Second St.), Woodstock’s Pizza (219 G St.), Strelitzia Flower Company (4614 Second St. #1), or any Girl Scout Cookie booth (www.girlscoutcookies.org).

Diapers sizes 1 and 2 are most needed. Opened packages are accepted, as well as pull-ups and baby wipes. For more information, email Lmhansengs@gmail.com or info@yolodiaperbank.org.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. For more information on the club, visit sidavis.org or like its Facebook or Instagram pages: @SoroptimistDavis.


New metaphors for new understandings of genomes

Parking-signsHow genetic modification is like a modification to the parking code

By Sarah Perrault and Meaghan O’Keefe

The city of Davis — a town of about 67,000 residents in California and the home of the University of California Davis– is considering changing its downtown parking regulations to add parking fees and limit parking hours. Debates about this proposal have been raging in city council meetings, in local news venues, and in social media. The topics of debate, however, are not about the actual proposal, but about effects on people with mobility limitations; about whether there are enough bike racks in downtown Davis; about whether businesses would be harmed by the change; about whether businesses should have to pay for their employees’ parking; about climate change; about traffic jams and traffic signal timing and public transit and more.

On the surface, none of this has anything to do with genes or genetic modification but looked at another way, the similarities are striking. At first glance, the small change to the municipal code is just that — a small change of a few sentences in a 42-chapter document — but the consequences come not from the change itself, but from how that code is used, and from effects on civic life that extend into realms not immediately related to the matter of parking.

Continue reading "New metaphors for new understandings of genomes" »


David Vanguard Dishes Dirt for Deos

Deos vanguard 2
Big money in our little election

By Colin Walsh

On Thursday, February 20, the Vanguard Blog again ran an attack on Jim Provenza, trying to link him to an Independent Expenditure group that has run ads supporting him. By doing this Greenwald again seems to want to link Provenza to the controversial Yolo County DA. But let’s look a little deeper.

Greenwald to his credit did reach out to the Provenza campaign and Greenwald confirmed the campaign had no knowledge of the Independent Expenditure Committee Safe Neighborhoods Coalition.

Greenwald states the independent group “has put forward ads primarily on Facebook—though they have yet to file an independent expenditure report, so it is difficult to know how much they have spent.” Then the Vanguard goes on to say, “Independent expenditures must be reported if they exceed $1000.”  And that “By one count, ‘There have been at least ten separate ads. No idea how much they cost.’” That all makes it sound like the group is exerting a considerable effort on behalf of Provenza.

This is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest reporting. Greenwald publishes his attack after campaign finance reporting was due and what do you know, they did file a report – they filed on February 15, 2020 and again on the 20th. Worse, it was not their first filing. They filed on November 5, 2019 as well. All indications are this independent expenditure committee is operating legally and has made all appropriate filings. Greenwald's accusations are demonstrably false.

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Is the Vanguard Following Non-Profit Law?

Magnifying glass2"501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign"

By Rik Keller

In return for tax-exempt status, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization like the Vanguard promises the federal government that it will not engage in “political campaign activity.” If it does, IRS regulations mandate that the nonprofit lose its tax-exempt status and will be subject to other financial penalties [my emphasis]:

 “All section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/the-restriction-of-political-campaign-intervention-by-section-501c3-tax-exempt-organizations

The same IRS guidance goes onto state that 

“Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances.  For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.”

For a list of examples of the types of political campaign activities by nonprofit organizations that are banned by federal law, see: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/limits-political-campaigning-501c3-nonprofits-29982.html

These include:

  • “criticizing or supporting a candidate on the organization's website”
  • Publishing “materials that support (or oppose) a candidate”

Even publishing statements supporting or opposing candidates for office written by others is a violation: Federal code states that nonprofits may not “participate in, or intervene in (including publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for political office.” (see 26 U.S.C. Section 501(c)(3)) https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/political-campaign-activities-risks-tax-exempt-status

It is important to note that this prohibition against partisan political campaign activity is defined as “supporting or opposing a candidate for public office” and is considered different from lobbying or legislative activities. The Vanguard has conducted such political campaign activity against Jim Provenza and supporting Linda Deos on multiple occasions. And it is not the first instance of this type of violation of federal law by the Vanguard:

The situation gets even more shady when one considers the Vanguard’s advocating and support for such issues as the SB50 real estate bill at the state level and the proposed ARC project locally which will be on the ballot in November. In this case, the Vanguard has strongly advocated for this proposed legislation and intertwined this with commentary about candidates for public office like SB50 author California State Senator Scott Wiener and the candidates for the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. The IRS can find that “even an unbiased, neutral questionnaire to be problematic if an organization posts the candidates’ responses on its website, and other sections of the organization’s website advocate for a particular position on the issues mentioned in the questionnaire… by including the organization’s own viewpoint on the website, the organization is telling readers the “correct” position on each issue, and from that readers could then infer which candidates the organization would support.” https://bolderadvocacy.org/advocacy-defined/you-have-questions-we-have-answers/

Finally, while federal tax law prohibits 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations from supporting or opposing candidates for public office, they may--to a very limited degree--support and oppose ballot measures and other legislation under the federal tax law definition of “lobbying.” However, the Vanguard is doping this to a degree far beyond what is allowable under federal law. The following is a description of the types of activities that fall under the definition of “lobbying”

As stated 

“for IRS purposes, your nonprofit engages in lobbying anytime it attempts to persuade members of a legislative body to propose, support, oppose, amend, or repeal legislation. "Legislation" means anything a legislative body must vote to adopt or reject--whether a law, resolution, proposal, nomination, treaty, zoning rule, or anything else. It also includes things like referendums, initiatives, and constitutional amendments that must be placed on the ballot and voted on by the general public. Lobbying, then, means trying to persuade a member of Congress, state legislator, city council member, county board of supervisors member, and even a member of a foreign legislature or parliament, to vote in a certain way. It also means trying to help to enact or oppose a law or other item that would have to be voted on to take effect.

However, there does not have to be a specific law pending in a legislative body for lobbying to occur. Lobbying includes support or opposition for proposed laws that are a long way from actually being voted on…”

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-much-lobbying-can-nonprofit-do.html

Under IRS rules, a nonprofit qualifies for tax-exempt status as long as no “substantial part” of its overall activities relates to influencing legislation or carrying on propaganda. While there is no objective standard, the IRS has previously found that if as little as 5% of an organization’ time is spent on lobbying that meets the “substantial part” threshold and is a violation that can result in stripping the nonprofit tax status. Considering Greenwald is listed as the only author on pro development City of Davis land use stories that are run in the Vanguard daily he is clearly spending a significant amount of his time lobbying the Davis City Council.

In conclusion, the Vanguard has violated federal nonprofit law in multiple ways: by conducting partisan campaign activities both directly and indirectly, and by tying issue advocacy to political candidates. It has also violated the prohibition against using a substantial part of its time/energy/expenditures for issue lobbying. 


Abramson: Campaign Values and Vision

Tree of lifeThese are a few of the things I love about our campaign:

-We are putting forth a vision for a healthy future that so many people resonate with and want to co-create.

-We seek to live our values and actualize this vision right now, not just talk about it.

-We are not producing toxic waste by printing lawn signs.

-We are running on the people power of those who are helping to co-create a Local Green New Deal.

Continue reading "Abramson: Campaign Values and Vision" »