Letter: In support of Vaitla and Partida
October 02, 2022
The November 8 General Municipal Election gives Davis voters in District 1 (mostly west of 113) and District 4 (mostly East Davis/Mace Ranch) the opportunity to fill two seats. As a former Mayor of Davis, and cofounder of the Davis Food Co-op and Davis Farmers Market, I’m excited to endorse newcomer Bapu Vaitla for District 1 and former Mayor, Gloria Partida, for District 4.
Bapu Vaitla has vision and energy, as well as a deep background on issues Davis cares about. I first met him in 2018 when we worked on the “Food and Economic Development (FED) in Davis Report” for the City of Davis. Sadly, the report remains largely unimplemented.
The report outlined both a big-picture and baby-step practical strategies for food-based tourism, small-scale food entrepreneurship, integration of climate change work with climate smart food planning, and food-based economic development together with food security efforts. It built on Davis’ legacy of community food systems.
Bapu will make the report a priority, along with programmatic improvements in climate control and affordable housing – with the goal for Davis to be a model in climate action and social equity. Bapu is a gifted and tireless leader.
Words about an incumbent also running in District 1 -- I no longer support Dan Carson. As head of the campaign for Measure H and on behalf of the developers, he sued Davis citizen opponents of Measure H. The judge agreed there was little material content to be changed in their ballot argument as a result of the suit and fined Carson $42,200. Don’t reward that kind of unprecedented, egregious behavior in our local democracy. There are sure to be developments up for a citywide vote in the next four years – will Dan sue his next round of opponents if he is reelected?
Gloria Partida did an excellent job as Mayor (2020-22), a tough term which included the Covid pandemic. She has a long history of leadership and advocacy in the Davis community related to inclusion and civil rights. With her son, she has a food cart selling churros and knows first hand the hardships many small food businesses face in Davis. She’s supportive of many of the FED recommendations, as part of her interest in economic development, and will prioritize affordable housing, climate change and solutions for the unhoused.
I call on my fellow voters in District 1 and 4 to elect Bapu Vaitla and Gloria Partida.
Ann M. Evans, Former Mayor, City of Davis
Let’s all remember that the FED report Vaitla and Evans worked on together called for a peripheral business park as one of its recommendations. Personally, I am glad that recommendation remains “unimplemented” considering how bad measure B and measure H were.
Posted by: Colin Walsh | October 02, 2022 at 09:55 AM
With all due respect, I have to take issue with the endorsements of Ann Evans. Partida and Vaitla, to put it bluntly, would turns us into Vacaville if they could with their approval of almost anything residential or commercial.
And it is time for new blood on the City Council. Recall how Dan Carson effectively filed a SLAPP lawsuit against the ballot signers against Measure H—unprecedented in Davis history.
I am also hoping that Vaitla and Partida stand by their comments in an article in the DE, Sept. 28, 2022 (Anne Ternus Bellamy) that they would not mandate electrification in any form in 2025. But can we trust them and the rest of the incumbents on this one?
For an excellent article on why we should not re-elect with Carson or Partida, see Roberta Millstein piece in the Davis Enterprise today. It says it all:
Posted by: Dan Cornford | October 02, 2022 at 10:35 AM
I agree that Carson needs to go.
The rest of the letter seems to inadvertently provide arguments against Partida though. The letter states “She’s supportive of many of the FED recommendations…” but also admits “Sadly, the report remains largely unimplemented.” This has been during Partida’s tenure! Why does Evans think that Partida will all of a sudden get FED implementation accomplished when almost nothing has happened in the past few years?
In close partnership with Carson, Partida’s singular focus on trying to ram a peripheral business park in various incarnations past our unwilling citizenry is reason enough to see that she is out of step with the community. It has also led to inaction on other important community initiatives. We need new leadership.
As far as Vaitla, at least he is not Carson. I would note that he didn’t voice concerns about Carson’s lawsuit during the actual DISC campaign (probably because he also supported the project despite his recent efforts to try to greenwash his image). And his tenure on the Social Services Commission has coincided with years of inaction on updating the City’s Affordable Housing Ordinance and a poorly conceived effort at completing the City’s Housing Element Update that merely kicked important policy initiatives on affordable housing production down the road.
Posted by: R Keller | October 02, 2022 at 10:37 AM