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February 2024

Disconnect Between Councilman Vaitla’s Words and Deeds

I am very concerned at the disconnect between Councilman Vaitla’s words and deeds.

Vaitla spent considerable verbiage at the last council meeting claiming that his plan for the commissions was to “build capacity in our commission to go out and do the broad-based outreach.” He claims he seeks, “ as many people, as many different people, as diverse people as possible. Diverse in terms of class, in terms of resources, age, sex, gender, race, are in the process and participating.”

These are great sentiments and feel-good words about diversity and involvement, but the actual policy Vaitla put forward shrinks the commissions by about 25% of the community members serving as commissioners and he has not proposed any additional avenue for involvement. Each commissioner is not just a lone voice. As the Davis Commission handbook describes they are “the eyes and ears” of the council. Every commissioner is also a point of community contact in their neighborhoods, social circle, family network and beyond. Every commissioner is a community contact multiplier and brings with them a basket of other community voices.

Vaitla’s grandstanding and value-signaling are a sad display of typical politics. Remember, don’t look at what the politician says. Look at what they actually do. Vaitla's proposal to merge and disband commissions shrinks opportunities for diverse community involvement.

I am a current member of the Tree Commission and past chair, others on the commission may agree with me, but I am speaking for myself.

Colin Walsh

Political Spam & a Revised Davis Ballot Flyer

By Alan Hirsch

This is my revised ballot flyer (see below) posted earlier here and on the Facebook Group Davis Ballot Talk.  I have changed my endorsement for US Senator to Adam Schiff from Katie Porter.  Porter has taken the unprecedented move of selling her donors list PRE-Election, the most assured way to create spam to her donors.

In the political world there is an awareness of donor annoyance with spam-but it’s the tragedy of common’s playing out.

This intel comes courtesy of Vera Sandronsky (my wife) who has studied the issue and written in the Enterprise about other ways to give politically- i.e. non-candidate giving -  It will likely be more effective and reduce spam: give to grass root groups building local civic involvement infrastructure (like Sister District, Indivisible, Walk the Walk, etc.)  instead of pop-up candidate efforts that appear and go away bi-annually.

But even for candidate giving changes are coming, and donors have choices...

I share below from Halley Bash’s  of Donor Hub newsletter : -

Continue reading "Political Spam & a Revised Davis Ballot Flyer" »

Thank you from The Celebration of Abraham

The Celebration of Abraham (https://celebrationofabraham.net) wants to thank 103 people who braved the weather to come together on February 4 for the 21st annual Celebration of Abraham: A Community Conversation on Generous Listening. The program began with presentations from speakers from each of the Abraham traditions on the importance of listening within the tradition: Michael Hirsch, Bet Haverim; Pastor Dan Smith, Lutheran Church of the Incarnation; and Laleh Rastegarzadeh, Muslim Davis Engagement and Interfaith Network (DEIN). After the speakers set the table, Vera Sandronsky (Bet Haverim) and Anne Kjemtrup (Muslim DEIN) presented and then led the attendees through a structured listening training developed specifically for interfaith dialogue.

Following the exercise, participants were asked to write down, “How do you see using this listening tool in your life today?” One reflection captured what so many felt: “The world is in need of more people who listen well. We need to keep on working on these tools so that they become a natural part of one’s listening. “

After the exercise, participants engaged in a ritual of hand washing and sharing bread.

This year’s freewill offering totaling $1675 supported the Seeds of Peace which brings together young people from conflict areas of the world, including Israel and Palestine,  for dialogue and exercises in peace leadership

The event ended with another great tradition-- Randy Ferris leading all in singing “Children of Abraham.”

The Celebration thanks the Lutheran Church of the Incarnation for providing the venue and the Davis Coop for the bread.

Letter: No to PG&E Contributions

I recently read the Enterprise’s article about campaign contributions in the District 4 Yolo County Supervisors race. I was very disappointed to learn that a candidate in that race took money from PG&E. As a climate advocate, PG&E is the last corporation I want to see involved in our local elections. PG&E is responsible for dozens of wildfires, hundreds of deaths, and thousands of homes destroyed in California. As a Davis resident, my rates have also been hiked by PG&E, all while my service worsens.

PG&E has been flexing its political power to pass its liabilities onto ratepayers. Who could forget the money PG&E spent to defeat Yolo’s effort to join SMUD? As a community, we need to create a locally-controlled energy grid that relies on 100% renewable energy. Electing people who take money from PG&E is two steps backwards.

Yolo County is also beginning to implement its climate action & adaptation plan. As PG&E cuts investment in renewables due to their bankruptcy, the last thing we need in Yolo County is a Supervisor beholden to PG&E. The Enterprise reporting also begs the question: how can PG&E even give money to candidates with their recent bankruptcy? Is that what my higher rates are paying for?

I encourage everyone to read the Enterprise coverage of the contributions to the Supervisor race. I will be voting for a candidate who did not take money from PG&E.

Elias Bunting

Backing Allen

Dear fellow Yoloans,

We are writing this letter as support for our friend and colleague of over 20 years, Sheila Allen. Sheila is running for Yolo County Supervisor in District 4. Though we do not live in her district, her actions as a Yolo County Supervisor affects us too.

We live in the Capay Valley, with the largest unincorporated town in Yolo County, Esparto. We do not have a city to enact laws; represent our needs or help us achieve our community goals. We need elected supervisors who understand the fullness of Yolo County, and we know that is Sheila Allen.

Some of the ways we have worked together include First Five Yolo representing our individual districts; Yolo County Health Department as co-workers; and as a fellow volleyball team member! What that taught us was that Sheila could be depended upon to listen to concerns and help develop solutions. It taught us that Sheila will seek collaboration with all people and other Supervisors. And it taught us that she will invest all of her energies into being the best Yolo County Supervisor for District 4 and all of Yolo County.

-Sue Heitman

Zero Sum Game? Council Member Vaitla on Commissions & Community Engagement

by Alan Hirsch

Transcribed remarks from  02 20-1924 Council Meeting... Link to Video:  https://davis.granicus.com/player/clip/1665?view_id=6&redirect=true   Time stamp begins at 1:40:06.

Davis counicl Bapu Vaitla
Councilmember Bapu Vaitla

Council Member Bapu Vaitla comments on community engagement he envision for the General Plan, and his plan to consolidate commission have been in the news including a paraphrased  interview in  Enterprise 2/24 and a critique by Elaine Roberts Musser.  I present this word for word transcript of his remarks. This is a more complete transcript than appeared in Vanguard.

1:40:26...  I mostly want to talk about the community engagement piece .(for general plan a process).  But I want to say a few words about the staff involvement.... Both during the commission restructuring process, of which there was extension staff engagement in fact,  and the council retreat, It became apparent to me that there actually aren’t that many opportunities for staff to participate in long term visioning. That primarily because they are working so hard all the time in an understaffed city to try to get the work done day after day after day.  So when you provide some space, given their professional experience, given their expertise, what could Davis look like, in our most ambitious vision, 20 years into the future. 50 years in to the future That’s a rare opportunity.

And I don’t think the community, the community (air quotes)  at large  is that worried about transparency about staff, I think  there is a small group of people who are always pointing fingers at staff, that is  not a community wide concern, I think when you do surveys about satisfaction with staff they regularly receive very high marks for their performance and their transparency. And their collegiality, their willingness to interact and answer questions to the community.

Continue reading "Zero Sum Game? Council Member Vaitla on Commissions & Community Engagement" »

Wolk: Supporting Sheila

I am supporting Sheila Allen for election to the Board of Supervisors. Sheila is the best choice to work on the broad array of problems that the Yolo Board of Supervisors will have to deal with over the next four years.

She is the only candidate that has wide experience forming coalitions to bring services to areas that have little or none. A new library in South Davis? A shelter like Yolo Crisis Nursery? More services to treat the mentally ill and addicted whose numbers grow daily? Or seniors who need caregivers, respite and support? And the children who have been left behind? Sheila has fought for and already provided leadership in so many areas. 

We know that social services is the major business of the county board. That’s true but what that really means is hard work with 4 other Supervisors who are equally challenged by their cities and constituents to get more from the State budget and use what we have wisely. She has a headstart in endorsements of future colleagues on the Board, in the Yolo Cities, schools, and non-profits who provide so much of those services.

But what about unique issues to District 4, like water? Flood protection? Agriculture? Habitat? She doesn’t need to come up to speed about the Yolo Basin, Putah Creek, groundwater protection or levees. She understands the mix of federal, state and local interests, private and public land ownership, all interests that rely on agreement to move forward. She knows that a partnership between agriculture and the environment and government is the only successful way forward. 

I am grateful to Sheila for her willingness to run. She knows the job, she knows the challenges, and she is enthusiastic at the opportunity to take it on! We would be foolish to turn her down.

-Lois Wolk

Former state senator, assemblywoman, county supervisor and Davis mayor

Letter in support of Andrew Engdahl

This is a shout out to all of the progressive voters in the 4th Congressional District which includes most of Yolo County (West Sac is excluded).

If you are outraged by the incomprehensible, unjustifiable and egregious military response that Israel has taken toward Palestinians in Gaza and beyond, please cast your vote for Democrat ANDREW ENGDAHL for our representative in Congress. He is challenging the incumbent, Mike Thompson, who has NOT been listening to his constituents. 

Despite what the world community now sees as a genocide meant to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Gaza, Congressman Thompson continues to vote to give Israel billions of our tax dollars in military aid, no questions asked.   Rep. Thompson seems satisfied with the status quo not just in his blind support for Israel, but also with regard to other progressive platforms like universal health care, criminal justice reform and climate action.

We need to elect a congressperson who aligns with our values on the issues that matter most to the future of our county, country and the world.  Please join me and other Democrats who have met with ANDREW ENGDAHL personally and are moved by his dedication, intellect and platform.  At the very least, if he gets enough votes to make the general election (the top two go forward) this will press the incumbent to take the progressive agenda more seriously and maybe even debate his challenger on these most important matters.

Joannie Siegler
Davis, CA

Analysis of Vaitla’s Statements in Davis Enterprise Article on Merging Commissions

By Elaine Roberts Musser

If you parse through Councilmember Vaitla’s statements appearing in the Davis Enterprise, it shows:  a  lamentable  lack  of  understanding  about  how  commissions  work;  a  complete disregard  for  the  opinion   of  commissioners   who  are  the  ones  effected   by  merging commissions;  and  an  extremely  questionable  and  ill  informed  rationale  for  what  he  is proposing. Furthermore, because of his refusal to appoint applicants to commission vacancies, the FBC is no longer providing citizen oversight of the city budget. That, together with his proposal the city pay to create new city public health services that are the responsibility of the county, will sink the chances of any tax increase proposed for the November ballot.  

  1. Vaitla: “…either City Council is not proactive in asking the commissions what to do; or the membership of the commissions is such that people have interests of their own and they are kind of deviating from what Council is asking, outside of the authorizing resolutions of the commissions…
    • If the City Council is not proactive in asking commissions what to do, whose fault is that? The commissions cannot read the City Council’s collective mind. The City Council needs to be more communicative as to what information it wants.  Why should commissioners be punished by being forced to merge with another commission because of the fault of the City Council?
    • If commissions are deviating from their authorizing resolutions, city staff will rein them in if necessary.

Continue reading "Analysis of Vaitla’s Statements in Davis Enterprise Article on Merging Commissions" »

Provenza Urges Vote For Allen

Vote for Allen 

I have represented Davis on the Board of Supervisors for 15 years. At my side has been Dr. Sheila Allen, an accomplished public servant, public health professional, and passionate advocate for our community.  I am honored to support Sheila to replace me on the Board.

County supervisor is perhaps the most difficult and rewarding job in local government. The county is responsible for health, public safety, economic development, agriculture, water, flood and fire prevention, roads, environment, housing, libraries, and more. As deputy supervisor, Sheila delivered sound results in each of these areas.

After nine years on the school board and fourteen years leading the Healthy Aging board, Sheila knows how to get things done. She is also well situated to handle a county budget now approaching $1 billion.

During the pandemic, Sheila delivered vaccines, food, and supplies to isolated residents and helped assure that 95% of our seniors were vaccinated.  As a nurse with a PhD in public health, Sheila is uniquely qualified to address health and safety issues.

Sheila helped develop protocols to evacuate disabled persons during floods and fires. She also helped increase fire protection for homes along Putah Creek.  It is no wonder that the Davis Firefighters have enthusiastically endorsed her.

Sheila has also worked on local flood projects, funding a new South Davis library, and advancing public safety in Davis, Willowbank and El Macero.

Sheila has the knowledge, experience, and commitment to excel as county supervisor. Please vote for Sheila Allen on or before March 5.

-Jim Provenza

Allen for Supervisor

Sheila Allen will be an excellent Yolo County Supervisor. Sheila cares for and listens to her constituents and provides services that address their needs. When world language programs in the Davis School District were proposed to be cut Sheila listened to the parents and understood the importance of retaining those programs for students to succeed in today’s world, learn more about other cultures, and have opportunities for grassroots exchanges. Thankfully, Sheila voted with two other Davis School Board members to retain the programs.

Sheila has dedicated her public service career to helping meet the needs of people of all ages in Davis and in Yolo County. She founded and directed the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance to promote the well-being of older adults and she continues to work for Yolo older adults by expanding the Yolo Adult Day Health Program, educating on emergency preparation, and supporting aging caregivers of persons with disabilities. 

Sheila served as the inaugural Yolo County First 5 Commissioner and chaired the City of Davis Human Relations Commission focused on public safety. As Yolo County Supervisor Provenza’s deputy she focused on planning and funding the much needed south Davis library, health and safety needs, funding for mental health, and housing for young families.

Sheila’s education and experience in public health and her dedication and strong success record in providing services for people of all ages to live healthfully makes her the best person for Yolo County’s next supervisor.

-Ron Unger

Top Choice

Sheila is my No. 1 choice for Yolo County supervisor in District 4. Between her experience with Yolo County Supervisor Provenza, her long history working to make our community better, and her willingness to work hard, she has earned my respect on many levels. Sheila has my vote and I encourage you to vote for her too!

-Rose Cholewinski

Allen Experience Shows

Support for Allen – 2/2

I have known Sheila for more than 25 years and wholly support her bid for Yolo County Supervisor. She has the experience, shown through her 30 years of participation and support for your Yolo County community. Her record testifies to her involvement supporting a broad swath in our community.

Her work for our children includes First 5, Explorit Board of Director President, Davis School Board, and the PTA. She has advocated for elderly and disabled adults with her founding of Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance (YHAA) which helps bring programs together throughout Yolo County and the state.

This program was instrumental in helping a very vulnerable population during the pandemic. She continues her public service as chair of Unitrans Advisory Committee and City of Davis Human Relations Commission.

I personally have worked with Sheila to help her keep the Children’s Explorit Museum programs going during COVID and re-open their doors. I’ve also worked with YHAA bringing COVID vaccines to seniors and the community by collaborating with the County Health Department and meals to seniors by working with food security programs.

Sheila’s connections, understanding, and dedication working with organizations throughout Yolo County have provided Yolo County with someone who is amazing, qualified and ready to embrace the challenges ahead for all of Yolo County.

-Julie Langston


Allen a problem-solver

I am writing this letter in support of Sheila Allen for Yolo County Supervisor. I have had the privilege of getting to know Sheila personally as a DJUSD School Board member and a high school parent.

Sheila has always impressed me as a person who is committed to making our educational system and community better. As a leader, Sheila is genuine, compassionate, enthusiastic, and supportive. Sheila clearly has the knowledge and experience that enables her to effectively evaluate issues and recommend solutions that resolve the issues.

Sheila has learned problem solving from her various positions serving Yolo County. She understands the necessity of listening to all sides and is skillful at guiding others in compromising their positions. Sheila is energetic, considerate, and trustworthy. These are all attributes that enable constructive leadership.

Please join me in supporting Sheila Allen for Yolo County Supervisor.

-Courtenay Tessler

Arts activities picking up speed in Davis

Arts Alliance Davis members meet on Feb. 16 at Davis Musical Theater Company. (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) After a pandemic pause and slow restart, activities in the creative sector are multiplying and gaining momentum, Davis arts supporters attest.

That was the word at the Feb. 16 meeting of Arts Alliance Davis, where participants shared information on events, and ideas to help the local art scene flourish.

Autumn Labbé-Renault, executive director of Davis Media Access, said people are adjusting to being around others, and ready to return to lively, shared spaces without as much apprehension about COVID. Joseph Fletcher, manager of the Veterans Memorial Theatre, said he’s getting lots of last-minute creative requests to use the City’s recently remodeled venue.

Jessie Nakahara, with the City of Davis’ Arts and Cultural Affairs program, sees evidence of this too, noting that there is no longer a slow season in Davis. Locals are enthusiastic about new ideas and willing to try new things.

One of those passionate concepts is a new studio for emerging artists called Secret Spot. It began six months ago and is already expanding. The organizers – local artists Harry Greer, Stephanie Peel and Toni Rizzo – just signed a lease for 117 D St., former home to The Wardrobe. It already rented the garage space behind the building. The turquoise studio up front will be an artist lounge, gallery and gift shop, open five days a week. The old space will stay on as a music studio, among other things.

Continue reading "Arts activities picking up speed in Davis" »

The Commission Subcommittee Song (Matchmaker Parody)








Sung at Tuesday February 21st City Council meeting, to the Tune of 'Matchmaker' from 'Fiddler on the Roof':

Parody Live at City Council (time - 20:15): 


Original Song: 


Continue reading "The Commission Subcommittee Song (Matchmaker Parody)" »

Support Allen

Please join us to support Dr Sheila Allen for Yolo County Supervisor for District 4.

As Supervisor Jim Provenza’s Deputy, she is trained and ready to be his successor. I have been a fan of Jim Provenza since he first took office in 2008. I admire his accomplishments as Yolo County Supervisor and recall he obtained millions of dollars for direct services for children and families, those without housing, and the aged. He has decided not to see re-election for the fifth term to spend time with his family.

Dr. Sheila is the right candidate for us. She is a charismatic leader. She founded and directed the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance, was a founding member of Yolo First 5 and has chaired several other county committees. She’s focused on mental health services funding, housing for young families experiencing homelessness, and much more.

As a Ph.D. in nursing, health and human services are her expertise, she helped nurture and care for our loved ones who were sick in San Francisco and Yolo County. She took care of our neighbors, spouse, siblings, children, colleagues, and friends, which is what governing is all about. Governing simply means managing people. Dr Sheila Allen is the right fit to govern us in Yolo County as our Supervisor.

For these reasons, Politicians and Leaders of Tomorrow Group proudly supports Dr Sheila Allen for Yolo County Supervisor (District 4).

-Chukwunedum (Chuck) Amajioyi

Allen brings energy

I'm in Sheila Allen's district (4) and delighted that she's running for the County Board of Supervisors. Davis' own energizer bunny, Sheila (RN, Ph.D., Mom) has served us for over 30 years in this amazing (but partial!) list: Davis School Board, Yolo County Health Dept., Yolo Health Council, Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance (which she founded), Yolo First Five (which she co-founded), District 4 Deputy, PTA, Human Relations Commission, and DaVinci JHS and Yolo Cares Adult Day Program (both of which she co-founded).

I've known Sheila for decades and have never seen her sitting down. Her consistent commitment, open heart, and superior ability mark her as an ideal candidate for county supervisor, and I wish we had thousands like her at every level of government. Thanks to Sheila for working so hard for us and wanting to continue to do so. We're lucky. Please join me in voting for Sheila Allen by March 5.

-Sherrill Futrell

Antonio - one sharp thinker!

Dear Editor,

We are excited to endorse Antonio De Loera-Brust for Yolo County Supervisor representing East, South and parts of North Davis. Election Day is March 5th and mail-in voting will commence in early February. Indeed, the election is here! As mayor, Joe got to know Antonio when he was a Davis High student and won the City's Thong Hy Huynh Award. From early on, we witnessed his deep commitment to Yolo County's social values. Antonio is insightful and policy savvy, and particularly on the services and justice issues over which county government presides. His work with Yolo's migrant community and commitment to public health during the pandemic impressed us deeply.

What tipped the scales for us was reading articles he's written outside politics. They show a thoughtful individual far beyond the curated political realm. The pieces demonstrate analysis and depth—exactly what public service needs more of. No finger-pointing, just compassion and analysis. He's one sharp thinker! He's independent and confident. He'll lead.

Importantly, his roots are all Davis. Antonio's networks are from growing up here, attending Davis High, working with Yolo’s COVID response program, and starting life in Davis with his fiancée, Melissa.

Please join us in supporting Antonio De Loera-Brust for supervisor. New leadership will be good for Yolo County. Antonio is certainly ready to lead us through the challenges ahead. He'll serve with distinction and make us proud.

Janet and Joe Krovoza (former Mayor, Davis (2011-14))


Sheila cares about people

Sheila cares about people

My doorbell rang today and upon answering it, I found Sheila Allen tucking a bouquet of flowers into my mailbox. Why? I had been unable to attend her campaign fundraiser due to a bout of covid. When I texted her to let her know I would not be there, she first verified I had access to timely health care and then brought flowers from the event to my home.

At this moment, Sheila is probably the busiest person I know. When you are campaigning, there are never enough hours in the day, but she made time to deliver those flowers. And since my cancer diagnosis two years ago, Sheila has delivered several homecooked meals for my entire family. Warm soups, freshly baked bread and delicious desserts. And flowers.

This is why I support Sheila for Yolo County Supervisor. Yes, she’s smart. Yes, she’s experienced and very well-qualified for the job. Yes, she has a wealth of important endorsements and a fabulous smile. But more importantly, Sheila truly cares about people. As supervisor, Sheila will put the needs of you and your family front and center. If you live in District 4, I encourage you to vote for Sheila Allen for Yolo County Supervisor.

-Susan Lovenburg