Entries categorized "Education"

Ageist, Racist... and not the only collective bicycle solution we need

OBISinclusion
From a presentation I did about bike share in Germany the year after my team's first place win in an international bike share design competition with more than 100 competitors.

The authorities in Greater Davis* (City of Davis and UC Davis) plan to introduce a shared micro-mobility system starting this September (the introduction of e-scooter share and re-introduction of e-bike share). It is the topic of an informational item today at the July meeting of the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC) at Davis Senior Center, 530pm in the Activity Room. The planned operator is Spin. (The staff report mentions Lime, a lot -- they are the operator in Sac and West Sac and seemed to have been the operator-in-waiting here through at least the end of 2022).

There was e-bike share in Davis and UC Davis from 2018 until 2020, when Jump, its operator, cancelled it due to lack of use due to COVID-related UCD class cancellations and remote learning. Non UC-users were not considered, or at least were left in the lurch. (It's worth noting that during this time bike share use in other cities increased due to aversion to public transport...)

Following I will address the issues mentioned in my headline, and then briefly will comment on some other features of the draft agreement. There's way too much to address in one article - hopefully the Commission is able to sort through the staff report in a holistic way.  If you want to skip to my juicy accusations of ageism, racism and far from ideal use as a mobility solution, see the sections below entitled 18 and Where's the Fleet?

To step back a bit - and also to educate Commissioners because there's now been 100% turnover in the BTSSC since 2018 and only one of two key City staff members still on board since then - and turnover also at UC Davis TAPS - here's a list of issues for micro-mobility share in our region from the beginning, and also some stuff about my professional history with bike share. Some of the following is anecdotal - as indicated - not due to lack of trying, and mostly because discussions with the private entities involved in operator (and sponsorship) are private, and apparently e.g. NDA's come into play.):

2000s: The advertising and street furniture giant JCDecaux approached the authorities in Lyon, France about sponsoring a new bike share system - there were earlier ones in other European cities, but this was the first one with technology broadly similar to what we have today - in exchange for an exclusive on their main business, a mentioned. This set a template for corporate sponsorship of bike share, especially in the USA, where we have - for example - bike share in NYC sponsored by Citicorp, and in many general east-of-the-Mississippi cities by Blue Cross-Blue Shield (BCBS) associated entities.  In my view, this marriage to corporate sponsors has had some negative impacts, which I don't consider as in any reasonable trade-offs: Citicorp controls banks and real estate loans, and thus directly affects the lives of many of its users outside of their bike share monopoly; BCBS-associated companies have in a rather insidious (ironic) way have healthwashed-with-bikes their opposition to Medicare for All-type plans. This reliance on direct corporate funding is wholly unique to micro-mobility share in the USA, and locally (Capitol Corridor, Regional Transit, Unitrans and Yolobus are mostly supported by passenger fares, government subsidy... including Unitrans by the City) and a small amount by advertising on properties, and in some cases gives control to a private entity with no related regulation, no way for citizens - aside from shareholders - to have a democratic influence.

2003: While leading a study visit to Germany from Prague we were introduced to the bike share system run by the German National Railway Operator. It was early technology, e.g. a staff person told me that the put on pretense that the bikes could be found via GPS trackers, but there were actually none in place.

2009: A team consisting of myself (I was based in Berlin at the time, operating as Green Idea Factory), a Swedish mobility consultant and a Swedish industrial design firm won one of two first prizes for a detailed concept for a dockless bikeshare system in an international competition in Denmark. The concept is articulated further in a presentation I created in 2010.

2017: Sutter and Kaiser were both asked to be main sponsors of bike share in the Sacramento region. Anecdotally, Sutter objected because it wouldn't want Kaiser-branded bikes on its properties, and Kaiser objected because vice-versa. So....no sponsorship happened. Without naming these companies by name, this information came from at the time City Councilmember Frerichs and the now former head of JUMP.

2018: Before the pilot started in the region, the operator JUMP was purchased by UBER. The pilot started in Davis without input from the BTSSC, because Staff wanted to start by "bike month" in May of that year. Also around this time West Sacramento started negotiations to work with a different operator, but were talked out of it.

2019: The BTSSC was only allowed to formally review the system after a year. At the time  I was on the BTSSC and I wrote a critical report, mentioning age and weight limits and other issues.

2019: Since the beginning, throughout this year and into 2020, there was a issue about bikes being parked in a way which would encumber or threaten others. Leaving aside how this compares to what car and delivery truck drivers do, it was something that needed to be addressed. Staff was very resistant for a time  to the idea of parking bikes in the street "like a motorcycle" - and people were doing this on their own, but it was not officially-sanctioned -  but then when I came forward with a detailed proposal - at the time I was still on the BTSSC - but was then told that staff had already decided to do it. See also. Unfortunately this was never officially put into practice by the time that JUMP ended bike share operations in spring 2020. Spin operates on the campus of UCSD, and their parking instruction video is over five years old, and hardly anyone has watched it. Rules need to be intuitive.

2019: OK, possibly in 2018? The City had BTSSC members and others tested perhaps six different types of e-scooters in anticipation of their possible allowance for general use by City Council.

Early 2020: JUMP cancelled bikeshare through the region, as mentioned. The staff report doesn't mention that a  great deal of its bikes and supporting technology was simply and literally trashed.

2022: Bikeshare and scootershare started again in Sacramento and West Sacramento, operated by LIME (who purchased JUMP from UBER) with government financial sponsorship (something not happening with Davis/UC Davis.)

 

Spinbike
Is this the bike they're planning to use here? Can't tell if there's a way to secure something in the rack... if not, that's a deal breaker! https://www.spin.app/s-300

 

18

From its beginning as a pilot just in Sacramento, bike share in the region (this plan joins non-connected systems in Sacramento and West Sacramento), has had a minimum age limit of 18.  It's critical to understand that there is no state regulation preventing anyone who is able to ride a bike from using the type of e-bike - a Class 1 e-bike - that Spin will provide, and e-scooters require only any classification of driver's license (so at lowest, 16 for the latter, and perhaps state ID's do not count.)

Lower-income families have fewer mobility options, generally-speaking (e.g. fewer cars, prohibitively expense train tickets, etc.) and youth members of these households even more so. Brown and Black people are disprotionately-represented in these households. So not only is the proposed agreement between the City of Davis, UC Davis and SPIN ageist, it's also racist.

 

Unanimousv

Violation of Federal Law (in the previous bike share system), Elected Official and Staff hijinks

Around the time of my 2019 critical report - linked above, and mentioned in it - I suggested that the lower-than-18 age limit - not supported by State regulation on the utilized Class I e-bike - was in violation of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, a Federal Law that is, in a way, an age-related version of Title VI of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, as the City of Sacramento - a partner in the regional bike share system - was receiving Federal money to install bicycle parking racks as these were determined to be necessary to account for the increase of bicycles. The response from SACOG was that as the rule was that of the bike share operator and not the City of Sacramento or its government partners - they were off the look. A brazen loophole, in their view, obviously to intimidate me into not pursuing the matter! (Lucas Frerichs was aware of this or perhaps even helped direct SACOG staff on this matter.) At the time, former City of Davis senior planner Brian Abbanat - now working for Yolo Transit District - even wrote me as a BTSSC member an email - responding to my article in Davisite - telling me to not spread implications etc that the City was in violation of the law. Despite all of this - and to their great credit - the BTSSC unanimously supported my motion to recommend that the City Council ask JUMP and SACOG to consider lowering the age limit. The City Council did put this on their long range calendar but never acted on that, and dropped it once JUMP pulled service, and left it off once bike (and scooter) share discussions starting again. Some Councilmembers - perhaps Arnold and Partida - did ask about the issue during a meeting in 2022, but around the same time the City of Davis and UC Davis were already planning to go it alone on micromoblity share, though at that City Council meeting a now former representative of SACOG, Kirk Trost, said based on in his experience in developing bike over the region over the previous decade, there were essentially no operators who allowed people under 18. This is false on a national level (NYC, Philadelphia...) and in California (Los Angeles, Long Beach...) all allow people to use e-bikes from under 18.

Institutionally-speaking, not only SACOG and the City of Davis are blocking youth mobility, but also the board of DJUSD. Back in 2019 I met with Cindy Pickett when she was President - or just a member: She was willing to support a min. 16 age limit, BUT no one else on the Board was interested.  Thanks for trying, Cindy! (Also about bringing back school buses...)

 

Peerage

My concept has for a few years been not simply that the entry level for bike share is under 18 (and for scooter share from license-accquisition) but that that it's peer-based. In other words, that one can use bike share - again, no government age restrictions apply - at the same time as their peers. My specific example would be that it start with ascending 10th graders, i.e. from the first week or so - pending administrative processing, etc - of the summer before 10th grade.

How is this better than strict temporal demarcations? For a start, 15 year-olds are likely to be friends with people both older and younger: Not everyone is the same age at the beginning of summer before 10th grade, nor during the school year, etc. So - in theory - with peer-based mobility share - a 14, 15 and 16 year-old who are good friends could all ride bike share bikes together from the start of the mentioned ascending period. A peer-based system wouldn't split friends up: Consider the extreme alternative: A group of students all under 18 who can't use bike share but CAN drive, or a mixed group, all of whom can't use bike share but CAN drive.

Wow, what a great reward, mobility milestone, etc... and perhaps before they're already (emotionally-invested) in getting a driver's license (which apparently they need to use the scooters, irony!). Right? Unfortunately: Crickets. This would be a first in the country, or perhaps anywhere.

 

The RFP

In the end the Request for Proposals (RFP) - see pg 66 - made a very, very soft ask for below 18 age limits. Way too soft for a city and university that chronically self-congratulate in regards to equity and inclusion. Srsly, are we applying Hate-Free too narrowly?

20. How do you intend to serve users who are less than 18-years of age? The City of Davis would like to provide shared bicycles to community members 16 and up, which could include non-electric devices as part of the device mix. [...]

The answer to this (see pg 3.):

Age. All users must be 18 and over. In accordance with state and federal law, this policy protects the best financial interests of Spin’s customers and their organization since the minimum legal age of consent in most contracts (including user agreements) is 18 years or older. Staff understands the strong interest in allowing for people 16 and over to use these devices, however, all of the vendors had a minimum age of 18 years old.

  • It's not clear to which "state and federal law"(s) they refer to. Adults (who are also guardians of minors) can sign off for them on any number of things, including marriage. There's only a state law requiring a driver's license for e-scooters and being at least 16 to operate a Class 3 e-bike (again Spin bikes are Class 1)
  • Spin's "customers" (the parents and guardians) are fully capable of deciding how to protect their financial interests, and those of their children/charges.
  • It's not clear who are "all of the vendors": It's not mentioned in the staff report, i.e. there's no listing of who submitted bids or proposals aside from Spin (Operators of the systems mentioned below all allow under-16's: Philadelphia, Bicycle Transit Systems; NYC and Washington, D.C., Lyft; Long Beach, Social Bicycles (who split off from what became Jump), Los Angeles, B-Cycle.)  That Lime only allows 18 and over's is only their decision... call it a "business decision", you know, like making cluster bombs...  or we can call it's: Lawyers 1; Davis youth, 0.

Other Cities Better than Davis / UCLA 1; UCD: 0

As mentioned above, under 18's can use shared e-bikes in major cities such as Philadelphia and NYC, the nation's capital, and in California in Long Beach and Los Angeles. All require some form of parental or guardian permission and formal responsibility. In sum these systems provide tens of thousands of electric assist bicycles to minors.

What's significant about the bike share system run by Metro, the public operator in L.A. (inclusive of Hollywood, Venice, etc.)  is that it is also expanding to cities such as Culver City, is already in Santa Monica, and - significantly - the UCLA campus. (How is a university campus relevant to under 18's? Well, many so-called child prodigies and other very high achievers skip a grade or more and enter university before age 18. Some also participate in summer programs, or use various facilities during the year, such as I did at UCLA when I had an AP history class in high school near the university. Do we want 16 and 17 year-olds visiting our city for serious academic reasons to be denied shared micromobility?)

 

Icing on the Cake of Anti-Equity

As many - including micromobility share - operators know well, users frack with age limits. What this means is that, for example, there are technical limits to how they can prevent anyone using a smartphone with their app on it connected with a credit card. Spin seems to hint at new countermeasures in the staff report, BUT this might partly bluster, similar what the Germans did nearly 20 years ago, as mentioned above.

More important, let's see how this likely works in practice: In most cases parents/guardians know the rule but allow their child to 'cheat" for any number of reasons. It seems likely that parents who tend to do this are less risk averse in regards to some financial issue that comes up as a result. So this would indicate a further anti-equity bonus in the form of a bias  in the system for wealthier families. To be clear, I've not done research on this, but it seems like common sense.

 

Spinscooter
Is the scooter Spin will be bringing here? It's worth noting that about four years ago several operators brought scooters to town for staff and commissioners to test out. That didn't happen again... https://www.spin.app/rides/spin-6

e-Scooters

"Micromobility" - my blog engine can't decide if it needs a hyphen - is a bit of a new term, so I've perhaps conflated some things above between e-bikes and e-scooters. BUT as mentioned above, one only has to be 16 with a driver's license (from other states and countries?) to use an electric-assist scooter in California. So the ascending thing doesn't apply.  Otherwise most of  the planned to be codified ageism and racism applies! Hooray! YES, from what I have seen all operators have a min. age 18 limit for scooters.... and Davis and UC Davis are refusing to take a stand about it. #equitydeferstotheman

 

Where's the Fleet?

Is the planned system what we really need to get a very, very wide range of people and campus in the city on comfortable, fast enough, well-built and appropriately designed bikes?

Nope.

Every year... thousands of faculty, staff and especially students appear in Davis. Some have not ridden a bike in some time, some don't know to ride... these and many more don't actually know what is a useful bike for Davis, many don't have time to research and pick one out. Useful bikes are also hard to get, though selection is getting better - I think that some Dutch academic-related people are warned about this in advance: I have two Dutch-built bikes which were never sold retail in the USA... left by former Aggies...)

1872B826-001A-4966-87D7-6BE4AC9633F5

The bike pictured above -  or ones like it - is a poster child for absolutely not the bike to offer to students or others in Davis:

Cons: 

Loud, inefficient tires, bad for cornering on pavement and in rain

No fenders

No semi-built in lights or built in lights

No way to carry cargo

No bell!

Pros: 

Not a big loss of money if it breaks down or is stolen (A newer model is only $300)

Nevertheless, this is a type of bike that's extremely common on campus. Many also don't fit well, even if purchased new. 

Note that aside from the one thing in the Pro column, I am not talking about the quality of the bike, likely warranty or lack of local bike shop support. This is about design. 

What the UC Davis campus (and probably many other UC and CSU campuses) really, really need is a fleet system of some sort. There are various business models, but the main criteria could be:

1) Suitability for local terrain and surface conditions: This means a relatively narrow gear range, or perhaps one relatively low gear, and therefore only 3 to 5 speeds. This means tires suited best for streets and possibly a bit of gravel, so that a student bike can fulfill at least a bit of a spontaneous recreational need. 

2) Cargo equipment suitable for carrying a large student backpack and two bags of groceries, possibly even some kind of low security (for groceries, not laptops)

3) Built in lights with power from other than batteries 

4) Low step, with three sizes to accommodate nearly all rider heights

5) Security system consisting of a tough main lock, front wheel security nuts and Dutch style frame lock for the rear. 

5a) Possibly some dedicated locking design based on typical bike share, but the bikes will still need to be parked in random places, so that only goes so far. Unfortunately these bikes probably can't be unique enough  in a way which facilitates locking-to-itself.

This system would be a complement to normal bike share (um, non-ageist, non-racist bike share!)

Though as mentioned the business model may vary, one idea would be that every student is assigned a bike by request at any time which will be of the appropriate size for the individual, and easy to identify with a color, a number and some tech-facilitated means connected with a smartphone app. This bike would be maintained by some outgrowth of the Bike Barn etc, or even farmed out to local bike shops (who would, after all, be dealing with a set design with the same parts etc. The bikes would have to be un-lockable by related staff so that can be picked up where they parked, broken down etc 

Cost? Yes, this will be expensive, though not relative to the existing costs of tuition and fees. 

The advantages cannot be over-stated:

Reliable bikes, optimized for student and related close urban lifestyles.

Predictable lighting.

A slow downsizing of chronically under-lit, poor fitting (size and use) , mechanically and pneumatically-sub-optimal crap bikes that fill every possible nook and cranny in the city and campus... wasting space, wasting time, avoiding safety, making it easy for driver-identified people to complain.... filling the city and campus bike racks with rusting junk that takes a huge amount of capacity, time and money to deal with.

WHY has this not been discussed to date in Davis?

Examples from the region and abroad. Some of the fleets are designed for a particular locale, such as a corporate campus, others are designed for an entire country, still others for long-term use:

Google campus bikes

Swapfiets

OV-Fiets

This is a new sub-topic for a longer discussion, but it very BADLY needs to happen.


Estates, Wills & Trusts is topic of May 22 Soroptimist talk

Silva
Raquel M. Silva (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts will be the topic of the Wednesday, May 22 meeting of Soroptimist International of Davis. The free program will be from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the conference room at University Inn and Suites, 1111 Richards Blvd., Davis.

Soroptimist International of Davis is empowering local women by offering a series of financial literacy talks. The programs are educational and free from sales pitches. They focus on the issues females face in the financial and legal world, including a gender pay gap, smaller pensions than men, and patriarchal attitudes.

Davis family law attorney Raquel M. Silva will share some steps people can take to make sure their estates avoid probate and other problems. This is the fourth in a four-part series that covered Women & Investing, Life & Liability Insurance, and Taxes & Accounting. Lunch is provided by the club, with donations accepted to cover meal costs. First-time Soroptimist guests are always free.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. It was founded in 1921 in Alameda County. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

SI Davis offers cash Live Your Dream Awards to female heads of household seeking education or training, and assists King High students through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. It also funds high school scholarships, and grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission.

SI Davis members meet twice a month on Wednesdays – once at lunchtime and once in the evening – and connect for other fun activities and service. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.


Groove with Soroptimists for 70th anniversary

SI Davis 70th Anniversary Invite FlyerSoroptimist International of Davis will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a disco-themed dinner on Sunday, May 19.

The event is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Stonegate Country Club, 919 Lake Blvd., Davis. Tickets are $40 and include dinner, a drink ticket, and disco lessons led by Pamela Trokanski. Groovy attire is encouraged. Tickets may be purchased at https://bit.ly/GetGroovyWithUs. The event is open to the public. Please RSVP by May 10.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. It was founded in 1921 in Alameda County. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in May 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

SI Davis offers cash Live Your Dream Awards to female heads of household seeking education or training, and assists King High students through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. It also funds high school scholarships, and grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission.

SI Davis members meet twice a month on Wednesdays – once at lunchtime and once in the evening – and connect for other fun activities and service. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.


Soroptimist financial empowerment talk is April 24

SueWestwood 1
Sue Westwood (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Taxes & Accounting will be the topic of the Wednesday, April 24 meeting of Soroptimist International of Davis. The free program will be from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the conference room at University Inn and Suites, 1111 Richards Blvd., Davis.

Soroptimist International of Davis is empowering local women by offering a series of financial literacy talks. The programs are educational and free from sales pitches. They focus on the issues females face in the financial world, including a gender pay gap, smaller pensions than men, and continued patriarchal attitudes.

Certified Public Accountant Sue Westwood, a partner at Carbahal & Company in Davis, will discuss tax issues that are especially important to women.

This is the third of a four-part financial empowerment series. Topics have included Women & Investing, and Life & Liability Insurance. The final one, on Estates, Wills & Trusts, will be May 22, featuring Davis family law attorney Raquel Silva. Guests may attend one or all sessions. Lunch is provided by the club, with donations accepted to cover costs. First-time guests are always free.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. It was founded in 1921 in Alameda County. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

SI Davis offers cash Live Your Dream Awards to female heads of household seeking education or training, and assists King High students through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. It also funds high school scholarships, and grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission.

SI Davis members meet twice a month on Wednesdays – once at lunchtime and once in the evening – and connect for other fun activities and service. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.


75% fossil fuel reduction by 2030

As the group of students, staff, and faculty whose meeting with Chancellor May in December 2021 led to a plan to eliminate fossil fuel use by UC Davis (Fossil Free UCD), we are pleased to see the release of the Fossil-Fuel Free Pathway Plan (FFFPP), as reported in the Davis Enterprise.  We are grateful to Chancellor May for his continuing dialogue and leadership. 

The FFFPP calls for eliminating 95% of fossil fuel use from university operations by 2040.  Equally important is the shorter-term goal contained in the plan: a 75% reduction of fossil fuel use by 2030. 

This shorter-term goal is essential because deep and swift emission cuts from burning fossil fuels is the only appropriate response to the dramatic consequences of climate change we are already experiencing.  To meet this 75% reduction target, UCD will need to work together with other UCs and our state and federal legislators to secure funding.

As a leading university, UCD educates our students for a successful future. Our teaching mission comes with a responsibility to ensure that we graduate our students in a world where they enjoy a stable climate. UCD is showing by example that we can greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels within years, not decades. This leadership will hopefully inspire other universities and government entities to swiftly enact plans to go fossil-fuel free as well.

UCD affiliates who wish to join our ongoing efforts are encouraged to contact us via our website at https://fossilfreeucd.org/

Cort Anastasio
Patrick Cunningham
Mark Huising
Brianna Mcguire
Helene Margolis
Elizabeth Miller
Roberta Millstein
Emma Saffel
Suzana Sawyer
Stephen Wheeler
Sandy Xie

On behalf of Fossil-Free UCD


March 10 haircuts benefit Soroptimist programs

CutsForaCauseFlyer(From press release) In honor of International Women’s Month, the stylists at Creative Hair & Spa are donating their time to cut hair and raise money to empower women and girls. All funds will go to Soroptimist International of Davis.

The event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 10 at Creative Hair & Spa, 1520 E Covell Blvd., Suite 1, next to Nugget Market. Choose a haircut, or add a shampoo and blow dry. The suggested donation is $40 for a haircut and at least $50 for all three. All ages and genders are welcome.

This service is available by appointment or walk-in. Appointments will be accepted between 10 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. To set a time, call Creative Hair at 530-753-3450 and mention Cuts for a Cause. Those who walk in during the event may schedule an appointment or be added to a waitlist.

Come learn about Soroptimist, a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Attendees will also receive a gift bag of salon products donated by Creative Hair.

Continue reading "March 10 haircuts benefit Soroptimist programs" »


Women and insurance is topic of Feb. 28 Soroptimist talk

(From press release)  “Protecting Your Assets” will be the topic of the Wednesday, Feb. 28 meeting of Soroptimist International of Davis. The free program will be from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the conference room at University Inn and Suites, 1111 Richards Blvd., Davis.

Soroptimist International of Davis is empowering local women by offering a series of financial literacy talks. The programs are educational and free from sales pitches. They focus on the issues females face in the financial world, including a gender pay gap, smaller pensions than men, and continued patriarchal attitudes.

Ibsen
Denise Ibsen (Courtesy photo)

Denise Ibsen, a Farmers Insurance agent from Woodland, will discuss what she says are the two most important insurance coverage policies: life insurance and liability protection. She will provide a breakdown of what these types of coverage do to protect women and their families, and why they need to give them attention. 

This is the second in the four-part series. The first one, on Jan. 28, discussed Women & Investing. Future programs are April 24 (Taxes & Accounting) and May 22 (Estates, Wills & Trusts). Guests may attend one or all sessions. Lunch is provided by the club, with donations accepted to cover costs. First-time guests are always free.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. It was founded in 1921 in Alameda County. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

SI Davis offers cash Live Your Dream Awards to female heads of household seeking education or training, and assists King High students through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. It also funds high school scholarships, and grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission.

SI Davis members meet twice a month on Wednesdays – once at lunchtime and once in the evening – and connect for other fun activities and service. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.


Soroptimist financial literacy series begins Jan. 24

Jenkukis
Jen Kukis (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Women and investing will be the topic of the Wednesday, Jan. 24 meeting of Soroptimist International of Davis. The free program, open to the public, will be from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the conference room at University Inn and Suites, 1111 Richards Blvd., Davis.

Women experience a gender pay gap and have smaller pensions than men, yet they live longer. They also spend more time caring for others, which impacts their income and savings. Soroptimist International of Davis wants to empower local residents by offering a series of financial literacy talks. The programs are educational and free from sales pitches.

Jen Kukis, an Edward Jones financial adviser from Davis, will give the Jan. 24 presentation, Future programs, each led by a new financial expert, will be Feb. 28, April 24 and May 29.

With five money questions, Kukis will help attendees identify their financial goals and set strategies. Participants will be given tools to assess their financial positions, establish objectives, and begin formulating plans on ways to get there while staying on track.

Lunch is provided by the club, with donations accepted to cover costs. First-time guests are always free.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. It was founded in 1921 in Alameda County. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

SI Davis offers cash Live Your Dream Awards to female heads of household seeking education or training, and assists King High students through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. It also funds high school scholarships, and grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission.

SI Davis members meet twice a month on Wednesdays – once at lunchtime and once in the evening – and connect for other fun activities and service. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.


Nonprofits: Apply for a Soroptimist grant

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis is accepting applications from local nonprofit organizations for Community Grant funding for 2024.

The club has $3,000 budgeted for Community Grants this year. Nonprofit organizations that align with the Soroptimist mission are encouraged to apply. The deadline is March 7. Awards will be distributed in late spring. The evaluation committee will determine whether the $3,000 will go to one organization or be divided among two or more worthy recipients.

Grant applications are evaluated for their alignment with the Soroptimist mission, vision, core values, community impact and feasibility. Any organization, including previous recipients, is encouraged to apply. Applicants are asked how the requested funds would address the needs of women and girls in Yolo County, and support Soroptimist core values of gender equality, empowerment, education and diversity.

SI Davis has several fundraisers a year, and reinvests all of its profits in its programs and projects. These include Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women, and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for high school girls. It also funds high school scholarships and these Community Grants to nonprofits.

Applicants will receive notice by May 1 of their application’s status. To apply, visit https://www.sidavis.org/grants. Questions may be directed to Mary Chapman, Community Grants chair, at [email protected].

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. The service club was founded in Oakland in October 1921. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. A second club, SI Greater Davis, chartered in 1985. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. For more information on the club, visit https://sidavis.org or like its Facebook or Instagram pages: @SoroptimistDavis.


Response to Davis Enterprise Article on December 6, 2023: “City, County, UCD Gather for Annual Meeting.”

By Greg Rowe

A recent Davis Enterprise article described the annual meeting of the Davis City Council, Yolo County District 2 and 4 Supervisors and UC Davis administrators, held on December 5.  UCD’s on-campus student housing construction program since 2018 was glowingly portrayed by the university representatives. The reality is that UCD had for years resisted building an adequate supply of on-campus housing to meet the needs of its continued enrollment growth, and literally had to be dragged kicking and screaming into agreeing to finally address the problem.

Evidently forgotten amid UCD’s self-congratulatory presentation were the herculean exertions between 2015 and 2018 by a small alliance of dedicated citizens who committed countless hours working toward the goal of convincing UCD to address its student housing needs in a meaningful way. Those efforts focused on educating the Davis City Council and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors about UCD’s long-standing failure to provide on-campus student housing on pace with escalating enrollment, and the resulting negative community impacts. The group wrote countless articles, letters and a comprehensive “white paper,” met with UCD planners and elected officials, spoke at meetings of the UC Board of Regents, and documented the superior student housing accomplishments at other UC campuses. 

Early drafts of UCD’s Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) proposed to only marginally increase the percentage of students living in campus residence halls between 2018 and 2030. The university’s initial intent was to simply redevelop existing campus housing rather than aggressively increasing bed capacity with new construction.

It also appeared that UCD intended to dodge its housing responsibilities by continuing to “master lease”  apartment complexes in Davis for exclusive occupancy by UCD students. This “band aid” approach meant fewer apartments were available to workforce families. It also allowed apartment owners to avoid paying property taxes because the lessee, UCD, is tax-exempt.

Continue reading "Response to Davis Enterprise Article on December 6, 2023: “City, County, UCD Gather for Annual Meeting.”" »


Green Finances: Align Your Money with Your Values

Cathy Cowan Becker headshot2
Cathy Becker, Green America Responsible Finance Campaign Director (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Looking to align your money with your values? Cool Davis will be hosting two online “Green Your Finances” events this winter; the first is coming up soon on Wednesday, November 15th online at 6 pm PST focused on banking and highlighting associations and institutions that offer green banking and credit cards and their associated criteria and benefits. Our presenter is Cathy Becker, Responsible Finance Campaign Director with Green America. Enjoy a discussion between Cathy and our moderator, Cool Davis Board member Rekha Vaitla, Investment Officer for Sustainable Investment and Stewardship Strategies at CalSTRS, with a chance to ask questions at the end. These events were organized in support of the Yolo Earth Day pledge. Email [email protected] for more information.

Sign up today: www.cooldavis.org/pledge

Cool Davis will be hosting the second event in January focused on investments. We’ll be busting the performance myth, explaining the difference between divestment and engagement, and clarifying terms such as Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings. Get all the details by signing up for our newsletter at www.cooldavis.org/signup/.

Explore strategies to make your dollars even greener! A great way you can make a positive climate impact is to be more conscious about where your money is going … especially when you’re not using it. Many financial institutions lend, invest, or engage in projects that contribute to climate change, but you have the power to vote with your dollar by greening your finances.

Cool Davis works to create enduring community resilience through equitable and inclusive strategies that lower greenhouse gas emissions and help our region adapt to a changing climate. Green America is a nonprofit organization that has been at the forefront of socially responsible investing for almost 40 years. Green America harnesses economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. They offer information, campaigns, and an extensive PDF guide to socially responsible investing (SRI) with a few pages covering banking and credit cards as well.


Soup, shopping are stars of Soroptimist event

SoupNight
Soroptimist International of Davis hosts a free Soup Night and Silent Auction on Thursday, Nov. 16 at Davis Odd Fellows upper hall. The event includes dozens of soups, breads and desserts at no cost. (Adobe Stock photo)

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis invites community members to join its annual Soup Night and Silent Auction, Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Davis Odd Fellows Hall.

The service club traditionally hosts the event a week before Thanksgiving. Soroptimists provide free soups, desserts, lively conversation and pre-holiday shopping opportunities. The event will be in the upper hall of Odd Fellows Lodge, 415 Second St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The silent auction closes at 7 p.m.

Fill up on members’ best soups, breads and desserts while getting a jump start on holiday gifts. There will be themed gift baskets, experiences, gift certificates to local stores and eateries, and more. Beer and wine will be available for purchase in the lower hall, along with non-alcoholic beverages. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted.

The evening’s proceeds benefit SI Davis programs and projects. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Soroptimist was founded in 1921 in Alameda County. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

SI Davis offers cash Live Your Dream Awards to female heads of household seeking education or training (applications due Nov. 15), and assists King High students through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. It also funds high school scholarships, grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission, and anti-trafficking efforts.

SI Davis members meet twice a month on Wednesdays – once at lunchtime and once in the evening – and connect for other fun activities and service. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.


Soup, shopping are stars of Soroptimist event

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis invites community members to join its annual Soup Night and Silent Auction, Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Davis Odd Fellows Hall.

The service club traditionally hosts the event a week before Thanksgiving. Soroptimists provide free soups, desserts, lively conversation and pre-holiday shopping opportunities. The event will be in the upper hall of Odd Fellows Lodge, 415 Second St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The silent auction closes at 7 p.m.

Fill up on members’ best soups, breads and desserts while getting a jump start on holiday gifts. There will be themed gift baskets, experiences, gift certificates to local stores and eateries, and more. Beer and wine will be available for purchase in the lower hall, along with non-alcoholic beverages. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted.

The evening’s proceeds benefit SI Davis programs and projects. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Soroptimist was founded in 1921 in Alameda County. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

SI Davis offers cash Live Your Dream Awards to female heads of household seeking education or training (applications due Nov. 15), and assists King High students through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. It also funds high school scholarships, grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission, and anti-trafficking efforts.

SI Davis members meet twice a month on Wednesdays – once at lunchtime and once in the evening – and connect for other fun activities and service. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.


YoloSol: Acorn traditions workshop on Nov. 4, subscribe to the YoloSol newsletter

Dear Friends,
We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new website for the YoloSol Collective. Special thanks to David Abramson for working on this while also caring for an infant!
 
Please sign up for our newsletter here to keep in touch with our ongoing programming around issues of land and water in the Yolo bioregion: http://eepurl.com/iBVCAg
More details below.
 
In community,
Juliette Beck
 
Dear Friends,
 
YoloSol extends a fall season's greeting to all of you!
We are an intergenerational "artivist" collective dedicated to sharing stories of the pasts, presents, and futures embedded in the landscapes and waterways of the Yolo bioregion.
 
We center the voices and stories of marginalized communities, especially Patwin-Wintun culture bearers, youth, and the diverse immigrant communities that make up the Yolo cultural tapestry.
 
We look forward to working with you to cultivate ecological justice, well-being and restorative stewardship of our shared home.  
 
In community,
Diana, Marlen, Anuj, Juliette, Adnan and David
- founding members of YoloSol Collective
Please join us on Saturday November 4, 2023, 4-6:30pm for
Presented as the inaugural event of the International House World Tour Series, this is a two-part Welcoming to Wintun Homeland.
4:00pm - 5:00 pm: A hands-on family-friendly workshop on Wintun acorn preparationwith Diana Almendariz (Patwin/Wintun cultural practitioner/artist)
5:15 -6:30 pm: A community conversation on the intersection of Indigeneity and Diaspora with Diana Almendariz, Stan Padilla (Yaqui artist), Danny Manning (Maidu/Diné, Fire Chief, Greenville Rancheria)
Please RSVP here.
This event is made possible by funding from the City of Davis. Arts and Cultural Affairs Fund.
 
View original artwork by Diana Almendariz and collective member Adnan Beteha.
 
Read the inaugural blogpost by Adnan on Putah Creek Futures
 
"I am meant to flood. I am meant to meander. I am meant to be free, and one day I will be all of that again."
YoloSol is pleased to partner with Davis Rep on HEAR FIRST, a one-of-a-klnd audio piece for outdoor listening featuring songs, stories, and urgent messages about the land beneath our feet.
Copyright for artwork remains with the artists.
October 2023 YoloSol Collective

Film Common Ground in Davis - One Week Only

By Scott Steward

What do you say to a flash mob climate action watch party?   Varsity Theater owner Sinisa Novakovic successfully brought the film Common Ground to DAVIS during the films premiering run (many thanks). The closest theater was San Rafael.  

What does this mean?  That you can bike to see what Climate Change Solutions looks like.  I’ll be going to one of the two showings today (4:10 and 6:00 Sunday - today). There are 2 other showings Monday and Thursday at 6:00

Common Ground provides many answers to how we get ourselves out of this climate catastrophe.  

I will see the Davis showing, 616 Second Street, and I would also like to hear directly from the Common Ground directors at the San Rafael showing on October 22nd.  I already bought a ticket for that show too :).

 

The Common Ground Trailer is HERE!

 

May we find inspiration in the film and take action amidst the havoc of desperation caused by those that wield terrible powers of which we must dispatch from them as quickly as possible and find our additional power in that act - and also do that as quickly as possible.

The living earth demands no less.  Common Ground summary follows.

Common Ground is the highly anticipated sequel to the juggernaut success documentary, Kiss the Ground, which touched over 1 billion people globally and inspired the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to put $20 billion toward soil health. The film profiles a hopeful and uplifting movement of white, black, and indigenous farmers who are using alternative “regenerative” models of agriculture that could balance the climate, save our health, and stabilize America’s economy – before it’s too late.


Reminder: Help children become upstanders at carnival

UpstanderPost 1(From press release) Upstander Carnival, a free event for elementary-age children, will return to Davis’ Central Park on Saturday, Oct. 21. As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, the annual fair teaches youngsters to identify and stand up to bullying.

The Davis Phoenix Coalition launched the carnival in 2015. This year, it’s from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the sycamore grove of Davis’ Central Park, Fourth and C streets. The event runs concurrently with the Davis Farmers Market, which is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in Central Park.

Participants go through six stations of brief, interactive lessons, where they practice inclusion, deal with cyberbullying and learn helpful skills. After getting a stamp at each station, students get to enter the fun zone, where they may play in a bounce house, get snacks like popcorn or cotton candy, play games, and get their face painted.

Davis Phoenix Coalition founder Gloria Partida, who serves on the Davis City Council, said, “The main focus is to give kids and families resources for what to do if they experience or witness bullying.” Children leave with four concrete responses that work in various situations.

Parents or guardians must sign a waiver for their child to participate. Partida encourages parents to walk the stations with their kids.

The Upstander Carnival is coordinated by an all-volunteer community formed by the Davis Phoenix Coalition, a nonprofit that works to foster diversity, eliminate intolerance, prevent hate-motivated violence, and support LGBTQ+ youths in Davis and surrounding communities.

Learn more at https://davisphoenixco.org/


Upstander Carnival teaches anti-bullying tools

UpstanderPost(From press release) Upstander Carnival, a free event for elementary-age children, will return to Davis’ Central Park on Saturday, Oct. 21. As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, the annual fair teaches youngsters to identify and stand up to bullying.

The Davis Phoenix Coalition launched the carnival in 2015. This year, it’s from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the sycamore grove of Davis’ Central Park, Fourth and C streets. The popular event draws hundreds every year.

Participants go through six stations of brief, interactive lessons, where they practice inclusion, deal with cyberbullying and learn helpful skills. After getting a stamp at each station, students get to enter the fun zone, where they may play in a bounce house, get snacks like popcorn or cotton candy, play games, and get their face painted.

Continue reading "Upstander Carnival teaches anti-bullying tools" »


The 20th Village Feast is set for Oct. 22

VFdiners2022
Diners pass aïoli at The Village Feast in October 2022. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) The Village Feast celebrates the Sacramento region’s Farm-to-Fork season, where the community gathers to enjoy and honor the bounty of local farmers. This year, the event returns to Central Park – under the shade of the Davis Farmers Market structure – for its 20th anniversary community meal, from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22.

Presented by Davis Farm to School and the Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Sacramento, The Village Feast is a fundraiser for food and agricultural education in the greater Sacramento area. The Village Feast follows the late-summer feasts of Provence, France, in the grand aïoli tradition, uniting people and food for a long, leisurely alfresco meal that stars aïoli — a golden garlic-mayonnaise. All proceeds from The Village Feast support early and continued education around food and agriculture.

As in years past, each meal begins with appetizers of olives, nuts, local wines and fresh baguettes. The meal is served family-style, with passed platters of heirloom tomatoes drizzled with local olive oil, steamed and grilled local vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and bowls of garlic-scented aïoli. Next comes the grilled lamb and summer white bean salad, then a fruit galette for dessert.

Les Dames d’Escoffier and Davis Farm to School paired up for this event because of their shared visions and values. Les Dames d’Escoffier, a philanthropic organization of female leaders in the areas of food, fine beverage and hospitality, gives scholarships to area women to further their education in these areas. Davis Farm to School provides garden grants, organizes farm field trips, and supports farm-fresh food in school meals.

Tickets are $165 per person until sold out. Attendees may reserve tables of eight for $1,320. Tickets are available at https://thevillagefeast2023.eventbrite.com.

The silent auction will be online, available to anyone. Bids open on Oct. 8 and close at 5 p.m. on Oct. 22. It includes dozens of items and experiences donated by chefs, restaurants, wineries and community members. Participants bid on items by downloading the free Auctria smartphone app at https://www.auctria.com/blog/auctria-mobile-app/. Auction pre-registration begins Sept. 15.

For more information about The Village Feast event or sponsorships, email Rachael Levine at [email protected].


Soroptimists award grants to two area nonprofits

AguilarMIH
UC Davis Guardian Scholar Evelyn Aguilar received lots of housewares in 2021 from Make It Happen in Yolo County. (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis recently awarded grants to two nonprofits, to improve the lives of women and girls in Yolo County.

The club distributed $3,000 in Community Grants between the two organizations. Make it Happen for Yolo County received $1,900, and Grace in Action received $1,100.

Make it Happen will use its Soroptimist funds to provide at least four young women in the UC Davis Guardian Scholars program with the furniture and appliances they need to furnish their apartments at the start of the school year. Guardian Scholars are students who have experienced foster care.

Grace in Action will use its Soroptimist grant money to provide stop-gap services for very low income individuals, and those without safe shelter. It will pay for motel rooms, hearty lunches, laundry vouchers, transportation passes and haircuts.

Continue reading "Soroptimists award grants to two area nonprofits" »


Pride sentiment stronger than ever this year

Davis festival is June 4 in Central Park

MercuryRising2023
Mercury Rising will return to the 2023 Davis Pride Festival, leading the popular drag queen revue. (Photo credit: Wendy Weitzel)

By Wendy Weitzel

Members of the Davis Phoenix Coalition work to eliminate hate. That’s been a heavy lift this year, as organized groups have threatened trans youths, protested drag shows and boosted white supremacy. And that was all before the community was terrorized by what police say was a serial stabber who killed two and injured one in a six-day period this spring.

So the nonprofit’s team is more determined than ever to bring a positive message to their biggest event of the year: the Davis Pride Festival. It’s all part of a weekend of activities in downtown Davis that celebrate June as International LGBTQ+ Month. After three years of COVID and the trauma of the stabbings, they want to offer positive ways for the community to come together for healing and joy – and to celebrate diversity.

Davis Pride is an all-inclusive celebration for members and supporters of the LGBTQ community. The community-focused, family-friendly weekend includes a skate night, fun run, music festival, drag queens, vendors and more – June 3 and 4. Proceeds from Davis Pride events support the coalition’s anti-racism and anti-bullying campaigns, support to LGBTQ+ youths and their families, and outreach with area police departments, churches and schools.

Continue reading "Pride sentiment stronger than ever this year" »


First Countywide High School Youth Voter Registration Drive

(From press release) The Yolo County Elections Office in partnership with the League of Women Voters, Davis Area and Woodland chapters, invite all local high schools to host and participate in the first Countywide High School Youth Voter Registration Drive (VRD) in Yolo County.

This countywide voter registration drive was established as a result of the recently adopted Yolo County Board of Education Resolution #22-23/44, in Support of High School Voter Weeks (last two weeks in April). The two-week drive is scheduled from April 17 to April 28, 2023. This drive is open to all local high schools and students.

“This effort is a direct result of the strong partnership between the Yolo County Elections Office, League of Women Voters local chapters, the Yolo County Office of Education and its Board, and local youth service providers,” said Jesse Salinas, Yolo County Assessor/Clerk- Recorder/Registrar of Voters.

Schools interested in participating should complete the Yolo County Voter Registration Drive Participation Survey: https://forms.office.com/g/DrUiFFmwwf by Wednesday, April 5, 2023. During a Youth Voter Registration Drive students will be able to register or pre-register to vote, learn about the upcoming 2023 Youth Empowerment Summit and be entered for a chance to win prizes.

For more information contact María D. Coronel, Outreach Specialist with Yolo County ACE at [email protected].

We encourage residents to connect with Yolo County ACE – Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Elections on Facebook: @YoloACE, Instagram: @YoloCoACE, YouTube: @Yolo County ACE, TikTok: @yolocoace, and Twitter: @YoloCoACE to receive the most up to date information and updates.