Entries categorized "Education"

A Failure of Equity - Racist and Ableist Bike Share Returns to Davis

E6a0ce4fef1b41a4a3839f8c0e6cd132At the city council meeting tonight a pilot for e-bike and e-scooter share will likely be approved - and will start by September. 

Bike share and scooter share are great things, despite all sorts of issues. Electric assist makes these "micromobility" devices even more of a joy. More and more bike share systems offer e-bikes, sometimes exclusively. Scooter share was always electric.

But as with Jump bike share - which ended in Davis a little over two years ago - the minimum age limit for use for bikes will be 18. Once again this age limit makes it racist.
Why is it racist?
It's simple: Youth have fewer mobility choices, even more so if they're members of economically-vulnerable households. Brown and Black people are over-represented in these households. There's no minimum age for using the type of bikes supplied by Lime. There's no formal impossibility for parents and guardians to take legal responsibility for necessary contracts. Therefore... it's arbitrary... and this means it's racist. It's doesn't mean that the City Council is racist. It means that unless we change their minds they are making a racist decision tonight.
Once again the speed is limited to 15 mph assistance without any evidence that this has any benefits for safety. Nor only does this make the bikes less competitive with automobiles, the speed assistance limit below what state law allows is biased against less strong people who might find it harder to get their bikes over 15 mph. This is probably ableism, yes?, or something else which City documents and various statements of the current City Council would naturally disavow.
Many other cities have much less racist and ableist systems
There's no minimum age for the use of type 1 e-bikes, which will be the type supplied by Lime. The minimum required for use of an e-scooter in California is possession of a learner's permit, and being 16. However the Lime-supplied pilot requires a minimum age 18 for that as well. That's two years when kids can drive a car most of that by themselves before they can use bike share or scooter share in Davis. Bike share systems all over California and the USA allow users under age 18 (For example the system in Philadelphia allows 16 year-olds to use their e-bikes and 14 year-olds their "acoustic" bikes.) But we're the USA cycling capital! (Perhaps it's time to change our official City logo - to purge this anachronistic and anti-egalitarian high-wheeler bicycle from our community imagery?).
A major innovation that Davis can make here is by replacing the age cut-off with one based on peers. This is because the majority of youth have friends that are in the same grade. Not everyone in the same grade is the same age: We see this manifested when some high school students can get licensed before their friends. 14 would work - nearly everyone that age is tall enough to ride the Lime bikes - but connecting it with entrance to high school would still be much better than the current situation. See details below - this will get many on bikes at age 15.  And then on e-scooters at age 16! Voila! Bikequity!! Fairscooterism!
Another good - and perhaps still innovative - new feature is that the park in the street like a motorcycle thing is a clear part of the rules. (This was done spontaneously by many Jump users and almost went forward officially before the bike share system was removed from Davis and UC Davis due to COVID.) However there's still a huge amount of the contract and rules based on the idea that the bikes will need to be moved within 90 minutes if there are badly parked. (In the pilot it's allowed to park like this in Downtown, but it's not even clear that there will be a sticker on the bikes to advise people of this. It's not really intuitive.)
The City Council has known about this issue for years
In March 2019 - when I was a member of the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety (BTSSC) -  I created a lengthy report on the one year anniversary of bike share in Davis and UC Davis. I was able to initiate what became a unanimous vote to ask the City Council to ask its partners at SACOG - and the previous operator Uber/Jump - to consider lowering the age (and raising the weight limit). This sat on the long-range calendar until shortly after Uber removed the bike share system from Davis and UC Davis.
The other day I confirmed with Lime and that neither the e-bikes nor the e-scooters will have a maximum weight limit. That's good - the newer e-scooters are generally considered to be more robust than those available just a couple of years ago.
Oh, last time the DJUSD Board of Education was asked to support an under-18 age limit.. they were not interested. This may have been in 2019 - a partly-different board.
What to do?
Thank the City of Davis City Council for bringing back bike share and introducing scooter share, BUT:
* Demand that they allow the use of Lime e-bikes from the first day of 10th grade, or even better the first day of summer before 10th grade.
* Demand that - per state law - everyone 16 years old with a learner's permit be allowed to use Lime e-scooters.

Soroptimists award grants to two area nonprofits

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.

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Pride sentiment stronger than ever this year

Davis festival is June 4 in Central Park

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.

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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.

Regenerative agriculture and the role of UC Davis

Ministries-for-the-futureBy Roberta Millstein

Yesterday, I attended a wonderful event on the UC Davis campus.  The purpose of the event was to celebrate the new Environmental Humanities Designated Emphasis at UC Davis, and it brought together in conversation two renowned scholars, Donna Haraway (a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz) and Kim Stanley Robinson (an award-winning science fiction author who lives in Davis; the title of the event, “Ministries for the Future,” is also the title of one of Robinson’s recent books).  It was a wide-ranging, fascinating conversation – so popular that it was literally standing room only – that I can’t begin to summarize here (but you can watch online). 

Instead, I want to highlight two important and related points that Robinson made: one was about the purpose of the University of California and one was about regenerative agriculture.[1]

Continue reading "Regenerative agriculture and the role of UC Davis" »

Davis youth represents in the Global Day of Climate Action


(From press release) On Friday, youth in Davis walked out of school to make their voices heard! On this Global Day of Climate Action, during a time when hundreds of thousands of youth marched for climate justice Davis youth joined them. Youth from Davis Senior High School, UCD Davis as well as adult allies of Fridays For Future Davis and Davis community members joined together to demand climate action and the end to fossil financing.

Youth climate activists and organizers Eliot Larson, Mattias RowenBale and Desmond Beach led the march from E 14th & B Street down to Central Park where youth participated in a die-in. Youth between the ages of 13 and 25 years old staged a ‘death from climate change’ as a visual example of what will happen if our leaders continue down a path of inaction. 


After the die-in youth were invited to speak and share their thoughts, concerns and hopes with the Davis community. There were powerful speeches and heart wrenching calls for action demanding our world and local leaders take action today.

We were then led in song by freshman at UCD, Sam Saxe-Taller who brought our voices together as one before we gathered for a round table discussion with Davis City Council members Gloria Partida and Bapu Vaitla. Ms. Partida and Mr. Vaitla were led by youth in productive and inclusive conversation  discussing proactive ways the community can come together to fight the climate crisis as well as listening to the concerns of youth in this uncertain time.

Going forward, Fridays For Future Davis will continue to strike every Friday at the corner of 5th and B Street from nooin-1. Today was their 176th week of striking on Fridays.

A huge thank you to the many organizations and adult allies who join Fridays For Future Davis to help make this Global Climate Strike possible in Davis. And congratulations to all of the youth who bravely stepped up to take action!


Culture Wars in Education: March 12 Forum

(From press release) Culture wars have been waged for decades in the U.S. but recently the battlefield has shifted dramatically to schools and education. Transgender children in school bathrooms and sports, critical race theory, the history of slavery, College Board AP course on African American history - - why are these topics suddenly so salient and controversial? What are the bounds of academic freedom and who decides school curriculum? We will explore these questions at the Contemporary Issues Forum at the Davis United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 12. The discussion will be led by Marty West, professor emerita from the UCD Law School. Marty also served on the Davis Board of Education for eight years. Come with an open mind to explore culture wars March 12 at 11:15 at Davis United Methodist Church, 1620 Anderson Road.

Eight faculty from UCD honored as AAAS Fellows

UCD AAAS Fellows

(From press release) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has announced its most recent group of Fellows, and eight of them are from UC Davis.  From the AAAS website:

AAAS Fellows are a distinguished cadre of scientists, engineers and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements across disciplines, from research, teaching, and technology, to administration in academia, industry and government, to excellence in communicating and interpreting science to the public.

In a tradition stretching back to 1874, these individuals are elected annually by the AAAS Council. Newly elected Fellows are recognized for their extraordinary achievements at the ceremonial Fellows Forum, a time-honored event at the AAAS Annual Meeting where they are presented with a certificate and blue and gold rosette.

Eligible nominees are members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished and who have been a continuous AAAS member for at least four years leading up to the year of nomination. Fellows have included Thomas Edison, W.E.B DuBois, Maria Mitchell, Steven Chu, Ellen Ochoa and Irwin M. Jacobs.

Election as an AAAS Fellow is a lifetime honor and all Fellows are expected to meet the commonly held standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

They are:

Danika L. Bannasch
Professor, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine
“For contributions across the study of genetics and genomics for the benefit of animal and human health, and service to the profession.”

Annaliese Franz
Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Letters and Science
“For contributions to catalysis and synthesis emphasizing organosilicon chemistry and biofuel production, and for the championship of diversity, equity and inclusion among faculty and students.”

Sarah B. Hrdy
Professor emerita, Department of Anthropology, College of Letters and Science
“For distinguished contributions to the field of evolutionary anthropology, particularly for understanding mammalian reproductive strategies and the evolution of human families and societies.”

Lynne A. Isbell
Professor, Department of Anthropology, Evolutionary Wing, College of Letters and Science
“For innovative scholarship and leadership in primatology and biological anthropology.”

Pamela J. Lein
Professor of Neurotoxicology, Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine
“For exceptional contributions to research in environmental toxicity and for sustained activity in advising and mentoring.”

Maeli Melotto
Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
“For distinguished contributions to the field of plant biology, particularly for interactions between plants and both pathogenic and nonpathogenic microbes and plant breeding for crop safety and resilience.”

Roberta L. Millstein
Professor Emerit, Department of Philosophy, College of Letters and Science
“For distinguished scholarship and service to the history and philosophy of biology.”

Frank E. Osterloh
Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Letters and Science
“For contributions to inorganic and materials chemistry with applications in energy conversion.”

Davis Farm to School awards $11,000 in garden grants

Students at Pioneer Elementary School plant lettuce in the fall that was harvested in winter and made into salads. (Meghan Covert Russell/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Davis Farm to School recently awarded 22 garden grants ­– totaling more than $11,000 – to local schools.

The grants, announced on Jan. 23, promote student learning about plants, insects, soil, composting and growing fresh and tasty food. Students plant in mosaic planters, raised beds, landscaped areas and more. The school gardens support California’s academic standards and provide important hands-on learning experiences.

Funds for the grants were raised through its annual fundraiser, The Village Feast, which was in October at Great Bear Vineyards. The money enabled garden grants for every school in the Davis Joint Unified School District, as well as to private schools including Peregrine and Davis Waldorf.

Max Russell examines strawberries at the Harper Junior High School garden. His mom, Meghan, leads the Davis Farm to School program, part of the Davis Farmers Market Alliance. (Meghan Covert Russell/Courtesy photo)

Meghan Covert Russell, executive director of Davis Farm to School, said, “This is the first year that we have been able to provide garden grants to every DJUSD campus, a step to helping all school gardens achieve equity in their maintenance and ability to serve students.”

In addition to garden grants, Davis Farm to School offers farm field trips to DJUSD second graders, in cooperation with Fiery Ginger Farm; and Little Chefs Field Trips to third graders, in conjunction with The Davis Food Co-op.

DJUSD Superintendent Matt Best said, “We are incredibly thankful for our close partnership with Davis Farm to School. Their support continues to provide our students with incredible hands-on learning experiences at our schools, as well as opportunities to explore our area’s farms, and learn about the ways to help preserve our planet.”

Davis Farm to School supports garden-based education, farm visits for students, farm-fresh foods in school meals, and recycling and composting programs at all Davis schools, in partnership with DJUSD. DF2S is a project of the nonprofit Davis Farmers Market Alliance. For more information, visit https://www.davisfarmtoschool.org/.

Nonprofits: Apply for a Soroptimist grant

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis is accepting applications from local nonprofit organizations for its annual Community Grant funding. The deadline is March 7.

For 2023, the club has $3,000 budgeted for Community Grants, which give a boost to local projects that improve the lives of women and girls. Nonprofit organizations whose work supports the Soroptimist mission are encouraged to apply for up to $3,000. Awards will be distributed in late spring. Applicants will receive notice of their application’s status by May 1.

Grant applications are evaluated for their alignment with the Soroptimist mission, vision, core values, community impact and feasibility. Any nonprofit, including previous recipients, can 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.

To apply, visit https://www.sidavis.org/grants. Questions may be emailed to Grants Chair Mary Chapman, Community 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. Soroptimist International of Davis has several fundraisers a year, and reinvests all of its profits in its programs and projects. Signature programs 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, anti-trafficking efforts, and these Community Grants to area nonprofits.

The international service club was founded in Oakland in October 1921. SI 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.

Letter: Support Education in Davis

Teacher2A good education is a human right. It is also a societal good, given human interdependence. These are basic moral truths, yet we don't always act like they are, as two recent happenings in Davis illustrate.

As reported in the Enterprise, DJUSD teachers, backed by many supporters, have been asking for a salary increase, given the high cost of housing and the lower salaries that Davis teachers have as compared to neighboring cities. Teaching is extremely rewarding, but it is not reasonable to expect people to dedicate their hearts and souls only to find out that they cannot make ends meet. So teachers who can leave, do leave, and K-12 education is sacrificed.

During the same time period, several groups of University of California workers have been on strike (two have now settled), including graduate student teaching assistants. Ostensibly, these workers work "half time," but that is misleading. In some (perhaps many) cases, these workers end up doing far more than 20 hours per week, given grading, assisting students during office hours and appointments, holding discussion sections, answering emails, etc. In addition, these grad student workers are expected to do their own coursework and research, making the position in reality a full-time one. (They are often not permitted to take outside work, or at least strongly discouraged from doing so). That these grad student workers cannot likewise make ends meet threatens their own education as well as the education of undergraduates.

Paying these workers more is the obvious solution, but dedicated housing on DJUSD land and UCD land, respectively, should also be in the mix, as a way to buffer against the vagaries of inflation and rising housing costs.

It is a moral imperative that we do more for our DJUSD teachers and our UCD graduate student workers.

- Roberta Millstein is an Emerit Professor in the Department of Philosophy at UC Davis

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, Nov. 17 at Davis Odd Fellows Hall.

Soroptimist International of Davis traditionally hosts the event a week before Thanksgiving. The service club provides free soups, desserts, lively conversation and pre-holiday shopping opportunities. Members are excited to bring the event back to an in-person gathering, in the upstairs hall of Odd Fellows Lodge, 415 Second St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The silent auction begins at 6 and closes at 7:30 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, 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.

It recently swore in new board members, including Lisa Adda, president; Phyllis Himmel, secretary; Lori Hansen, treasurer; Meredith Sweet Silberstein, coordinator of calendar; Nancy Mathews, director of membership; and Mary Chapman, director of programs. Katherine Hess is immediate past president.

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 in downtown Davis – once at lunchtime and once in the evening – and connect for other fun activities and service. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.

Soroptimists offer cash grants to women

(From press release) Women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families and seek financial assistance to further their education or training are urged to apply for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women.

The application deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 15. This year, Soroptimist International of Davis will present awards ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. The top recipient’s application will advance to regional and possibly the international level, where she could receive up to $15,000 more. Recipients may use the Live Your Dream Award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. This includes tuition, books, childcare, transportation or other related expense.

Applications are available at https://bit.ly/LYDA-apply.

The Live Your Dream Award provides more than $2.8 million in cash awards to head-of-household women in need each year. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than $35 million has helped tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. This past year, Soroptimist International of Davis awarded $20,000 in Live Your Dream Awards.

A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the efficacy and impact of this program. It improves the recipients’ quality of life; builds their confidence; strengthens their self-determination and makes them want to, in turn, help others. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations, and the world.

Besides the Live Your Dream Award, Soroptimist International of Davis provides local girls with tools to achieve their education and career goals through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program at King High School. It also funds high school scholarships, annual grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission, and anti-trafficking efforts.

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.

Soroptimist International of Davis welcomes new members. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/


Learning from the anti-Semitic incident on 113 overpass

Anti-Semitic bannersBy Roberta Millstein

As most Davisites have learned by now, at least twice over the past two weekends, masked men displayed antisemitic banners from a highway overpass in Davis (see Davis Enterprise article for details).

The banners said, “Communism is Jewish” and “The Holocaust is an anti-white lie.”

Several local leaders issued responses.  These responses, although all were well-meaning, miss the mark a bit.  I want to try to explain why.

Chancellor Gary May said: “We are sickened that anyone would invest any time in such cowardly acts of hate and intimidation. They have no place here. We encourage our community to stand against antisemitism and racism.”

This isn’t false per se, but it’s incomplete.  This isn’t just an act of hate.  As I will explain further below, the banners replicate common tropes (repeatedly told stories) about Jewish people.  Without calling out those tropes, many will not understand, or fully understand, what the issues are.

Chancellor May is correct that anti-Semitism and racism are connected, but he doesn’t say how.  Again, more on this below.

Continue reading "Learning from the anti-Semitic incident on 113 overpass" »

Seeds of Justice Speaker Series

Flyer Seeds of Justice 2022(From press release) The Episcopal Church of St. Martin is pleased to announce the second season of its Seeds of Justice speaker series, which explores the racialized history of the land on which Yolo County residents live and work. It asks: What is our responsibility as community members to the original inhabitants of this land, the ancestral homeland of the Patwin-Wintun people, and to those who have worked the land and stewarded it? What is the legacy of environmental racism, exploitation, and ecological degradation? How can we heal and repair the harm?  

BethRose Middleton (1)
Professor Beth Rose Middleton Manning

Professor Beth Rose Middleton Manning from the Department of Native American Studies, UC Davis, is our first presenter. Prof. Middleton Manning’s talk is titled:

In Relation to Water: Indigenous Leadership in Restoring and Re-Envisioning Watershed Stewardship,”

and will be held on 18 September, 4:00pm, in person and online at the Episcopal Church of St Martin, 640 Hawthorn Lane, Davis CA 95616. To attend, please register at the following website:


Continue reading "Seeds of Justice Speaker Series" »

Soroptimists award grants to three nonprofits

Yolo County teens Bella and Abby participate in Thriving Pink’s comfort bag making at its Volunteer Day. The bags contain breast cancer-specific wellness and support items to be given to patients at local infusion centers and healthcare offices. The nonprofit received a Soroptimist grant for its Youth Education and Support outreach project directed at teen girls. (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis recently awarded grants to three local nonprofits: Thriving Pink, CommuniCare Mobile Medicine and Mutual Housing of California.

The club distributed $5,000 in Community Grants between the three organizations. “Our committee received high quality grant applications that aligned with the Soroptimist mission, vision and values,” said Lisa Adda, SI Davis president and chair of its Community Grants Committee. “Our core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, and diversity/fellowship, and our committee prioritized those in awarding these funds.”

Adda said this year’s grants help women and girls “with education as it relates to breast cancer, empowerment through emergency shelter, and diversity ­by reaching an important audience.”

Continue reading "Soroptimists award grants to three nonprofits" »

Where have all the babies gone?

Screen Shot 2022-07-09 at 10.22.28 AMBy Dave Taormino

Davis has been gradually losing its innate college town character. The level of civility in civic discourse continues its decline as demonstrated in the recent Measure H campaign. The 1960 – 70s mid-western ethos that prospered when Davis and UCD set out on their mutually aligned growth paths has deteriorated with urban-like political fighting. The midwestern neighborly values that were once well established have given way to a divisive approach to community engagement. In housing development discussions, the person you disagree with is characterized as evil, dishonest, a liar, etc. Why? In part because Davis’s 40 years of restrictive housing and growth policies has spawned and feeds unintended and unnecessary discord with little visible, offsetting benefits.

Here are some of the impacts:

  1. Less than 40% of our TOP City management live in Davis. Nearly all the major City decision makers and their families live elsewhere. Their family life and personal civic involvement is not here.
  2. The percentage of Davis Police and Fire Department personnel who live in Davis is much lower than the TOP management. In essence, their family and hearts reside elsewhere.
  3. The vast majority of North, North Davis homeowners are individuals employed at UCD or a Davis business. They cannot afford to live here. A sizable number have children commuting daily with their parents to attend Davis schools, a good outcome for us.
  4. In the Cannery, roughly 80% of the buyers had no relationship to Davis or UCD, although some had grown children living here. Most came from the Bay Area and Marin County, exactly where the Cannery developers heavily advertised. It was an intentional strategy not intended to attract local UCD faculty, staff, and other Davis workers. In the 546 homes, an unbelievably low number of school age children actually live there. Something like 26 new students resulted from Cannery’s 546 homes plus apartments. In the 80’s and early 90’s a “Cannery-type neighborhood” would have generated 300 - 400 new students. Where have all the families with or capable of having babies gone?
  5. Approximately 1,000 Elementary through High School students commute daily to our schools. Without these commuting students some neighborhood schools would close. Imagine the rancor and anger that would result should neighborhood school closures be considered. The civic anger, neighborhood vs neighborhood would likely be greater than the recent Measure H arguments. The School District has done a masterful entrepreneurial job in “recruiting” out of Davis parents/children to attend our neighborhood schools. For how long can those creative efforts be sufficient? A university-oriented community NEEDS GREAT schools. Great schools require children from childbearing age parents living here and as a result contributing to a wholesome, family friendly, inclusive community. That was “the 1960’s and 1970’s Davis civic perspective” when UCD embarked on its original and now continuing growth plan.

The list could continue, but you get the point.

Continue reading "Where have all the babies gone?" »

Davis Pride Festival set for June

Festival goers enjoy the Davis Pride Festival on June 13, 2021. (Robin Fadtke/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) The rainbows return to Davis’ Central Park in June for the Davis Pride Festival. Events include skating, a fun run, live music, drag queens, vendors and more – June 11 and 12.

The weekend of events, produced by the Davis Phoenix Coalition, begins with the Diva Disco Skate Night, starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 under the Davis Farmers Market Pavilion. The night will include music, lights and food trucks.

Sunday, June 12 begins at 8 a.m. with the Run for Equality, a 5K run or walk from Central Park, and a 1K Rainbow Run for children. At 11 a.m., the Davis Pride Festival begins at the park and pavilion, with local and international bands, a drag queen revue, educational booths, food, drink, and vendors in partnership with the Davis Craft and Vintage Market.

Other events include the rainbow painting of the crosswalks around Central Park early on May 29; a Drink with Pride Night at Sudwerk Brewing Company (date to be determined); and possibly a Bike Party Davis Ride with Pride.

June is International LGBTQ+ Month. Davis Pride is produced by Davis Phoenix Coalition, a nonprofit that works to foster diversity, eliminate intolerance, prevent hate-motivated violence and support LGBTQ+ youths. The coalition was founded in the aftermath of a 2013 anti-gay attack on Davis resident “Mikey” Partida. Proceeds from Davis Pride 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. To donate, go to https://davisphoenixco.org/donate.

To support the event, be a vendor, volunteer, visit https://www.davispride.org/. To learn more details as they unfold, follow Davis Pride on Facebook and Instagram.

Unitrans Turns 54

Campus and City Bus System Celebrating 54 Years in the Community

54thAnniversaryFlyer00001 54thAnniversaryFlyer00002(From press release) ASUCD Unitrans, the City of Davis and UC Davis local bus service, is turning 54 on Friday, March 4! To celebrate, Unitrans is running one of our vintage London double decker buses on a special, free campus to downtown lunch shuttle from 11 AM to 1 PM. In addition, Unitrans will host refreshments and giveaway items outside at the Memorial Union Bus Terminal from 11 AM to 1 PM. At noon, to celebrate our community's transit legacy, all three functioning vintage London double decker buses and two new modern double deckers will "parade" through downtown on 2nd and 3rd Streets from the Memorial Union Bus Terminal. The vintage buses have not been in service since March 2020 and Unitrans has used the last two years to refurbish and repaint the buses. Unitrans hopes to reintroduce the vintage buses into limited service in spring 2022.


Local Mom and Climate Activist Juliette Beck Considers Run for Yolo County Supervisor

BeckJuliette Beck, a lifelong social and environmental justice advocate, mother and caregiver, filed over 200 signatures on Wednesday with the Yolo County Elections office to stand as a candidate for District 2 County Supervisor.

“I am testing the waters to see if there is community support for a strong progressive, woman candidate and climate champion in Davis and Winters,” said Beck.

Beck moved to Davis with her husband Nick Buxton in 2008 when she was pregnant with their first daughter to be close to her sister and brother-in-law who had moved to Davis a few years earlier. She loves Davis and is grateful to the community for nurturing their young family over the last thirteen years.

Beck has been an active parent volunteer at Cesar Chavez Elementary and a strong advocate of outdoor learning during the COVID pandemic. Over the years, she has enjoyed coaching soccer, biking as a way of life, working in the school gardens, supporting the local youth climate strike movement, and raising her family including her two daughters and energetic dog, an “Aussiedor,”  Luna.

“I want to thank the dozen volunteers that pitched in to collect over 200 petition signatures in less than a week. Juggling family, work and personal well-being is not easy during the ongoing pandemic, but clearly people are concerned about climate change and want to help do all we can to make a difference to our children’s future,” said Beck.

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Odd Fellows Continue Natalie Corona Scholarship

Nat-cor-gradThe Davis Odd Fellows will continue to award the 'Officer Natalie Corona Odd Fellows Memorial Scholarship' this year.

This scholarship was created after the murder of Officer Natalie Corona on January 10, 2019, to honor her service and commitment to our community.  Our goal is to help remove barriers for like-minded individuals who wish to pursue careers in related fields.

High School Seniors from Davis Senior High, King High School, Da Vinci Charter School, and Pierce High School in Arbuckle who plan to major in Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, or in a First Responder field, and are going on to either a 2-year or a 4-year institution, are eligible to apply.  Students in standard or independent study programs are welcome to apply.  Scholarships from $1,000-$1,500 will be awarded.  The application deadline is April 1, 2022.

Applications should be completed on the Odd Fellows Lodge website at davislodge.org.  Go to the 'Lodge Programs' tab and click on 'Officer Natalie Corona Odd Fellows Memorial Scholarship.'  A separate letter of recommendation from an un-related adult, teacher, or coach, should be sent no later than April 1, 2022, directly to Rick Gonzales at [email protected]