Entries categorized "Ethics"

STATEMENT OF CONCERN RE: RE-PURPOSING OF THE JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY (JDF)

JuviPEOPLE POWER of DAVIS

STATEMENT OF CONCERN RE: RE-PURPOSING OF THE JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY (JDF)

  • We acknowledge the happy problem that the capacity of the JDF far exceeds the demand for secure detention of Yolo County juveniles, and that the county’s ongoing operational costs for the facility are high.
  • We know detained youth benefit from personal connections and support from family and community, and therefore access and proximity to these resources is fundamental to their continued well-being.­
  • The current situation places all genders of youth together, which has its risks, but also offers significant benefits, most notably:
    • proximity to family and a very engaged community; and
    • reduced exposure of our Yolo youth to influences, likely found in the Sacramento facility, of other incarcerated youth whose knowledge, experiences, and affiliations may encourage harmful impacts;
    • no contact with adult
  • The current construction to expand and renovate the Yolo County adult jail facilities requires temporary relocation of the adult booking facility, during a construction period of an estimated 18-24 months.
  • The current expansion and renovation will increase adult jail capacity to over 450 beds and improve medical and mental health services at the adult
  • During the past five years youth from under-resourced neighborhoods in Woodland, Knight’s Landing, and West Sacramento have been disproportionately represented among JDF admissions. Most impacted is the Broderick neighborhood of West Sacramento, which has suffered years under a gang injunction, lacks youth programs, and locks its school yards to the public when school is not in session;

THEREFORE, we respectfully request the board act to:

  • Ensure any agreements to place Yolo youth in the Sacramento County JDF are restricted to not more than the time required to complete the Yolo County Jail
  • Provide transportation funding to family and encourage, through economic incentives, community support for visitation at Sacramento JDF during the construction
  • Forgo additional expansion of Yolo County adult incarceration by transferring authority for use of the JDF to the Sheriff. Rather than expand jail capacity, we should seek alternatives to pre-adjudication detention, which currently accounts for a majority of the jail
  • Preserve funding for Reinvest cost savings into meaningful community engagement and youth development resources.
  • Use this time-limited construction period to engage youth, their families, and the impacted communities to work with the Chief Probation Officer to develop recommendations for youth development and alternatives to juvenile detention options in Yolo County and to guide the community engagement

The Davis community joins the worldwide protest Lights for Liberty

7A1C0631-FD0A-4798-BB11-E4C37D7DEDA8A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps

On Friday July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps, will bring thousands of people to locations worldwide as well as to concentration camps across the country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants.

Join us at 7 pm at the Central Park in Davis. The local groups who are sponsoring the event include the Davis Phoenix Coalition, Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network, the Celebration of Abraham, Safe Yolo and the Yolo County Democratic Party. The event will include speeches, a poetry reading and music.

The Phoenix Coalition will take a free will collection to help raise bond money for people in detention. The donations will be sent to Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Service (RAICES) www.raicestexas.org. Helping immigrants pay bail is the fasted way to help individuals leave the detention camps.


There should be a public buyout of PG&E

By Dov Salkoff

I am in a strange stage of my life. I am unemployed with a Ph.D. in neuroscience, living in my mother’s house. Since moving to Davis, I became more involved with political activism, most of all climate change. I am now driven, every day, by the conviction that there is something fundamentally wrong with this world, and people like me are in a good position to be part of the movement to fix it.

I’ve heard a lot of ideas from Davisites on how to combat climate change, and there is a clear pattern. Electric cars, solar panels, “going vegan” and biking to work peak enthusiasm as ways to reduce emissions, but there is a fatal flaw in these solutions. They leave out the poor and working class. In a survey of eight counties in the Sacramento region, 37% of respondents said they couldn’t afford making personal changes to reduce their environmental impact.

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Proposal Triples Size of Homeless Shelter

Pauls-place-renderingCurrent Zoning Does Not Allow for 4 Story Project

By Colin Walsh 

Paul’s Place homeless shelter was announced on the front page of the Davis Enterprise yesterday noting how the very rapid growth of the Davis homeless population has overtaxed the old H street facility. This 4-story proposal will include 28 units, 4 emergency beds, “program space to connect people with public benefits, housing and employment opportunities and health and human services, as well as the basic services needed on a daily basis by those living outdoors: food, clothing, showers, restrooms and laundry facilities.” (link)

With the increasing local homeless population there is little doubt that solutions need to be found. Paul’s place would replace the existing well-worn Davis Community Meals 12 bed shelter at 1111H St.

One hurdle the new shelter will need to overcome to be built is the size of the proposed new building. At 4 stories tall it would be the tallest commercial or residential building between 5th St. and Covell. It will be the building in a half mile radius and the current zoning does not allow for 4 a story building.

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City Council needs forward thinking on broadband internet

My understanding is that the major question in front of the Council is whether to continue to pursue a municipally-owned broadband network.  The Broadband Advisory Task Force (BATF) says yes; staff says no.  I am here to support the BATF recommendation.

I was astonished to see Dan Carson's editorial in the Davis Enterprise. It would seem that he has already decided, in advance of today's staff presentation and  without hearing comment from the community and fellow Councilmembers that Davis should not control its own broadband network. I hope that he and other Councilmembers have an open mind on this. 

Everyone seems to agree that having municipally owned broadband would bring great benefits to the City, spurring economic development and small business, bringing in needed revenue, and provide fast internet to schools and low income households. Given that, you would think that this would be a no brainer. 

Yet Carson, following the staff report, worries about the costs. This seems to miss the point in multiple ways. To quote a recent article on the topic: 

“Cities invest in many facilities that are not designed to make a profit, from sports stadiums and convention centers to airports and museums. Cities are not indifferent to the economics of such projects, but the bottom line is not strictly enterprise solvency. Especially for infrastructure like broadband, the network effects and spillovers should contribute to the economic and social life of the community.” https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/a3np4a/new-municipal-broadband-map

Furthermore, as things stand now we are at the mercy of a monopoly. As coincidence would have it, Comcast raised its prices just this month. My household is now paying almost $80 for high speed internet. Our only “alternative” is to “pay less by paying more,” that is, by getting our internet bundled with other services we don’t want and wouldn’t use. We live in Central Davis, yet AT&T cannot provide high speed bandwidth to our household. We are at Comcast's mercy. This is not forward thinking. 

Carson compared City owned broadband to the bullet train. A more accurate comparison would be SMUD, a lost opportunity for Davis to control its own electricity. 

Let’s not make that same mistake again. Let’s do what over 750 communities have done <https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2017/06/29/new-report-swings-and-misses-on-communities-and-next-generation-broadband/amp/> and control our own broadband network.  

Let’s be bold and act for the greater good of the community. 

Davisites, please come to City Council this evening and let the Council know that this issue is important to you. 

 


Let’s Talk About Housing and Homeless in Davis

June Programs at Davis Methodist Focus on Shelter

(From Press release) Across California, affordable housing and homelessness is a huge and growing problem.  Yet solutions proposed by cities and non-profits are often met with neighborhood opposition.  How can we work together as a community to help our neighbors who are struggling to keep or find shelter?  As part of this conversation, Davis United Methodist Church is offering three programs on housing and homelessness on Sunday mornings, June 9, 23, and 30, from 9:45 to 10:50 at the church, which is located at 1620 Anderson Road in Davis. 

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Making Biking Convenient

Is making driving worse our Bike-rack-1 only alternative?

By Roberta Millstein

When I read the Davis Enterprise op-ed on roads, driving, and biking last month (“Infrastructure, what is it good for?”), I was sympathetic.  After all, it does seem to make sense to call out the “operative principle” that “if only we make driving (or parking) inconvenient enough, then people will drive less, or slower, or somewhere else.”  Indeed, as the op-ed says, we surely don’t want to rejigger our roads and our parking spaces only to increase car traffic and cars idling if the goal is to reduce carbon emissions.

But now I am not so sure.

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Honoring Dr. Thomas Cahill

Cahill programA man whose outstanding science was matched by his humanity

By Roberta Millstein

On Saturday, a packed St. James Catholic Church paid their respects to one of Davis’s most esteemed and well-loved sons, Dr. Thomas Cahill, better known to his friends and family as “Tom.”

Tom’s achievements were many; they are outlined in the obituary in the Davis Enterprise.  What most impresses me about his record was his dedication to doing science that mattered.  Trained as a nuclear astrophysicist, he quickly turned to the issue of air quality in California and was one of the small team that successfully advocated for the lead- and sulfur-free gasoline in the early 1970s.  His work on air quality continued throughout his career, even after his “retirement,” working on ultra-fine aerosols (including their impact on first-responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack) and aerosol impacts on global climate.

A few years ago, I was visiting at another university and met another faculty member who worked on air quality.  I asked him if he had heard of Tom Cahill.  The answer?  “Of course, yes!  Tom is the person to talk to about air quality issues.”

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Davis Vanguard Fundraiser Post-Mortem

Developers and Council Get Cozy with the Vanguard

By Roberta Millstein, Rik Keller, and Colin Walsh

After having raised concerns about Sunday’s Vanguard fundraiser in a series of articles (most recently here), we thought we should give a quick summary of how it all turned out.

The event was scheduled to begin at 5 PM.  The three of us arrived a bit earlier than that.  Rik ordered a large pizza, which we munched on throughout the event.  We sat just outside of the back area of Lamppost Pizza that had been reserved for the fundraiser. 

Lee-speaking
Mayor Brett Lee speaking

We watched people trickle in and mingle in the designated area.  The event finally got started around 5:30 PM, beginning with David Greenwald speaking.  Mayor Brett Lee spoke immediately afterward.  There was no amplification of their voices and so we couldn’t hear much of what was being said.  According to the Vanguard’s own account, Lee discussed homelessness.  At this point, the only other City Council member in attendance was Dan Carson.

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WHY DO THEY COME? The Root Causes of Immigration to the US

Public Presentation June 2

(From Press release) Come hear a first-hand report on "The Root Causes of Immigration to the U.S." June 2 at the Friends Meeting, corner of 4th and L Streets, Davis at 2:00pm.

The news media are filled with stories and pictures of thousands of migrants walking from Central America through Mexico to the U.S. border seeking asylum or other categories of entry. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and the migrants clearly are desperate, determined, and hopeful. Why do they undertake such a journey? Why do they come, what are they escaping or seeking?

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Local Environmental Heros Honored by Sierra Club

Sierraclub
(From Press release) This year, environmentalists from the local Sierra Club Yolano Group's area (primarily Yolo County) received 4 of the 6 individual awards given for all of Northern California at the Sierra Club’s Mother Lode Chapter Annual Awards Banquet in Sacramento on May 18. One additional special award for meritorious service was given to a local environmentalist by the Yolano Group.

The Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club covers almost all of Northern California from Yosemite to the Oregon border and the Inner Coast Range to the Nevada state line. The Sierra Club is the nation's largest and oldest environmental group and has almost 1,500 members in Yolo Co. and 3.5 million members nationwide.

Following are the local environmental heroes receiving the awards at the gala event and a brief description of why they were recognized.

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Criticism of City Council For Ties To Davis Vanguard Continues

14May2019CityCouncilVanguard Defends Council

The following are comments that Roberta Millstein, Colin Walsh, and Rik Keller provided to City Council on Tuesday evening, May 14, during the open citizen comment period (these may not be verbatim as language could have been modified slightly during presentation or cut short due to time constraints).

14May2019GreenwaldIt should be noted that after we again criticized the City Council for their involvement with the Vanguard fundraiser, on Wednesday morning in the Vanguard “premium newsletter” David Greenwald attacked Colin Walsh several times after identifying him as a potential City Council candidate – and then proceeded to defend the current Council, which has three incumbents who may be running for re-election, on a separate issue.

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Davis Hosts Green New Deal Town Hall as Part of Nationwide Mobilization

WHAT:
Community members from Davis and surrounding areas will meet at the UC Davis Art Annex to discuss the ​Green New Deal and how to best address the climate emergency on Saturday, May 25th, from 10am-12pm. The event is one of more than 250 town halls for the Green New Deal taking place all over the country. It hopes to stimulate conversation and action on climate justice in the region.
WHEN:
Saturday May 25, 10 AM - 12 PM
WHERE:
UC Davis Art Annex 107
WHO:
● Sunrise Movement ● Yolo County Progressives ● Sierra Club (Yolano Group) ● UPTE - University Professional and Technical Employees ● YDSA - Young Democratic Socialists of America at UC Davis

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City Council Makes Target Mall Decision Based on Demonstrably False Claims

By Daniel Urazandi

I wasn't at all surprised when the sitting council voted unanimously to remove the zoning restrictions on the Target mall. But I was astonished by the content of the staff report they based that decision on. It makes claims that are demonstrably false to anyone who has taken even a walk around downtown, and then these are the very statements that have been parroted by the chamber in a support letter and by council in their decision. From the report:

“In 2006, the city was concerned that the shopping center could have a negative impact on the economic viability of the downtown.

Studies were prepared that showed there was little likelihood of urban decay, which has held true.

After 10 years of operation in the city, staff believes it can be empirically deduced that the tenants in the shopping center are not relocating from the downtown area nor are they causing closure and mass vacancy in the downtown area”

“In fact downtown is thriving regardless of the existence of other businesses in Davis”

“there is no evidence that the shopping center has an impact on the downtown area.”

In other words, they are doubling down on the lie they told in 2006 even in the face of plain evidence from the intervening years.

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AFSCME 3299 and UPTE-CWA 9119 Strike at UC, May 16

May16-strikeBy Connor Gorman

Solidarity forever! The UC still hasn't agreed to provide basic rights and dignity to many of its workers (much less what they truly deserve). On top of this, the UC is continuing to outsource countless jobs to for profit companies whose employees are treated even worse than UC employees. Because of this, AFSCME 3299 (which covers service and patient care workers) will be striking this Thursday (May 16) along with UPTE-CWA 9119 (which covers technical and professional employees). The only picket-line in the region for this strike will be at the UC Davis med center (in Sacramento) since there will not be a picket line on the main UC Davis campus this time but some people are arranging carpools between Davis and the picket line. For more details see:

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Concern about tree pruning in middle of nesting season

By Pam Nieberg 

Please contact the City Council, City Manager, City Wildlife Resource Specialist and whomever else you wish regarding the city tree pruning that is going on right now.  Someone in the city contracted for the pruning of city trees now, in the middle of nesting season for virtually every bird species, including the legally protected Swainsons Hawk.  Who in their right mind would do that?

When I received a notice of the pruning, I contacted the city to ask that it stop, giving the reasons stated above.  Unfortunately, a number of the city trees in my neighborhood, including a number of Canary Island Pines which Swainson's hawks love, were heavily pruned despite efforts to prevent it. 

Normally, this time of year, I hear the Swainson's hawks vocalizing all over the neighborhood, every day, all day. Yesterday and today after the pruning--complete silence.

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Faulty Logic and Catch-22s in the Proposed Removal of Endangered Species Protections for the Gray Wolf

Canis-lupus
Photo by John & Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS

On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed removing the gray wolf, Canis lupus, from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.  At that time, I wrote an article and submitted an official comment, arguing that the 2013 Proposed Rule was capricious, arbitrary, and inconsistent

Now, almost six years later, the FWS proposes to “delist” Canis lupus again.  However, the logic underlying the 2019 Proposed Rule is no better than the logic underlying 2013 Proposed Rule.  Comparing the two a bit, focusing on the wolves in the Pacific Northwest (western Washington and western Oregon) and California, will make that evident.

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Programs at Davis Methodist Focus on Immigration

Faith-courage-communityDavis United Methodist Church is offering three programs on immigration on three Sunday mornings, May 5, 12, and June 2, from 9:45 to 10:50 at the church, which is located at 1620 Anderson Road in Davis. 

May 5.  “Resilience on the Border: Stories of Faith, Courage and Community,” with Emily Henderson.  Emily recently traveled with a delegation from Davis Community Church to Douglas, Arizona/Agua Prieto, Sonora and met a constellation of individuals and groups working to support refugees in this border community.  Upon returning, the group created a reader’s theatre piece to share the stories they heard.  Come read aloud (or listen) to these stories and reflections.  Emily Henderson grew up in Davis, CA.  For the last 10 years, Emily has served as the Artistic Director for Acme Theatre Company – a youth-led theatre organization that develops artistic excellence, youth leadership, and an ethos of social justice. 

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Students and Workers Celebrate May Day at UC Davis

UPTE-yds(From Press Release)

WHAT:
UC Davis students, workers, and campus organizations will come together in front of the Memorial Union on Wednesday, May 1st, from 12pm-1pm to celebrate ​May Day​. Live music will be followed by short speeches from various members of labor unions and student groups.

Over a century ago, workers in the U.S. decided that May 1st would be the day for a universal work stoppage. On May 1st, 1886, two hundred thousands workers left their jobs to demand an eight-hour work day. Workers around the world are still fighting for a better life. Here at UC Davis, workers in the union of technical and professional employees in the UC, UPTE, have recently held a strike over pension cuts, stagnating wages, and insufficient career job protections. Members of AFSCME, the union that includes custodians and food service workers on campus, have recently held a strike against unfair labor practices, accusing the UC administration of bribery and violating their right to strike.

WHEN:
May 1st, 2019, 12pm-1pm.

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Davis's Great Burger Battle Is Over – What Now?

GStreetWunderbarBurger
Would you like to see G Street Wunderbar offer this burger again?

The great COOL Cuisine Burger Battle is over, and by all accounts it was a grand success, both in terms of number of burger consumed and people's delight in the various burger offerings. But what's next for Davis's vegan food scene?  Surely there is more to come from COOL Cuisine, once founder Anya McCann recovers from the herculean effort it took to pull this off. 

In the meantime, though, is there anything that you and I can do?  Yes, I believe there is.  But before we get to that, let's review.

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