Districting Process Could Undermine Public Confidence in Council

Council Members,

Unfortunately, the city council district mapping process is backwards. The boundaries are merely being drawn by a mapper based on the mapper’s own unguided sense of what constitutes a “neighborhood.”  The criteria for defining a neighborhood and determining how to draw the boundaries for those neighborhoods should have been defined by the city council in advance of drawing any maps.

By selecting the rules first, we simplify the decision process, streamline any future updates (next year?), and minimize political mischief.

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5 Davis Districts, not 7

Picture1By Jon Li

When Davis was forced to “district elections” in July, it changed all the rules of the political game for the 1% who pay attention to everything, and the 5% who are involved in an ongoing basis.

Brett Lee and Lucas Frerichs were gearing up for their third terms.  They have had to pull back and be in the middle of the decision about the district boundaries.

The only argument I can see for 7 districts is that it guarantees Lucas a seat in a district independent of Brett.  (In some of the 5 seat maps, Lucas and Brett would be in the same district and have to run against each other.)

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Important Council meeting tonight Including UCD issues, RHNA, and District Elections

Student housingUCD needs far more on-campus housing

Rare opportunity to testify at today's Tuesday City Council Oct. 22, at 6pm meeting to testify for the need for far more UCD on-campus student housing at Community Chambers at 23 Russell Blvd

By Eileen Samitz

For the vast majority of the community who were not informed in time to attend the community “Town Hall” 2X2X2 City Council-County Supervisor-UCD meeting this past Thursday, here is a rare opportunity to testify directly to UCD.

Unfortunately, the “Town Hall” meeting to address the UCD housing was held, not in town, but at a remote and inconvenient location on the UCD campus at 6:30 until only 8pm. As a result few community members were able to attend. The meeting was ended early by Vice Chancellor Ratliff and no questions were allowed, although an attendee requested a questions section.

So today, Tuesday Oct. 22nd is a rare opportunity to address UCD on this issue at the City Council meeting. Usually, you are allowed 3 minutes (sometimes less) to testify on an item when it comes up on the agenda.

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10 things you need to know about the UCD-City-County "Town Hall" that are not being reported in other places.

QuestionsBy Colin Walsh

On Thursday 10/17 UCD, the City of Davis, and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors held a public meeting to discuss housing. Both the Enterprise and the Vanguard blog have written about it, but here is a list of 10 significant or interesting points that have been left out of those articles.

1) This was not a “Town Hall” style meeting despite being characterized as such (see May, Lee and Saylor’s oped ). This meeting was held in a traditional public meeting format, with limited public comments in the beginning, then speeches made by the panelists from UCD, City of Davis and Yolo County Supervisors. The last speakers final slide said "Questions?" in bold letters, but was quickly taken off the screen. At the end of the meeting Vice Chancellor Ratcliff noted the meeting was ending early. At that point I very politely asked if the panel would be willing to take questions. VC Ratcliff stated that no questions would be taken. By comparison the October 14 Congressman Garamendi Town Hall had over 1½ hours of Q & A.

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Candidate runs for Yolo County Supervisor on a Local Green New Deal platform

IMG_4955My name is David Abramson and I am running for District 4 Yolo County Supervisor on the platform of a Local Green New Deal. A Local Green New Deal lays out a plan for local infrastructure, planning, and policy that will help us address the climate crisis we are in. It also aims to transform our economic system into one that supports ecological healing and true community wealth-building.

Growing up in Davis and living here most of my life, I know that Yolo County residents care about their communities. We care about each other, we care about our families, our neighbors, our schools, about the health and well-being of our workers, our youth, and our elders. We care about the health of our planet, and about the future we want for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

We hear the calls from the youth saying, "We want a future! We want our political leaders to step up to the challenge, to transition from fossil fuels, and to take the challenges that humanity faces seriously and fearlessly, and to spring forward into action!"

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VCE takes steps toward creation of a locally owned and operated public utility

VCE(From press release) The board of Yolo County’s clean power agency has submitted a $300 million bid to purchase Pacific Gas & Electric’s lines, poles and other electricity distribution assets within Yolo County.

The purchase would enable the creation of a locally owned and operated public utility that the board has concluded would result in a more successful, efficient and safe electricity system.

Following the announcement this summer of its intent to examine the purchase of local PG&E assets, and after months of study and review with expert consultants, the Valley Clean Energy board of directors submitted a non-binding offer Friday, Oct. 18, to purchase PG&E’s assets.

Valley Clean Energy’s offer would ultimately be subject to approval by the federal court handling the PG&E bankruptcy case.

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Pay to Détour(nement)

Can Davis Pioneer a Toll for Waze?

Map2By Todd Edelman

At the most recent public meeting about the “Mace Mess” - on a summer evening at Pioneer Elementary - we were told that City attorneys were going to look into a legal way to keep traffic guided by apps like Waze from diverting from I-80 between just west of town and the Yolo Bypass, not only via Tremont and Mace but also via 113 and Covell, etc.

I’ve not heard anything about this since then, which might mean nothing. 


So, imagine a system that records the license plates and FasTrak transponders of vehicles that exit and enter I-80 and CA-113 at various points in the City and nearby to the west (see the map). How to determine if the driver is “just passing through”?:  If the transit time is e.g. + or - 20% of what's predicted by Waze and similar for the same journey, the driver is charged a reasonable fee. (Using Waze, etc. against itself is the détournement mentioned, and a great pun if I might say so!). 

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Rhythm with Rhyme, Perhaps


By Carey Ann Hunt

Notes with words.

Rhythm inviting rhyme with or without reason.

Pausing in anticipation.

Awaiting the next pluck of a low C.

Deep. Accompanying. Notes mingling in the air.

Sharing space. Breathing. Becoming.

Growing in intensity. Building and strengthening.

Filling the air. Sound pounding walls and bodies.

Carving into the chilly Davis night.

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Heads up on more City housing discussions

By Roberta Millstein

This is just a brief post to let Davisites know about some upcoming housing-related discussions.  At 6 PM on Tuesday (Oct 22) just prior to the regular Council meeting in the Community Chambers, there will be a City Council and Planning Commission Joint Discussion.  The two planned topics of discussion are:

  • Should there be policy preference for work force housing over student-oriented housing?
  • What is the future direction for affordable housing in Davis, including at risk housing, and with the nature of the interim housing policy, what should be enforced?

Other housing-related items will be covered during the regular Council meeting.

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30 years of beer: Sudwerk celebrates community on Oct. 26

EventPoster(From press release) One of California's pioneering breweries will celebrate a major milestone on Oct. 26. Sudwerk Brewing Co. marks 30 years in business, with a free community celebration that includes live music and art, and supports two local charities.

The celebration is from noon to 9:30 p.m. at Sudwerk, 2001 Second St. The event supports the Davis Live Music Collective and Davis Schools Foundation, and includes a live mural competition, community mural wall, food by Tommy J’s Grill & Catering, face painting, new beer releases, a sour beer garden and more.

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40th Anniversary Celebration of the Blue Mango Cooperative Restaurant & Coffeehouse


A 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Blue Mango Cooperative Restaurant & Coffeehouse will take place at the Davis Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second Street, on Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 6pm until 10pm. A group of founding members are hosting a Vegetarian Potluck and Live Music to accompany a reunion of workers, musicians, artists and community members commemorating the Blue Mango (1979-1994). For information or to RSVP contact mango40th@gmail.com. *

The Blue Mango Cooperative was incorporated as a workers cooperative on August 24, 1979, by a group of Davis residents associated with the Fly By Night Dance & Music Troupe (1978-1980). The Blue Mango Restaurant & Coffeehouse opened on October 19, 1979, and became a cultural institution over the next fifteen years, employing hundreds of worker-owners, serving nutritious vegetarian cuisine (mostly organic when organic food was a novelty), and providing a lively venue for hundreds of musicians, artists and activists. The collective defined its purpose as promoting nourishment, consciousness and creativity.

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City-County-UCD 2X2X2 “Town Hall” meeting Thursday Oct. 17th 6:30pm -8pm at Genome Center on UCD campus

This important semi-annual meeting is for updates from the City, County and UCD regarding UCD housing needs and impacts.

(Click to enlarge)

By Eileen Samitz

In case you are one of many who are not aware of this important semi-annual “Town Hall” meeting, there will be a City-County-UCD 2X2X2 meeting tomorrow Thursday, Oct. 17th at the Genome Center on the UCD campus in the first-floor auditorium. One wonders why this community meeting is not more conveniently located in the City as was publicly requested early on; the map attached explains where the Genome Center is. To get to it take Hutchinson Drive and turn south on Health Sciences Drive which will lead to a parking lot (see map above).

Since UCD is imposing enormous housing needs on Davis these meetings for updates are only twice a year so this is an important meeting to attend to give input particularly about the slow progress of any additional on-campus housing being produced and the overall deficiency of how much on-campus housing is being planned. For citizens concerned about the impacts on Davis due to UCD’s lack of on-campus housing for its rapidly growing student population, please attend. Anyone wishing to testify will be given 3 minutes to testify. The agenda can be viewed at:

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Village Feast funds education and grants about farm-fresh food

Guests sit at long tables under the sycamore trees at Davis' Central Park at the 2019 Village Feast.
Photo by Ashley Bruhn

(From press release) More than 350 attended The Village Feast on Sept. 28, raising more than $38,000 to support early and continued education about food and agriculture.

Davis Farm to School and Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Sacramento paired up for the event, splitting the proceeds. The community meal, served in le grand aïoli tradition in Davis’ Central Park, will return next year, on Saturday, Sept. 12.

A project of the Davis Farmers Market Alliance, Davis Farm to School provides garden grants, farm field trips and support for farm-fresh food in Davis-area schools. Les Dames d’Escoffier, a philanthropic organization of female leaders in food, fine beverage and hospitality, gives scholarships to area women in food and agriculture.

Davis Farm to School will use its funds to support garden-based education for Davis students, including grants and field trips. It continues to offer matching Garden Grants of up to $500 to all interested school sites in Davis. These may be used to purchase supplies, as stipends for garden coordinators, to fund professional development, and to enhance connections between the school garden and the classroom, cafeteria, or waste-reduction program.

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The current Davis General Plan opposes Sustainable Response to Climate Change

Note: Wednesday, the Davis League of Women Voters will host a presentation by Davis Deputy City Manager Kelly Stachowicz on The General Plan "What Is It and Why Do We Care!", 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM, 3300 Cowell Blvd

By Jon Li

Davis’ General Plan expired in 2015, like old milk in the back of the refrigerator.

The current 2002 Davis General Plan (Housing element update 2010-15) is an update of the 1974 Plan.  That plan was once ecologically innovative but the California Building Code superseded Davis’ code in 1990.

            The 1987 General Plan had so little public participation that it was quickly out of date.   In 1993-4, 16 Davis committees worked on policies for a new general plan in such areas as youth, seniors, art, social services, community computer networks and economic development, as well as the state mandated plan elements like housing, transportation infrastructure, public safety and open space.

            Any innovation died there.  A group of anti-growth activists prolonged the process several years, and buried the innovation in the back of the plan.  The only thing that matters about the current Davis General Plan is kill any economic development because it might cause change.

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Davis Joins Hundreds of U.S. Cities in Marking Indigenous Peoples’ Day

2019-10-14 11_18_30-City CouncilDavis Native Family Network

On Monday October 14, Davis California marks Indigenous Peoples Day for the first time, replacing Columbus Day. Davis’ Native Family Network welcomed the decision by the City of Davis to celebrate and honor Native American and indigenous nations and the rich cultural history which represent the foundation of today’s society. 

In celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day, Davis will join a growing number of cities and communities marking the day across the U.S. including Washington D.C., Seattle, San Francisco and Denver. Over 100 cities across the U.S. have moved to replace Columbus Day on the second Monday of October.

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Sudwerk earns gold in most competitive beer contest in U.S.

Award Winning Pils Marzen SM(From press release) Sudwerk Brewing Co. of Davis won two medals at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, more than any other brewery in the Sacramento region.

Put on by the Brewers Association, the 33rd GABF, which concluded Saturday, Oct. 5 in Denver, is the most competitive and coveted beer festival in the nation. The competition included 9,497 entries from 2,295 breweries representing all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Sudwerk was the only brewery in the Sacramento region to take home a gold medal, for its Märzen Amber Lager. It won the American-Style Amber Lager category, which included 101 entries. This was the second year in a row the beer has medaled; it earned a silver in 2018.

Sudwerk also won bronze for The People’s Pilsner, in the Bohemian-Style Pilsener category, out of 123 entries.

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League of Women Voters/Civ Energy meeting. Topic: Housing

(From press release) The League of Women Voters Davis Area and CivEnergy are holding an educational meeting on the General Planning process in Davis. It is the first in a series of free, educational forums on housing that are open to the public. The meeting will be held at the New Harmony Mutual Housing Community, 3030 Cowell Boulevard in the Community Room from 6pm to 7:30pm on Wednesday October 16.

This series hopes to begin the discussion on a major community issue: Housing. This includes housing policy, affordability, homelessness and such issues. These events also give the City of Davis residents the opportunity to educate themselves and provide input on the issues above and help steer the housing element of the development of the General Plan update process.

Sign up for a free ticket at Eventbrite.

The League of Women Voters Davis Area was recently restarted in May 2019. They will be accepting donations at this event to offset costs for future educational meetings and forums.

Aggie Research Campus (ARC) Planning Considerations

ARC-map-Oct2019The following memo was sent yesterday to the newly-formed City Council Aggie Research Campus (ARC) subcommittee, composed of Mayor Pro Tem Gloria Partida and Councilmember Dan Carson, with cc's to City Manager Mike Webb, Assistant City Manager Ash Feeney, and Principal Planner Sherri Metzker.

By Greg Rowe

The following comments and suggestions are respectfully offered for your consideration, in the spirit of facilitating a comprehensive evaluation of the proposed ARC project.  The subjects are not arranged in order of priority or importance.  I full acknowledge and recognize, as stated on page 2 of the October 8 City Council report (agenda item 5E), that the project will be scheduled for future commission meetings.  I also concur that, as noted on page 9 of the same report, “In sum, there will be a series of subsequent entitlements at which time more definitive detail will be proposed,” and there is “…the potential for building locations or other features to shift during the final planned development process.”

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Interfaith Feast of Fellowship in Central Park on October 14

Feast 10.14(From press release) The Celebration of Abraham is hosting an interfaith Feast of Fellowship in Central Park on October 14 from 5 to 7 pm. All are welcome: those who follow any religious tradition, those who are not religious, those who are agnostic or atheist.

The formal program will be VERY short—maybe five minutes. We hope folks with sit with folks whom they do not know well. Abraham will provide some potential topics for folks to discuss as well as some information on how to have conversations with folks who are different from ourselves on topics that might be uncomfortable. Abraham will also provide some resources on children’s books that can help folks begin discussions with young people on diversity.  The main goal is to enjoy our Davis neighbors and to build community across different groups!!

Abraham will provide paper products and silverware. Please bring a vegetarian potluck dish to share. Also please bring a blanket to share.

For more information contact Helen Roland hroland2@gmail.com

City Council makes promises about proposal for business park outside of Mace Curve

ARC-location-overviewGood outcomes in spite of bad process at Council meeting

By Roberta Millstein

As I and others had requested, at Tuesday’s meeting the Council pulled the items concerning the Mace Ranch Innovation Center (MRIC)/Aggie Research Center (ARC) from the Consent Calendar, meaning that there could be a brief presentation, public comment, and discussion and vote from the Council.  Unfortunately, it got personal and unpleasant at times (more on that below).  But there were a number of good outcomes from the meeting.

My main reasons for wanting the items pulled was to let more Davisites know that the City was moving forward with the ARC, to inform people that there was a project description available on the City’s website, and to get more information about what was going to happen moving forward.  Those goals were achieved on Tuesday.

In particular:

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