Entries categorized "Politics"

Kelsey Fortune Announces Her Candidacy for Davis City Council in District 1

Fortune_smaler

>>from press release<<

I am honored to announce my candidacy for Davis City Council in District 1.

I was raised in small town Wisconsin to believe everyone should play an active role in shaping their community. I moved to Davis nine years ago to pursue my PhD in economics, determined to live in accordance with my values for respect, inclusion, and sustainability. I use my bicycle as my main form of transportation and have woven close relationships with a wide variety of people through my involvement in our community. I volunteer my time as the Associate Director of Purple Tree Cafe and on the Boards of Bike Davis and Cool Davis.

Faced with a climate emergency that threatens to exacerbate already unacceptable levels of inequality and is currently degrading our environment, I believe our diverse and compassionate community is our greatest strength. I see untapped potential for progress and action in the City of Davis. The people and elected leaders who came before us laid the groundwork for a vibrant, sustainable community, and our city government and citizenry can again become an example of an equitable and effective response.

The city is also faced with an unsustainable budget, a public safety and justice system that does not best serve the people, an extreme dearth of both affordable and dedicated low-income housing, and lack of transparency, effective communication, and action from our City Council. Our children’s future depends on our ability to act now to address these problems.

That’s why I’m running for Davis City Council in District 1.

______________________________________________________

For more information, contact FortuneForDavis@gmail.com,  530-220-2001


Six former Davis mayors condemn Councilmember Carson’s actions

D990E760-85E9-4B6F-A119-2D7DC1CCFA89We are concerned that Davis City Councilman Dan Carson’s involvement in the Measure H campaign and his efforts to pass Measure H set a terrible precedent for Davis and harms our citizen-based democratic processes.

Carson is the first elected official in Davis to lead a developer’s campaign committee to annex land to the city for a subdivision. He is also the first member of the city Council to use developer money to file a lawsuit to strike down his fellow citizens’ ballot arguments against annexation.

Councilman Carson’s lawsuit did not produce any meaningful changes to the citizen’s ballot arguments. A judge changed one word and converted a troy measurement to a metric measurement. That’s it. The apparent purpose of the developer-funded lawsuit was to squelch the speech of the opponents to Measure H. Mr. Carson and his deep-pocketed backers probably assumed that the citizens would not be able to afford to litigate the ballot argument.

Special interests like developers already have a financial advantage and regularly outspend citizen campaigns by more than twenty to one. Mr. Carson and the Measure H developer have come up with a new tactic to press their financial advantage even further — file a lawsuit against the citizens. Win or lose, it makes no difference. Citizen defendants will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a legal defense, further curtailing their ability to challenge the developer’s project.

Just the possibility of another developer suing the citizen opponents of a project could scare Davis residents from standing up and speaking out. That’s not the Davis way. Winning a political debate shouldn’t depend on the size of your pocketbook. Instead, make your best case and then let the voters decide.

The problem with Carson’s conduct in the Measure H campaign is that he has blurred the line between his role as an elected representative of the people of Davis and his advocacy for a development project. This conflict of interest was on full display at the April 5 City Council meeting, when he took up a Measure H matter that was not on the agenda and gave a lengthy political speech. Even Mayor Gloria Partida admonished Carson this was improper.

As past mayors of the city of Davis, we can assure Davis citizens that Dan Carson is charting new political ground and that it is not good. We would ask that Councilman Carson carefully reconsider what he is doing with respect to Measure H.

Joe Krovoza, Sue Greenwald, Mike Corbett, Ken Wagstaff, Ann M. Evans, and Bill Kopper (former mayors of Davis)


Letter: Who wants DiSC?

DISC overview shotWho wants 12,000 more daily car trips on Mace Blvd? 

Who wants to annex and pave over 102 acres of prime farmland and environmental habitat OUTSIDE the City of Davis boundary?

Who wants to violate every principle of effective city planning by developing 80,000 square feet of retail businesses beyond the city’s downtown?

Who wants an additional 460 housing units that would deplete scarce water resources and distress our already fragile infrastructure, including roads, schools and downtown parking?

Who wants a project that may violate air quality standards and add a 4.5 percent increase to Davis’s carbon footprint?

Who wants a project that proponents say will “Combat Climate Change”? (Been to Mar-a-Lago lately guys?)

Who wants a project that will develop 1.34 million square feet of office space when most businesses are transitioning to remote work-at-home employees? (Seen those massive empty development projects in China?)

Vote “NO” on H.

Here’s what Joni Mitchell said:

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go that
You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

David L. Johnson
Davis


Letter: Why was the Yes on H campaign chair involved in the City-County negotiations?

The City's staff report for the tax sharing MOU says the "discussions . . . have included the City Council subcommittee of Mayor Partida and Councilmember Carson, along with city staff, and the City Attorney."

The staff report goes on to say "The Bradley-Burns sales taxes generated from points of sale on the project site will be shared 50% County and 50% City. This share applies to Bradley Burns only and not to the Davis local 1% sales tax as approved under Measure Q"

The involvement in this process of Councilmember Carson needs to be emphasized, because in the City's financial analysis of DiSC presented to the Finance and Budget Commission in December, the City's financial consultant EPS projected the City would get 100% of all annual sales tax revenues and the County would get 0%.  The negotiated terms of the MOU reported by both the City and the County reduce the City's projected net tax revenue by over $350,000 per year, and reduce the City's "best case" projection from $3.88 million to $3.53 million.

Since $3.88 million is no longer accurate, City should explicitly direct the Yes on Measure H campaign team to cease-and-desist any further use of the $3.88 million figure in its messaging or materials.  Given Dan Carson's dual role as a member of City Council and as the Honorary Chair of the Yes on Measure H campaign team quickly and efficiently conveying that cease-and-desist statement should be easy to accomplish. 

With all the above said, "Why was the Yes on H campaign chair involved in the City-County negotiations?" – negotiations that produced such an unfavorable result for the City?

Don C. Price
Davis


Letter: Growth and Gridlock in Davis

Isn’t there a better way to provide funding for city services than paving over prime agricultural land with an industrial park? We have an internationally recognized agricultural research university and the city is proposing to despoil the very essence of that educational field: the land. The university hasn’t asked for this project or even endorsed it.

I’ve lived in Davis for 37 years and have watched leaders plead again and again for sprawl on our periphery, touting the need for often-delusive revenue to cover unchecked city spending. Like many, I put roots down in Davis because it offered what I desired most, excellent, innovative city planning, strong schools, and a strong city spirit. In the past, Davis was known nationally as a charming small college town with abundant bike paths and lanes, surrounded by farm land and open space.  I left southern California specifically because of regional gridlock and air quality. Why are Davis leaders trying to replicate those problems here?

Are we in a race with other communities to build the most car-centric, traffic-choked developments: Is there something inherently wrong with maintaining  a small community that values its neighborhoods and agricultural roots?  Why don’t city leaders demonstrate some  economic creativity and re-imagine a  government that can sustain itself without gobbling up all the open space that surrounds it.  Or shall we let regional developers dictate our future?

The commuter gridlock that has already invaded East and South Davis is spreading throughout the city. Is this to be our future?  Besides death and taxes, it’s the one sure thing that will happen if the proposed development, Measure H, passes. Yes, ‘more cars are coming anyway’ as a result of the ‘Waze’ traffic app. Why make that worse by adding another 12,000 car trips to the mix?

 Please help maintain the current quality of our city and vote No on Measure H.

C.H. Pickett
Davis


The Whole Story about DiSC’s Claim of $3.88 Million Net Revenue to the City

Seven ways in which the City and the Yes on Measure H campaign make DiSC 2022 appear economically far rosier than is likely

By Matt Williams

The City and the Yes on Measure H campaign literature for the DiSC project emphasize that one of the important benefits to the City of Davis General Fund is a “$3.9 million net revenue gain for the City of Davis annually to address the city’s $7 million funding gap and maintain our quality of life without a tax increase.”

The net annual revenues projected to accrue to the City that have been presented to the voting public use the most optimistic “best case scenario” to make their pitch … but other less rosy scenarios exist.  During the December meeting of the Davis Finance and Budget Commission (FBC), Commissioner Jacobs suggested multiple times that it would be helpful to City Council if the consultant were to run the analysis using a worst-case and best-case scenario.  Unfortunately, that suggestion was not implemented by the City.

Scenario analyses are particularly valuable here in Davis because, for a variety of reasons, past development projects in the City have rarely yielded the revenues the City expected to them to produce. The $3.88 million surplus projected for this Measure H project may be the theoretical best case, but it does not recognize potential adverse impacts on this rosy projection. As shown below, if all of the seven impacts quantified in this document are considered, net annual revenues to the City could actually result in a deficit of $770,000.

Continue reading "The Whole Story about DiSC’s Claim of $3.88 Million Net Revenue to the City" »


PBE welcomes No on DiSC to public forum

(From press release) The Davis Progressive Business Exchange will meet from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, at Lamppost Pizza, 1260 Lake Blvd. in West Davis.

The topic will be DiSC, the Davis Innovation Sustainability Campus. After supporters spoke last month, Matt Williams will speak on May 4, representing the No on DiSC campaign. Davis voters will be asked to vote on this issue on June 7 as Measure H.

The public is invited to these free open forum events. Contact Bob Bockwinkel at 530-219-1896 or e-mail G Richard Yamagata at yamagata@dcn.org for  information.


Letter: Time to say "No" to DiSC

ClockOne of the few benefits of COVID has been people’s heightened awareness around the climate crisis. For me personally I have made significant lifestyle changes regarding my transportation choices and frequency of travel, started purchasing second hand clothing, and committed to eating sustainably produced foods.

I would like to think that our City Council would also have learned and grown more conscious of their leadership’s impact on Davis during this urgent time when we need to reduce our carbon footprint. Look no further than the DISC development (Measure H on the ballot) to see how they have failed to grow.

The new 2022 iteration of DiSC will, according to the Sierra Club, create “excessive traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, and poor land-use and planning.” DiSC will “increase the city’s carbon footprint by 5%.” It is frightening to see the City Council push so hard for this massive development of office space, a big hotel, and fancy condos on the outskirts of town near an area of Davis already burdened by poor planning decisions (e.g., Mace Mess).

Meanwhile one council member, the notorious Dan Carson, took the time and small- minded perspective of suing the citizens of Davis themselves who operate the No On DISC campaign. What an incredibly unconscious and egocentric move! Is this the government we have to help us create radical change to address climate crisis issues?

As an average citizen who works from home for a non profit, is married to a Davis school teacher, and believes a better world is possible if we all contribute, I would kindly ask you to open your minds to voting No on Measure H in the June ballot. Learn more at VoteNoOnDisc.com campaign site.

Nikki Martin
Davis


League of Women Voters hosts forum on county supervisor race

Juliette-cropped lucas-cropped(From press release) The League of Women Voters Davis Area will sponsor a nonpartisan election forum Saturday, May 7 on the District 2 race for Yolo County Supervisor.

The event will be run from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at 23 Russell Blvd. in Davis. Free tickets are available on Eventbrite at  yolosupervisorforum.eventbrite.com.

Davis Media Access will record the event and make the video available to voters.

Davis City Councilmember Lucas Frerichs and local climate activist Juliette Beck are competing to replace incumbent Supervisor Don Saylor, who is not running for re-election. His term expires at the end of 2022.

District 2 covers southwest Yolo County, including Winters, West Davis, parts of central Davis and the area between Winters and Davis. Jim Provenza represents District 4 on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, which also includes parts of Davis. His term does not expire until Dec. 31, 2024.

Frerichs has served on the Davis City Council since 2012. A long-time former staffer in the California State Assembly, he currently works as associate director of state policy for The Nature Conservancy and serves on the boards of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, the Yolo County Transportation District, Valley Clean Energy, and the Yolo Habitat Conservancy.

An ecologist, Beck helped initiate a Climate Strike advocacy movement in 2018 that gathers in Davis Central Park every Friday at noon. In 2020, she helped establish a Yolo County Climate Action Commission to address climate change. When schools closed for the pandemic, she worked with educators, parents, and UC Davis students to fund a free youth summer camp that focuses on ecology and community activism. 

Davis resident Donna Neville will moderate the forum. A semi-retired lawyer, she currently chairs the City of Davis Finance and Budget Committee. She worked as an attorney for the Office of the Legislative Counsel early in her career and later was chief legal counsel to two state agencies: the California State Auditor’s Office and the State Board of Education.


Letter: Measure H misrepresents itself

Greenwashed-trafficDavis voters rejected DISC in 2020. We didn’t want environmental and quality of life costs for all in exchange for economic gain for few. So the developers hired a PR firm to reframe the issue as Measure H, or to lie so blatantly as to make Loki swoon.

They say paving 102 acres will “preserve agricultural land,” that DISCs 12,000 more cars daily will “make driving easier” and “speed up commutes” (quotes direct from Yes on H). They think a population that is in favor of downtown, open space, clean air and minimal traffic will vote for a project that is the antithesis of these because they put a bicycle on their lawn signs.

They hope Davisites are too stupid to see through greenwashing newspeak and they need the councilpeople they own to maintain a pretense of environmentalism while vigorously campaigning for a freeway sprawl development that’s as carbon neutral as Charles Koch’s vacations. In future I suggest the developers save the corporate PR money and I can suggest equally believable slogans like “Trees Favor Axes,” “Snails For Salt” and “Turkeys Love Thanksgiving.”

Dan Urazandi
Davis


Should Measure H be renamed to Measure M – with "M" for Misleading?

By Matt Williams

Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of discussion about Dan Carson's lawsuit over ballot statements that were alleged to be “objectively and verifiably false and/or misleading.  Honorary Campaign Chair Carson and the Yes on Measure H campaign team have had their day in court (pun intended), but it turns out that the language in the Ballot Arguments is just the tip of the “objectively and verifiably false and/or misleading” iceberg in the ongoing consideration by the voters of the DiSC 2022 proposal.

So, grab your Titanic deck chairs, and we will navigate some icy waters as the communications from the Yes On Measure H campaign team take you over, around and through their own “false and misleading” assertions about the benefit DJUSD will get from the DiSC project.

Our narrative starts in early March when Amy Haug, whose name is prominently featured on their website as a member of the Yes on H campaign team, contacted the leaders of the various PTA/PTO organizations conveying the following message:

I am not trying to bring this to you in a partisan way, just to bring information.  I have already talked to the DHS PTA in the announcements part of their meeting and am scheduled to talk to Emerson, DaVinci and Harper this month.  There is some really important things that parents should be aware of on the upcoming ballot measure.  Here are just some of the benefits of the DISC for parents specifically:

  • The developer has been negotiating with the school district and have agreed to a one-time donation of $2.3 million and a yearly donation of $700,000 every single year thereafter directly to the DJUSD.

To the credit of the leaders of the various DJUSD PTA/PTO organizations, they did some research on Measure H and determined that it does not have direct relevance to the mission and purpose of their respective PTA/PTO.  As a result, they unscheduled the pending Yes On H presentations.

Before jumping forward from early March to early April, I ask you to take note of the words “negotiating” and “donation” in that Yes On Measure H message.  Both the referenced $2.3 million and $700,000 are legally mandated fees/taxes/levies that all homeowners within the DJUSD boundaries pay each year in their Yolo County Tax Bill.  I can not remember when any of those fees/taxes/levies were negotiable for any taxpayer … or could even vaguely be considered to be a “donation” to DJUSD.  In fact, whether it was intentional or not, the use of the terms “negotiating” and “donation” is both false and misleading.

Continue reading "Should Measure H be renamed to Measure M – with "M" for Misleading?" »


Will the supposed $3.9 million net revenue gain to the City ever really come?

By Matt Williams

The City and the Yes on Measure H campaign literature for the DiSC project emphasize that one of the important benefits to the City of Davis General Fund is a claimed “$3.9 million net revenue gain for the City of Davis annually to address the city’s $7 million funding gap and maintain our quality of life without a tax increase.”

Where does that $3.9 million projection come from?

The source is the December 2021 financial analysis prepared by the City’s financial consultant (EPS) and presented to the Finance and Budget Commission (FBC) in December 2021.  In that analysis, Tables B-1 and A-2 provide the specific relevant net revenue data, and both those tables are copied on the other side of this handout. 

At what point in time does the $3.9 million net revenue gain actually happen?

As Table B-1 clearly shows, the $3.9 million Annual General Fund Surplus only happens when DiSC is fully built out (at the end of Phase 2B). 

When does full buildout actually happen?

According to Table A-2 from the same EPS financial analysis, the end of Phase 2B isn’t projected until the end of the 12th year of the project (at the end of 2034). 

What is the net revenue gain in the years prior to full buildout?

Table B-1 shows that the net revenue gain is only $333,000 in Phase 1A, and $1,351,000 in Phase 1B.  Both those numbers are small fractions of $3.9 million.  Only when the project reaches the end of Phase 2A ... projected by EPS to be at the end of the 9th year of the project (the end of 2031) ... does the projected net revenue gain get to 90% of the $3.9 million, with the final 10% not coming until three years later.

How solid is the 12-year projection for achieving Full Buildout? 

Given the fact that the DiSC development team has publicly stated that they will not be doing any marketing until after they achieve a positive result at the ballot box from Davis voters on Election Day, that 12-year projection is highly speculative.  Under those conditions, full buildout could just as easily take 25 years, or not happen at all.  If full buildout never happens, then the $3.9 million net revenue gain never happens.

Continue reading "Will the supposed $3.9 million net revenue gain to the City ever really come? " »


Councilmember Carson wants Davis citizens he sued to be responsible for his developer-paid legal fees

Upside-down-farmland(From press release) Yesterday afternoon, Davis City Councilmember Dan Carson's attorneys filed a brief in Yolo County Superior Court on his behalf, seeking $76,358 from the six named Davis citizens in his failed lawsuit. Councilmember Carson's lawsuit attempted to delete more than 25% of the ballot Argument against Measure H. That would amount to more than $12,700 for each individual named in the lawsuit: Mike Corbett, Stephen Wheeler, Darell Dickey, Juliette Beck, Roberta Millstein, and Alan Pryor, the authors and signers of the ballot argument.

"The individuals who Carson has targeted are not wealthy industrial park developers like Dan Ramos who has paid for Councilmember Carson’s attorneys thus far. “They  are community members, and community members who have integrity and are well respected," stated Pam Gunnell.  Gunnell further stated that “Understanding who these community members are is critical to understanding No On H. Michael Corbett was the developer behind Village Homes who most recently has built a small affordable housing project in South Davis. Dr. Stephen Wheeler is a professor of urban planning and design in the department of human ecology at UC Davis, and author of “Planning for Sustainability, Reimagining Sustainable Cities” and “The Sustainable Urban Development Reader.” Darell Dickey is a former Bicycle Advisory Commissioner, long-time member of the Davis Bike Club, and proponent of safe bicycling in Davis. Juliette Beck is a long -time climate change activist, mother and candidate for Yolo County Supervisor. Dr. Roberta Millstein is Professor Emeritus in the UC Davis Philosophy Department, specializing in environmental ethics and philosophy of biology; she is a former Chair of the Open Space and Habitat Commission. Alan Pryor is retired and serves as the Chair of the Sierra Club Yolano Group and is a former 12-year member of the City of Davis Natural Resources Commission. “

Councilmember Carson and Dan Ramos have both acknowledged previously that Ramos, the developer behind the DiSC project on the June ballot as Measure H, is bankrolling Carson’s attorney's fees. If Carson prevails in his request for award of attorney fees, these individuals would be legally compelled to pay Yes on H's fees. Presumably Developer Ramos would then be reimbursed for his attorney costs to sue the authors and signers of the No on H argument.

Continue reading "Councilmember Carson wants Davis citizens he sued to be responsible for his developer-paid legal fees" »


Despite No on DiSC's success in court, Councilmember Carson still thinks that the citizens he sued with developer money should pay legal fees

Triplepunch(From press release) In a Yolo County Superior Court filing on April 22, the No on Measure H campaign rejected Councilmember Dan Carson’s latest court filing arguing that six Davis residents should not have their legal bills paid as a result of his spurious lawsuit.  The legal bills in question are those incurred by the No on Measure H campaign defending against Carson's lawsuit that attacked the No on H ballot statement. The No on H campaign believes that the lawsuit was a blatant attempt to squelch their free speech rights.

Further, Carson’s latest filing states that Carson himself intends to file to collect attorney fees from the 6 individual Davis citizens he named in his lawsuit! However, while Carson's wants the six Davis residents he sued to be financially responsible for all of Carson's attorney fees, it turns out that all of Carson’s legal costs are actually being bankrolled by the DiSC developer.

In a reply brief filed in Yolo County Superior Court, the No on H campaign called Carson’s actions “a tried and true political tactic to deplete the opposition’s financial resources through whatever means possible, because in politics, money itself is speech.”

“Petitioner Dan Carson, a City Councilmember and representative of the developer-backed Yes on H Committee, initiated litigation that would have prevented Real Parties in Interest Alan Pryor, Michael Corbett, Stephen Wheeler, Darell Dickey, Juliette Beck, and Roberta Millstein (“Real Parties”) from expressing relevant opinions about the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus 2022 (DiSC 2022),” the brief says.

Real Parties were forced to obtain counsel to defend their speech rights, depleting campaign resources. Even worse, Petitioner has now threatened to file a fee motion against these six private citizens for payment of Petitioner’s attorney’s fees, even though he did not achieve the results he sought in his Petition for Writ of Mandate,” the brief continues.

The case is a triple punch designed to stifle comment, reduce campaign activity, and financially punish citizens who simply engaged in protected political speech in the ballot pamphlet. Unlike Petitioner, who made the choice to come to court, these six Real Parties were dragged unwillingly into this forum by the filing of this lawsuit. These individuals should be made whole, and the attorneys who took this case on a partially contingent basis should be fully compensated for successfully defending Real Parties’ right to present their ballot argument as they intended,” the brief concludes.

Continue reading "Despite No on DiSC's success in court, Councilmember Carson still thinks that the citizens he sued with developer money should pay legal fees" »


Letter: Beck for supervisor

BeckAs this decade begins, we walk briskly towards utter climate catastrophe. Before 2030 our planet will warm beyond 1.5 degrees and the worst of climate change will no longer be avoidable. Those aged 29 and younger, down to the child born as I write, will suffer the first cataclysmic effects of this disaster. But those over thirty will experience less and leave behind a world plummeting ever faster towards a fate that they hadn't the courage to change.

But all is not yet lost. A new people are rising. Youth in communities across the Earth are standing up for a livable future · not a beautiful one, that has been taken from us. We ask only for a chance at life.

Too often we are told by adults our ideas are impossible. Yet those very adults in power have kept us on the road to disaster. Obviously, what is politically "possible" isn't enough.

But a broken system gives the youth little power of our own. Carrying signs, chanting, protesting, praying are acts of strength but they alone cannot save the world. We need our elders to begin listening and using their power to implement our ideas and solutions. Have they forgotten this was always their job? To follow the will of the people? We must elect adults who fulfill their promises.

Juliette Beck, running for Yolo County Supervisor D2, is a voice of hope in a time of fear. She is dedicated to climate justice and pledges to make the imperative changes now, and to give youth a place in decision making. I'm confident Juliette will be true to her word. She is heartfelt, loving and inclusive. Juliette Beck will invite in every perspective to ensure that decisions which affect us all are made by everyone. She is firm in the belief that this is not a campaign of one, but of all.

I give my strong support to this candidate and strongly urge others to do the same. The time for idle politics is over, the time for immediate action is upon us.

Emma Larson
Davis


Sierra Club Endorses No on Measure H - No on DISC

DISC overview shot

(From press release) Citing grounds of “excessive traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, and poor land-use and planning”, the Sierra Club announces its opposition to Measure H in Davis CA on the June 7, 2022 municipal ballot.

Measure H is a vote to allow the annexation of approximately 100-acres of Prime farmland on the northeast periphery of the City and the development of a business complex, hotel- conference center, and retail along with a 460-unit housing development. The project site is now farmed and serves as foraging habitat for numerous Special Status Species including Burrowing Owls, Swainson’s Hawks, and White-Tailed Kites.

The endorsement of the opposition to this ballot measure follows an extensive evaluation process by the local Sierra Club Yolano Group, the Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter Political and Executive Committees, and the Sierra Club California Local Measure Review Committee.

The Sierra Club has long-standing official policies designed to minimize urban sprawl onto farmland and habitat and maximize intensive infill development. These include planning policies that further conservation of open space and preservation of natural areas and agricultural lands. The Sierra Club opposes sprawl as a pattern of increasingly inefficient and wasteful land use with devastating environmental and social outcomes.

While the Sierra Club is strongly supportive of efforts to stimulate economic development and provide housing, particularly for working families, we do not support the DISC development which will turn over 100-acres of productive Prime farmland into a massive, sprawling, auto- dependent business park", said Alan Pryor, chair of the local Sierra Club Yolano Group. "Although some on-site housing units will be constructed, there is no mechanism to ensure that the housing will be occupied by workers at the development project itself”.

This development is inconsistent with official Sierra Club land use policies encouraging infill development. Instead, the project is reminiscent of peripheral, sprawling, car-centric developments of earlier times that encourage long-range commuting. It is the antithesis of smart urban planning”, added Mr. Pryor.

Of particular concern is the 12,000+ daily auto trips projected to result from the development adding further congestion to an already bottle-necked City thoroughfare, Mace Blvd., and the I-80 freeway. In addition to the wait-times and traffic disruption, this excessive traffic is the primary contributor to the over 22,000 metric tons per year of additional greenhouse gases projected to be produced by the project. This DISC project alone would increase the greenhouse gas footprint of Davis by almost 5% jeopardizing the City's mandate of carbon neutrality by 2040.

Continue reading "Sierra Club Endorses No on Measure H - No on DISC" »


Why NO on DiSC

City-of-Davis-Measure-H

By Marc Thomas

The work from home trend in the business world has been slowly emerging and accelerated by COVID. Recently, Apple and other product companies are instituting a 3 day per week to Twitter which is now near 100% remote. And many are relocating to lower cost areas and reducing their real estate foot prints/costs.

Other companies have gone totally remote, and many hardware/tech startups, such as the hardware/software startup I currently work with “started up” with a full remote team and does not have an office. The closest two team members are about 50 miles apart, the furthest two are probably 10,000 miles. It required a new way of organizing a team, collaborating, building and testing prototypes, getting approvals and overall, resulted in a considerable reduction in operating expenses, no bay area salaries, and zero expensive office costs…zero!. It was such a significant opex reduction that in addition to team members spending more time with families, the company was able to offer really good benefits appreciated by all.

Startup businesses do not need expensive real estate for start-up, scaling, or going into mass production. One Mountain View startup in autonomous robotics took the steps to migrate from a Silicone Valley “old” model to a more agile and lower cost distributed organizational structure starting in SV, moving a short distance to Oakland, then fully embracing a remote model with team members all over the world and a manufacturing facility in Detroit! These changes enabled a more company friendly funding model as they were able to conserve cash by spending on what mattered, people and product, rather than on expensive facilities in expensive areas paying typical salaries demanded by Bay Area and CA professionals.

The DiSC “business/innovation park” does not recognize this rapidly changing business trend, fails to recognize that there are lower cost (and local) areas to scale if the company must be local, and the housing portion will not solve the “affordable housing” challenge (remember the bay area residents with cash and the ability to work remotely), and does not address the environmental infrastructure and tax implications in depth and detail never-mind turning good/great agriculture land into concrete.

At the current rate of change in the “work from home” trend, building an innovation/business part today will result in the empty and dead business parks of the future: Consider what Amazon did to “malls”...

Any startup founder/team must have a very good story to tell an investor why they are spending the equivalent of multiple team members salaries and cash for a building space/office that is unnecessary, or used for a small percentage of the time at best, and increases burn rate without accelerating time to market or improving product.

The desire (and need) to incubate companies locally is supportable, but incubating companies does not require the DiSC project as there is plenty of space in Davis to build out and or up.

And I know another Davis company that has been here for 7+years, with 50+% of employees currently being remote, and going full remote by years end.


Nonpartisan LWV forum on Local District Attorney Race

(From press release) The League of Women Voters Davis Area and the Woodland League of Women Voters will co-sponsor a nonpartisan election forum on the county district attorney race on Wednesday, April 27.

The event will run from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Woodland Community Center, 2001 East Street in Woodland.

Both candidates — Incumbent Jeff Reisig and challenger Cynthia Rodriguez — have agreed to participate. The forum will focus on candidate qualifications and vision for the criminal justice system in Yolo County over the next four years.

Questions will be prepared by League representatives and written questions will be accepted from the audience, but no voice questions or statements will be allowed.

People who want to attend the event are encouraged to register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/league-of-women-voters-yolo-county-district-attorney-candidate-forum-tickets-317119110797. Seating may be limited because of placement due to the pandemic. Woodland TV (Channel 21) will be videotaping the event and livestreaming on their YouTube channel.

Continue reading "Nonpartisan LWV forum on Local District Attorney Race" »


Letter: Beck is a voice of hope

Beck
Juliette Beck

As this decade begins, we walk briskly towards utter climate catastrophe. Before 2030 our planet will warm beyond 1.5 degrees and the worst of climate change will no longer be avoidable. Those twenty-nine years and younger, down to the child born as I write, will suffer the first cataclysmic effects of this disaster. But those over thirty will experience less and leave behind a world plummeting ever faster towards a fate that they hadn't the courage to change.

But all is not yet lost. A new people are rising. Youth in communities across the Earth are standing up for a livable future…not a beautiful one, that has been taken from us. We ask only for a chance at life.

Too often we are told by adults our ideas are impossible. Yet those very adults in power have kept us on the road to disaster. Obviously, what is politically 'possible' isn't enough.

But a broken system gives the youth little power of our own. Carrying signs, chanting, protesting, praying are acts of strength but they alone cannot save the world. We need our elders to begin listening and using their power to implement our ideas and solutions. Have they forgotten this was always their job? To follow the will of the people? We must elect adults who fulfill their promises.

Juliette Beck, running for Yolo County Supervisor D2, is a voice of hope in a time of fear. She is dedicated to climate justice and pledges to make the imperative changes now, and to give youth a place in decision making. I'm confident Juliette will be true to her word. She is heartfelt, loving and inclusive. Juliette Beck will invite in every perspective to ensure that decisions which affect us all are made by everyone. She is firm in the belief that this is not a campaign of one, but of all.

I give my strong support to this candidate and strongly urge others to do the same. The time for idle politics is over, the time for immediate action is upon us.

Emma Larson
Davis, CA


Citizens try to recoup costs resulting from spurious lawsuit

Scales-of-justice(From press release) Today in Yolo Superior Court, the attorneys for the citizens who wrote and signed the No on Measure H ballot statement, filed a motion for an award of legal fees and costs they incurred in their defense of a lawsuit filed by Davis City Councilmember Dan Carson. Carson had previously sued the ballot signers claiming their ballot statement was false or misleading.  

The citizen Defendants (the “real parties”) named in the Carson lawsuit retained legal representation on a partially contingent basis which permitted the attorneys to seek an award of their legal fees if they were successful in defending the ballot language against Carson’s claims.  

The Defendants’ filing states The Court outright rejected three of Petitioner’s challenges and adopted Real Parties’ suggestions for the two modest edits it ordered.” 

Alan Pryor, the Treasurer of the No on DiSC campaign and one of the Defendants stated “Carson’s lawsuit requested whole sentences in the ballot statement be stricken by the Judge. In his final ruling, however, made only two small changes that were suggested by authors of the statement.” 

In my experience, it is highly unusual for a sitting public official to sue their own citizens over ballot arguments,” said Beverly Grossman Palmer, an experienced election attorney and partner at Strumwasser & Woocher. “None of the attorneys in my firm can recall a similar situation in any of our collective years of practicing election law.”

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Councilmember Carson sued me for signing a ballot statement

6F907AC2-43BA-422A-A5DC-F4974707938FBy Roberta Millstein

Two weeks ago, I was stunned to learn from a Davis Enterprise article that I and other signers of the Argument Against Measure H (Argument Against DiSC) were being sued by none other than Councilmember Dan Carson, who is serving as the “Honorary” Chair of the developer-funded Yes on DiSC campaign. Measure H is on the June 7 ballot; DiSC is a proposed development project on 100 acres of mostly prime farmland outside the City limits, adjacent to I-80 and Mace Blvd.

Apparently, the suit had been filed on the last possible day. I waited to be served papers, but none ever arrived. I did receive a phone call, later learning that Councilmember Carson had obtained my phone number from a Commission Chair. I was extremely surprised to learn that he would do something like that, especially since he apparently did not let on what he wanted my phone number for. It is still unclear whether Councilmember Carson funded this lawsuit himself or if someone else funded it; he has refused to answer several people who have asked him.

With a tight deadline for the ballot to be printed by the County, citizens opposed to DiSC suddenly found themselves having to find a lawyer within a matter of days (like, two days) and the prospect of spending tens of thousands of dollars to retain one — well in excess of the budget for the entire grassroots campaign.

And what was the suit about?  Well, perhaps Councilmember Carson thought that he could pull the wool over a judge's eyes, but the judge found no problems with our contention that DiSC is in violation of the City's General Plan or our contention that there would be unmitigated greenhouse gases from the project or that there were almost no commitments.

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