The Davis City Council race is in full swing for the June 3 election. Candidates Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald, Sue Greenwald, Rob Roy, Don Saylor, Stephen Souza and Sydney Vergis are running for three available seats.
Familiar candidates include current mayor Greenwald and current councilmembers Souza and Saylor.
Vergis graduated from UC Davis in 2004 with a double major in economics and environmental policy, analysis and planning. She is currently a senior land use planner for Sutter County, where she is responsible for generating a countywide Habitat Conservation Plan and environmental documents.
Vergis said she believes the city General Plan update – a guiding city policy document – is a concept for the election as well as the community.
[The election] must be about the environment and implementing land use and transportation policies to minimize our community’s carbon footprint, said Vergis in an e-mail interview. It is time to start thinking about our actions and our policies in a global context.
Vergis stressed environmental sustainability, economic vitality and community involvement.
Policies are being made every day that will impact our global environment and have ramifications for our generation that extend long after the current policymakers are gone – we need a voice in helping create what our future will look like, she said.
Vergis maintains strong ties with the university as an Outdoor Adventures guide and Chi Omega alumna. As the chair of the Yolo County Young Democrats, she works with the Davis College Democrats club.
The university is implementing many exciting policies to become a zero-waste campus and energy-efficient West Village development, as the city moves toward becoming more ‘green,’ Vergis said. I would like to see more information sharing opportunities between both entities.
Roy has been a manager at Ben and Jerry’s for eight-and-a-half years and is a fulltime substitute teacher for the Davis Joint Unified School District. In 2006, Roy was an ASUCD senator and graduated from UC Davis in 2007 as an English major.
Roy said he wants to see more focus on independent businesses and is against large corporations moving to Davis, such as the plan to build a Target in East Davis.
The Target goes against the General Plan update, he said.
If Davis allows this, what is our community going to look like 10 to 15 years from now? Roy said. If we could at least foster a place where ‘mom and pop’ stores exist, I would like it to be Davis. Employees of independent stores are just better treated as a whole.
As far as his stance on environmentalism, Roy said he believes in smarter planning for commercial and residential areas.
I think Davis needs to have higher standards for what environment-friendly is, Roy said. I’m trying to maintain Davis’ integrity for being an environment-friendly place.
As a councilmember, Roy said he will encourage the university to provide more housing for students and is a firm supporter of tenant rights.
The University needs to be encouraged to pick up the slack on housing. UCD falls short compared to others universities with housing their students, Roy said. I just want students to be sure to recognize you can’t be pro-student and pro-landlord in this community.
Candidate Escamilla-Greenwald is also a UCD graduate who hopes to maintain open communication between the city and the university.
We need to work together with the university – including staff and faculty – and the students to address the needs of student housing, faculty housing and a vital downtown core, while maintaining the essential characteristics of this great town that drew people here in the first place, she said.
Escamilla-Greenwald plans to work on renters’ rights, including issues such as repair requests, notification of rent increases, treatment by landlords and security deposit policies.
As councilmember, I will work hard with Councilmember Heystek to pass a Renters Bill of Rights that will enable renters to have a greater level of protection of the rights of students and renters, Escamilla-Greenwald said.
Escamilla-Greenwald said she emphasizes the incorporation of environmental policies into land use.
We have paid lip services to these policies in the past, but if we are to truly combat global warming, we need to incorporate these policies into city planning, and that includes land use elements that have not been adhered to by the present council, she said.
City Council elections are held every two years, and councilmembers are elected to four-year terms. The candidate who receives the greatest number of votes will serve a two-year term as mayor pro tempore, then a two-year term as mayor. Ruth Asmundson will serve as mayor after Sue Greenwald.
For more information, visit donsaylor.org and voterobroy.org. For Sue Greenwald campaign information, visit suegreenwald.org. For Stephen Souza and Sydney Vergis campaign information, visit stephensouza.com and sydneyvergis.com. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald can be contacted at 400-2511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
POOJA KUMAR can be reached at email@example.com.