The Davis College Democrats are holding a city council forum tonight to allow students to question the five Democratic candidates running for the Davis City Council and to familiarize the student body with the candidates’ stances on political issues in Davis.
Davis City Council elections are held every two years, with three out of five spots open for this year’s election June 3. There are five Democratic candidates and one Green party candidate running for the three available positions.
The three incumbents, Sue Greenwald, Don Saylor, Stephen Souza, and the two challengers, Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald and Sydney Vergis, will attend the forum to make their policies clear to students and answer questions about their campaign goals.
“The forum will give students options on a variety of views on politics,” said Max Mikalonis, president of Davis College Democrats. “Students who attend will be more informed about local politics.”
The Davis City Council is not directly related to UC Davis, but Davis College Democrats and Mikalonis have created the forum to help show students how the city council affects student life in Davis, he added.
“City council is important to students because the city council members can pass ordinances that can impact them as renters and citizens,” Mikalonis said. “For instance, when students have issue with the Davis police, city council is where they can voice complaints.”
According to the DCD website, interaction between UC Davis students and the city council is important.
“DCD feels it is important that students take a more active role in the community most of them live in…. Student issues really do matter in the city of Davis,” according to the website.
Escamilla-Greenwald also said one of the forum’s main goals is to emphasize the importance of the close relationship between the city council and UC Davis students.
“Councilmembers make the decisions that directly impact students’ lives and pocketbooks,” said Escamilla-Greenwald, one of the candidates. “Councilmembers impact everything from cost of rent, to renters’ rights, to transportation, to bike lanes, to shopping options, to entertainment options … and students should therefore have a voice and a say as to who represents them on the Davis City Council.”
The forum will be based on candidates’ answers to a questionnaire provided by Davis College Democrats. The questionnaire, available on the Davis College Democrats website, covers a variety of topics including alternative energy in Davis, growth rates and renting issues.
“This is a good opportunity for students to learn about the issues facing the city of Davis and the candidates running for office,” Escamilla-Greenwald said. “The goal of the forum is to involve UC Davis students in local politics.”
Questions at the forum will be submitted to a moderator, then given out randomly to two of the city council candidates. There will be up to two direct questions to each individual running for office.
Mikalonis said students should consider what to ask the candidates before coming to the forum.
“I recommend that students prepare [for the forum] by listening to responses, asking questions and being aware of issues in Davis,” Mikalonis said. The forum will be held today at 7 p.m. in 230 Wellman. All five Democratic city council candidates will be present to answer students’ questions. Making students more involved and aware of the community they live in is a primary objective of the forum, Escamilla-Greenwald said. “Students are the lifeblood of our community,” she said. “Without the students our city would be very different.”
KELLY KRAG-ARNOLD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.XXX