Students often neglect to realize how much of an impact the Davis City Council has on their everyday lives. Every week, the council makes decisions that affect how difficult it is to find affordable and quality housing in Davis, how boring or exciting the downtown is, how much we must pay for our utility bills and how far we have to drive to purchase a pair of socks.
Today is Election Day in Davis and three councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms. Students have an opportunity to cast ballots for the candidates who will best represent their views, challenges, and needs on the dais and who will lead the city in the right direction on a broad range of issues. We encourage students to participate in this election, and in a field of six candidates we endorse three: Sue Greenwald, Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald and Stephen Souza.
SUE GREENWALD was first elected to the council in 2000 and has served as the city‘s mayor for the past two years. Since she was elected, her top priority has been protecting and enhancing the character of Davis as a university town.
Davis is one of the last true college towns remaining in California, and its uniqueness and charm are treasured by virtually everyone who lives here. No other candidate has demonstrated such a resolute commitment to preserving that character.
This does not mean she is anti-growth. She understands there is a severe lack of housing in Davis for many segments of the community, especially students. She is the only candidate who has actively sought to pressure the university to provide more on-campus housing for students, which is a fundamental part of the solution.
CECILIA ESCAMILLA-GREENWALD is a challenger in this election. A labor organizer, UC Davis graduate and community activist, Escamilla-Greenwald will bring a fresh voice and a unique blend of qualifications to the council.
Of all the candidates, she is the most qualified to act as a voice for students. Escamilla-Greenwald and her husband rent an apartment in Davis, so she is well aware of the need for a renters‘ bill of rights. She has made strides to connect with students, coming to campus to meet with a range of student groups.
She is not just the students‘ candidate, however. Her experience as the chair of the Human Relations Commission demonstrated her commitment to hearing from underrepresented groups. Her training in mediation and conflict resolution will enable her to bring together the many constituent groups in Davis.
STEPHEN SOUZA has been a councilmember since 2004, but his public service and local activism date much further back. He volunteered with numerous groups and served as chair of several commissions, giving him an invaluable understanding of this city.
Souza is a bona fide environmentalist and has a passion for incorporating green practices into public policy. His proposal to expand a solar production site outside of Davis to meet or exceed the electricity needs of the city is particularly intriguing. This would not be a simple undertaking, but he clearly has the drive to make it happen in his next term.
Perhaps Souza’s most appealing characteristic is his enthusiasm. He clearly enjoys his job as a councilmember and is probably the friendliest and most approachable. This personality draws people in and engages them in the political process, something of which a town like Davis can never have too much.