Davis Mayor Dan Wolk runs for State Assembly

CHARLES MIIN / AGGIE
CHARLES MIIN / AGGIE

Wolk’s campaign focuses on education, environment, equality

On June 7, voters across California will head to the polls to choose their preferred candidates in the well-publicized presidential primaries. However, voters will also be having their say on a number of local measures and nominating their party’s candidate to run in the California State Assembly election this November.

A number of candidates will be running on the Democratic side in the fight for Assembly District 4, which contains Napa County, Lake County, the majority of Yolo County (including Davis, Winters and Woodland), as well as small portions of Sonoma County and Solano County. The Democratic contenders include Don Saylor, Elmer Mark Kropp, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Davis Mayor Dan Wolk.

Wolk, who unsuccessfully ran for state assembly in 2014, has served as the mayor of Davis since 2014 and previously served on the Davis City Council.

According to Wolk, while he is extremely proud of his accomplishments in Davis, he feels that he can also contribute to the development of the entire district at the state level.

“I’ve seen a lot of the challenges of the state first hand, whether it’s at the council or whether it’s as a mayor, in these areas. And although I think good things are happening in Sacramento, I think that we should be doing more […] and so I’ve thrown my hat in the ring,” Wolk said.

If elected, Wolk hopes to focus on three areas: education, the environment and LGBT and gender equality.

In terms of education, the mayor has ambitious plans to invest in universal preschool and technical education. In addition to this, college affordability is a priority.

“Tuition has just grown and it’s getting out of reach for a lot of students and families. I think that’s deplorable and we need to ensure that college is affordable at all levels,” Wolk said.

Environmentally speaking, Wolk intends to further build on his previous plan of increasing Davis’  ability to get energy from renewable resources. He wants to see the state lessen its dependence on traditional fossil fuels and focus on renewable energy.

“There’s been some good work that’s been done on that [renewable energy] but we need to be doing more and we need strong advocates on the legislature who are willing to stand up to big oil, willing to stand up to PG&E, to fight hard for renewable energy,” Wolk said.

Wolk is also passionate about fighting for equality and was recently endorsed by Equality California, California’s largest LGBT rights group, for his work fighting discrimination. He is also determined to fight against gender discrimination and has made it a focus in his campaign.

“I want to ensure that my daughters grow up in a world where there is equal pay for equal work and where there is no question about a woman’s right to choose and that Planned Parenthood is fully funded,” Wolk said.

While Wolk has received a number of endorsements, perhaps the most important was from the California Democratic Party where he secured the support of 90 percent of the delegates at the convention. The endorsement helps his campaign gain access to the Democratic Party’s resources and infrastructure.

“I’m very proud to be endorsed by the Democratic Party. I’ve been a Democrat since birth and this is a Democratic District and the representative for this district should be a strong Democrat and I believe that the Democratic Party’s nomination says a lot,” Wolk said.

John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party, released a statement to the Davis Enterprise congratulating Wolk and outlining his achievements.

The endorsement is a testament to Dan’s experience, his commitment to creating opportunity for all Californians and strong leadership on issues like public education, water, the environment and creating jobs,” Burton’s statement said.

Apart from having a number of high profile state endorsements, Wolk also enjoys support from within his hometown of Davis. Councilmember Brett Lee has known Wolk for a number of years and explains that the main reasons he supports Wolk are his amiability and cooperative personality.

“I’ve just worked on the city council with him for the past three years and we’ve become friends […] I’ve just found him to be a good person to work with […] I’ve gotten to know him over the past few years and I’ve found him to be a pretty reasonable and nice person and that’s why I’m supporting him,” Lee said.

Voting commences on June 7. Voter registration is open online at http://registertovote.ca.gov/ and more information about the measures and candidates running across Yolo County can be found at http://www.yoloelections.org/.

 

Written By: JUNO BHARDWAJ-SHAH – city@theaggie.org