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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

City of Davis seeking applicants for open advisory commission seats

Eight advisory commissions are hiring Davis residents 18 years and older


By CHRIS PONCE — city@theaggie.org


On Sep. 22, the city of Davis announced that it is seeking applicants for certain City Council Advisory Commissions. The requirements to apply include being a Davis resident and being 18 years of age or older. The commissions hiring are Human Relations; Police Accountability; Planning; Recreation and Park; Senior Citizen; Tree; Utilities and Bicycling, Transportation, and Street Safety.  

Applicants must submit an application form and participate in a short interview with the Council’s subcommittee and City Staff, according to the city website. The deadline for applications is Oct. 12.

The Davis Human Relations Commission functions to make recommendations to the City Council when issues of discrimination are involved, according to its website. NJ Mvondo, Chair of the Davis Human Relations Commission, discusses the function of city commissions in more depth. 

“As the ‘advisory’ label in their name suggests, a commission makes recommendations, from community members and community-based organizations, to the city council,” Mvondo said. “Commissions offer an opportunity for Davis residents to express concerns and offer solutions and (or) resources regarding city matters. They are a collaborative effort between residents and the City Council.” 

The Davis Tree Commission focuses on appeals regarding the movement, modification and removal of trees in Davis, according to the city’s website. Allen Lowry, a regular member of the Davis Tree Commission, elaborated on the importance of commissions.

Davis is a city where many people follow government activities and want to have a role,” Lowry said. “City council benefits from having a more ordered discussion about issues. Commissions can be seen as a way for the public to speak out as representatives for others. They also create a space for activists to speak in an ordered way.”

Lowry said that commissions play an important role in the local government processes and said that Davis residents interested in government should apply. 

“Committee membership is suitable for citizens who want to participate in government and who feel that they do not have a strong voice as individuals,” Lowry said. “It [gives] them a way to give ‘expert’ advice to city council in a format that is likely to be heard.”

Joining a commission requires a longer-term time commitment, as seats are held for three consecutive years. Another regular member of the Davis Tree Commission, Jim Cramer, elaborated on what prospective applicants should expect if chosen for a commission. 

I have little to say except that we need commissioners [and] being on a commission is a great experience and learning opportunity, but appointments are for three years so probably not suitable for undergraduates,” Cramer said. “Graduate students are most welcome and already there are several on various commissions.”

Though the time commitment is something to consider, Mvondo expressed the need for Davis students to be a part of Advisory Commissions. She talked about how relevant she believes it is for local students to have a voice in the local city process. 

“Their voice is needed, and often missing,” Mvondo said. “It is a form of community service and leadership experience students could add to their resume, and which could be helpful in future endeavors. It is also a great opportunity to network with community members with expertise relating to their commission’s focus and with the elected officials attending the commissions’ meetings.”

The city website describes the application process in more detail. After completing the form, applicants must deliver the form to the City Clerk, either via email at ClerkWeb@cityofdavis.org, or by mailing it to the City Clerk’s office at 23 Russell Blvd, Suite 1, Davis, CA 95616 or dropping it off at the City Hall drop box located in the City Hall parking lot. 


Written by: Chris Ponce — city@theaggie.org