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Davis, California

Saturday, July 13, 2024

What Davis’s new city council plans to achieve after November election

Newcomer Vaitla and incumbent Partida sworn into office on Jan. 15


By MADELEINE YOUNG — city@theaggie.org


On Dec. 1, the Davis City Council election results were released, with ​​Bapu Vaitla and Gloria Partida winning districts one and four with 59.7% and 62.4% of the total votes, respectively.

Both Vaitla and Partida shared similar platforms advocating for affordable housing, as well as addressing homelessness and climate change. Vaitla spoke about his goals for the city, which include building new housing units to address housing issues in the district.

“What I hope to achieve is [that] we have a target for affordable housing,” Vaitla said. “By the end of the decade, we need to build this housing unit. So over the next four years, I want us to get at least halfway toward that target. I also want to arrive at zero functional homelessness by the end of four years.” 

Jackson Mills, a third-year student and the director of political affairs for the Davis College Democrats talked about his experience working for Partida.

“It was a pleasure to work with Councilmember Partida this past election cycle,” Mills said. “She was facing a challenger, so we really tried to go all-in with our support. Even though the atmosphere surrounding the election was often quite tense, Ms. Partida and her campaign did their best to foster a positive environment for everyone involved in her reelection efforts, and I think it clearly paid off.”

Similarly to Vaitla, Partida campaigned with a strong emphasis on housing policies. Mills talked about how he believes Partida is prepared to address the housing issue in Davis. 

“Her policy beliefs and actions on housing and homelessness demonstrate her compassion for the community, particularly for its most vulnerable and marginalized groups,” Mills said. “She understands that these problems are linked and must be dealt with as such. The cries of a vocal group of Davis residents trying constantly to stymie necessary homelessness prevention measures and affordable housing development are no match for Ms. Partida’s commitment to building a more inclusive, affordable and restorative community.”

Siyona Roychourdhury, a first-year political science major who interns at the Davis Journal of Legal Studies, also shared her excitement to have Partida reelected. 

“The city of Davis, California may seem small or insignificant sometimes,” Roychourdhury said. “Therefore, we may not believe that its politics are important to the grand scheme of things. However, Gloria Partida, the first Latina mayor of Davis, has had more of an impact than most know. She represents the advancement of women of color in modern politics; she has paved the way for more to come after her.”

Vaitla, who won his election against incumbent Councilmember Dan Carson, shared what he’s looking forward to while in office. 

“You’re working together to show people that no matter how chilled with despair we might be about the state of our world or our country, that we can make powerful change here at home and be a model for innovation,” Vaitla said. “That kind of cooperative work with folks in the community that I haven’t even met yet. I think is what I’m most excited about.” 


Written by: Madeleine Young city@theaggie.org