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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, April 15, 2024

Dillan Horton announces campaign for Davis City Council seat representing District Two

The first candidate to be announced for the 2024 election hopes to represent the people of Davis

By MADELEINE YOUNG city@theaggie.org

Dillan Horton has become the first to announce his candidacy for Davis City Council in the 2024 General Municipal Election. After running for Davis City Council in 2020 and coming in second place, Horton will be running for the Second District of the Davis City Council which serves North Davis and some of Central Davis. 

“I ran for this position once four years ago when we created districts for the first time in 2020,” Horton said. “I was compelled to run the last time and I feel compelled to run again because I feel like our community, particularly working-class Davisites, are in a period of multi-layered crises. Our housing crises, our crises related to economic development and our fiscal house in terms of city government, school districts and county government.”

After his first candidacy, Dillan has stayed active as a member of the Davis community, serving as a member and former chair of the Davis Police Accountability Commission, as well as serving on the board of the Yolo County Democratic Party and leading movements to reform Davis’ law enforcement. 

“One of the reasons I came to Davis was it seemed like a community where you could come to town with all your possessions on a knapsack over your shoulder and people would accept you,” Horton said. “And that is still true after living here for a decade and my view is still that it is the best of Davis, but of course, there are times in our not-too-distant history and times in our present where I think we get off track of that. I feel like we are becoming a town that is losing that future, gradually, as we devote less of our attention to the housing crisis than we need and less of our attention to spurring economic development, particularly among small businesses.”

Horton believes the importance of education and community service was instilled in him at a young age as he was raised in a working-class union household by a single mother who was a veteran and later became a nurse.

“Dillan’s early experiences inspired him to become a public servant and to strengthen communities by ensuring all voices are represented in decision-making processes, and expanding access to opportunities for good jobs and quality education,” Horton’s campaign website reads.

Horton has a wide range of experience in local politics. This spans back to when he was serving El Camino College as a student senator — and later, as vice president — before becoming the Director of University Affairs at UC Davis. Following these positions, Horton served as a California Democratic Party Delegate for Assembly District 4 and chair of the Yolo County Democratic Party Legislation and Resolutions Committee. Today, he serves as a representative of the 4th Supervisorial District on the Yolo County Democratic Committee and a co-chair of the Yolo County Democratic Socialist of America (DSA).

In Dec. of 2018,  Horton was appointed by the city council to the newly reformed Police Accountability Commission where he was elected to be vice chair. Dillan led the commission and successfully presented recommendations for police reform.

“There were people who have never heard of Dillan Horton, didn’t know that the Police Accountability Commission existed and didn’t know the Yolo DSA existed, but even though they were fully unaware of all of that, I knew that they were counting on us to get the job done,” Horton said. 

Horton’s top goals for the council are ensuring quality, affordable housing for the community, creating economic opportunities, prioritizing inclusivity and putting values into action. 

“We are gradually, through inaction or lack of urgency, losing that future, that accessible inclusive future that I think so many of us Davisites value,” Horton said. “I think economic development, particularly equitable economic development, is a really core part of that.”

Horton believes the housing crisis is a multi-layered issue and that finding sustainable careers for citizens is a crucial element to address it.

“We talk a lot about how the housing crisis pushes people out, and that’s definitely true.  But what’s secondarily important is the fact that people who are my age range and a little bit older, on top of not being able to find or afford housing in our community are also in a position where they can’t find a sustaining career for themselves because of anti-development sentiments in some corners of our community,” Horton said. “We don’t need to redraw everyone’s mindset in terms of development in the city, but there are things that we have done in the past to support small business owners and aspiring business owners, and I think we need to.”

If elected, Horton also wants to bring diversity and accessibility to the city council, a perspective that Horton believes has grown distant from elected officials. 

“None of the five Davis City Councilmembers have been a renter in about 15 years or so — that’s wild in terms of direct representation,” Horton said. 

“Also, in 106 years of history, there has never been an African American on the Davis City Council, there has never been an openly LGBT person on the City Council. I mention that not because the color of my skin is going to make me a better city councilmember, but I think that part of the reason we have gotten into some of the issues that we have found ourselves in terms of housing, economic development and accessibility is because, I think, we have elected leaders who are living a life too distant from the crises that the working class Davisites are living in.”

Written by: Madeleine Youngcity@theaggie.org

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