City Politics

     (Redirected from Davis Politics)
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  1. Political Characterizations
    1. Progressive
    2. Moderate
    3. Conservative
    4. Political Demographics
    5. Political Issues
  2. Representatives
    1. City Officials
    2. Beyond Davis
  3. Political Organizations
    1. City
    2. Campus
    3. County
    4. Publications
bikeoilwar.jpgDavis transportation and politics blend

Political Characterizations

Please read the truly excellent short ebook by Mike Fitch, [WWW]Growing Pains: Thirty Years in the History of Davis for a great overview of Davis political history.

Progressive

liberal.jpgEnlarge to see license plate, taken on G Street

Davis is known worldwide. Some of that characterization is seen as "progressive." Global media attention has come to Davis for such zany "Progressive" things as Toad Tunnel, issuing noise violations for Snoring, and our historic potholes. Although not as overtly as Berkeley, Davis carries the environmental torch in practical and subtle ways: Bicycles, Hydrogen and Natural Gas Buses, Environmental Research, recycling, Village Homes and Organic Living. When Julie Partansky was first running for a seat on the Davis City Council, she suggested that fruit trees should be planted throughout the city, so that homeless people could forage. Every year the Whole Earth Festival is also celebrated on Mother’s Day weekend... a self-proclaimed testament to alternative living, foods, music, and politics. Also see People's Republic of Davis.

Between 2001-2003 the Davis College Democrats were not very active due to the actions of a former club president, Igor Berman, who left the club to become an officer in the Davis College Republicans.

Moderate

The battle between developers and slow or no-growthers seems to keep getting more heated every election. The 2004 race where Mike Harrington was accused of taking developer money is an example. The fun part was that his accusers were rivals of the developer who allegedly gave him money. Davis politicians can be stereotyped into two archetypes, which are based on actual politicians. There are the Julie Partansky or Sue Greenwald types and the Don Saylor or Lois Wolk types. Julie and Sue (as well as Lamar Heystek) represent the progressive left: slow or no growth; sometimes renters; values similar to many hippies; while Don and Lois represent the liberal to moderate centrists of Davis, who have tended to approve new housing and commercial projects.

Conservative

france.jpgA photo from a typical Iraq-related protest

Although progressive as previously stated, Davis is home to a small number of conservatives. Some of this comes from the central valley location, although a segment of student population is also conservative. Davis in recent years has become a bit of a commuter home to professionals from Sacramento and other surrounding cities, broadening the political views.

The honor guard of conservative politics is Davis College Republicans, who make some pretty daredevil political statements that everyone notices. The conflict between conservative and progressive politics leads to many protests in the city and the campus.

Political Demographics

Voter registration totals as of 04/27/07 for Davis - from the [WWW]Yolo County Elections Office:

TOTAL 30,634 100%
Democrat 15,999 52.2%
Republican 6,799 22.2%
Green 1,206 3.9%
American Independent 433 1.4%
Libertarian 190 0.6%
Peace and Freedom 70 0.2%
Natural Law 31 0.1%
Reform 50 0.16%
Miscellaneous 313 1%
Decline to State 5,613 18.3%

Statewide percentages are Democrat (42.5%), Republican (34.2%), and Green (.9%), from the [WWW]California Secretary of State's office.

Political Issues

Representatives

City Officials

roma-mens-room.jpgLocal political discourse on the bathroom walls of the Campus Cafe Roma reads "And Rob Roy was a dufus! Forbes was the only progressive running!

The Davis City Council has five members who each serve a four year term. They are elected at-large, two and three at a time in the primary election occurring in even-numbered years. The council meets in open session at the City Council Chambers. Council meetings often run late, and the agenda often gets rearranged at the last minute if an item is expected to garner a lot of public comment... bring a book and something to eat. Council meetings are aired on City Government Channel (Comcast Channel 16).

The mayor is selected internally by the council. Traditionally, the top vote-getter at the most recent election is chosen. The person chosen then serves two years as mayor pro-tem before taking office. Mayors in Davis do not have additional power, but run city council meetings and serve a ceremonial role at community events.

The City of Davis has about 25 [WWW]task forces, commissions, and committees that are open to varying degrees of public involvement. Many of these can be applied for, and then the City Council selects the members. For important commissions, the members to be chosen can be "invited to apply" rather than being invited after applying.

Beyond Davis

For more about Yolo as well as State and Federal level elected representatives, see Local Representatives.

Yolo County has a 5-member Board of Supervisors. Terms are two years. Davis is cut in half by the supervisorial district boundaries along L Street.

Political Organizations

City

Campus

County

Publications


Perhaps we should include the various neighborhood associations as they deal with local politics quite frequently? —StevenDaubert

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