He acts as a campaign manager for local politicians, including Don Saylor, Ruth Asmundson, various past council members and local judges. He was a public at-large member of the City / UCD Student Liaison Commission and a member of the Human Relations Commission, but resigned from both before the end of his terms.
The political campaigns he runs are volunteer work.
In November 2005, Norb was removed as a poll worker at the early voting station in the Memorial Union and then caught again the next day inside the polling station and kicked out. As a strong supporter, and active campaign worker, of Yes on Measure X, he was thought to have an influence on the voters.
In May 2006, after the ASUCD Senate passed a resolution supporting a Police Review Board, Norb threatened to have the City Council pull out of the City-ASUCD Entertainment Partnership in reaction to the resolutions passage. In regards to the Police Review Board Norb sent out an extensive email suggesting that "students of color's perceptions do not equal reality" in regards to police concerns. In May 2006 Norb also threatened the existance of the Memorial Union Early Polling Station by threatening legal action against the Yolo County Clerk-Recorder if they did not remove James Schwab as a volunteer as well as the students he recruited to volunteer at the station. In June 2006, he attempted to get ASUCD Lobby Corps to fight the swearing in of Sue Greenwald as mayor of Davis. Also in June, 2006, he urged the Davis City Council and engaged in a media campaign through letters to the Davis Enterprise, the California Aggie and the Sacramento Bee to shut down the Human Relations Commission and remove the Chair of the Commission.
In early April 2007, Yolo County Court issued several 3 year restraining orders against Norbie on behalf of citizens in Davis who petitioned the Court for protection after months of harassment and threats of violence by Norbie. On April 10, 2007, Norbie was arrested by the Davis Police Department for violating one of these restraining orders - a misdemeanor. Additionally, per information from the UC Davis Police Department, Norbie is currently banned from specific buildings on the UCD campus, including Mrak Hall, after reports of harassment of staff members by Norbie. UCD Police are investigating several other complaints.
Norb in the News:
- Davis Enterprise coverage of removed pollworkers
- Aggie editorial on pollworkers
- Enterprise article on Pizzagate
2006-03-28 10:43:18 From my experience and from stories from others, Norb likes to use students to get his political agenda realized. —JamesSchwab
2006-03-28 11:38:46 From my experience, he uses political issues (and students) to get his personal agenda realized. —SharlaDaly
2006-03-28 12:42:50 He uses students like when he was at the ucd polling place this last election? Until he got kicked out? Mmhm. —NickSchmalenberger
2006-03-29 11:28:25 He uses his present and past commission appointments, etc. strategically when he speaks in public or endorses candidates in an apparent effort to lend more credibility to his endorsement. Example, his recent endorsement of Reisig for Yolo County DA as a "former member of the Davis Human Relations Commission." —SharlaDaly
2006-06-21 17:46:19 At the June 20, 2006 City Council meeting Norb Kumagai spoke in condemnation of the current Human Relations Commission and specifically its Chair, Cecilia Greenwald. Identifying himself as a former member of the HRC and a current member of the Davis UCD Student-Liaison Commission he urged the Council to completely shut down the HRC and disband its members. He alledged that when he was on the HRC commission that an attempt to remove him from the commission was due to retaliation for standing up for his beliefs. This could not be any farther from the truth.
While a member of the HRC, Norbie Kumagai used his position and influence as an HRC member to publically attack a citizen of Davis who was eventually discovered to be the ex-husband of his then girlfriend. He wrote letters to the Councilmembers, and thus putting into public record, attacking the character of Rex Starr, the ex-husband. The allegations were fairly alarming. Rex Starr thus had to come down to the Council meeting and speak during public comment in his defense. Rex explained the contentious relationship he had with Norbie and difficulties the family (especially the children involved) was having with Norbie as a parental figure within the family, including his son taking refuge at the Davis Police Department. When it became clear to the Council that Norbie was trying to use the Council as retaliation over essentially a family court matter, they sent the letter to the HRC for a recommendation on an appropriate response. (This is reflected in the City Council minutes for 12/18/2002.) The HRC met and recommended that Norbie Kumagai and Rex Starr meet with a community mediator to resolve their family issues out of the public eye. Norbie absolutely refused. Norbie began working outside of the commission structure, saying nothing at commission meetings and then speaking in letters and during public comment periods at odds with the commission recommendations. He began to miss many, many, many commission meetings which affected at times the commission's ability to form a quorum. I personally witnessed him attending other meetings when the HRC was meeting across town, so it was not because he could not attend. What really showed how much he disdained the HRC was when my husband and I witnessed him hanging out at the Farmer's Market on a Wednesday night when the HRC was presenting the Huynh awards across the street at City Hall. The HRC commission appointed a taskforce to meet with Norbie to attempt to resolve his difficulties and again recommended that Norbie meet with the taskforce and a community mediator. Again Norbie refused. (See HRC minutes 11/20/03) Eventually, Norbie resigned from the commission. As years have gone by he has publicly attacked those he may feel is responsible for bringing his subterfuge to light, such as Mike Harrington, the council member who had his letter referred to the HRC for administrative review, and now Cecilia Escimilla-Greenwald, Chair of the HRC.
Norbie Kumagai uses his brief and tumultuous appointment to the HRC and his present commission appointment to lend credibility to his carefully crafted attacks on local citizens. To avoid detection, he often uses UCD students often to carry his message. He uses students, because they don't know his history. They weren't around or were not aware of City government issues enough to remember. —SharlaDaly
2006-06-22 15:58:53 Sharla-good job...I've been trying to find the words for how Norb uses students... and this is it. —JamesSchwab
2006-07-19 14:43:13 Rex Starr is my father, as SharlaDaly mentioned in her comment. This man appears to have no real job and claims to "fight for the underdog" meaning he'll stick up for any minority group he sees a draw to. He uses students and causes that are just inappropriate for him to be a part of to be heard. He uses students because most of the adults in this town don't think very highly of him. I'll refrain from making any personal comments about him, because that is simply not my style. I don't use public forums to berate others. —CatStarr
2007-08-29 00:56:54 Wow... shady... —CarlosOverstreet
2008-10-28 12:54:58 Ugh, what was he doing wandering around around the voting room at the MU? —JesseSingh