by Matt Williams
Yesterday Bob Fung applauded the many years of valuable service by the Davis Chapter of the League of Women Voters (DC-LWV), noting that:
- the voting public became educated about local, state, and national issues as a result of the DC-LWV’s non-partisan candidate forums in many Davis elections , and that,
- the DC-LWV did not have younger members in the chapter that would take over the leadership positions and the leaders finally could not continue after many years of faithful service
Bob closed his article with a challenge to us all as individuals
Davis has a vibrant, growing civil society. Lets make sure it stays healthy. There are lots of things for you to do. Whatever interest you have there is an organization that you can join to further that interest.
- Interested in music? Volunteer at the Mondavi Center.
- Interested in gardening, books, youth soccer? There is an organization in town for you.
- Check out volunteer opportunities at this page at the daviswiki.
- The Davis Enterprise has regular announcements from local groups or a checkout meetup.com for groups meeting in Davis.
In seconding Bob’s words above, I would like to suggest a regular feature for the Vanguard called Volunteer Corner where organizations that serve Davis talk about what their organization does in Davis with details of how volunteers from the community can help their organization continue to add value to and serve the community.
Vanguard readers can give Volunteer Corner a jump start by commenting here about what organizations they would like to know more about, or feel that the Davis community at large should know more about.
With the above said, the challenge that the DC-LWV faced prior to its decision to close the chapter is one that all organizations in Davis face, “Where will our new volunteers come from?” although some of those Davis organizations are businesses, and their question is slightly different … “Where will our new customers come from?”
Those of you who have read my articles and comments in the past know that I believe numbers can often tell us a lot , so it will come as no surprise that I’m going to lay out some numbers that give us perspective into the problem of the two community questions just posed.
The 2000 and 2010 US Census numbers show the following population distributions by age group:
|Age Group||2000 Population||2010 Population||Change in Proportion||2020 Projected?|
|Birth to 19 years||16,044 (26.6%)||15,317 (23.3%)||Down 12%|
|20 to 24 years||13,922 (23.1%)||17,200 (26.2%)||Up 13 %|
|25 to 54 years||23,304 (38.6%)||21,630 (33.0%)||Down 15%|
|Over 55 years||7,071 (11.7%)||11,475 (17.5%)||Up 49%|
|55 to 64 years||3,175 (5.3%)||5,878 (9.0%)||Up 70%|
|Over 65 years||3,896 (6.5%)||5,597 (8.5%)||Up 32%|
There is good news and bad news in those numbers. Good news in that the 70% increase in the 55 to 64 year-old cohort, many of whom are experiencing more free time due to “emptying their nests,” may mean more possible volunteers for Davis organizations. Bad news in the 12% decline in DJUSD age children and 15% decline in the 24 to 54 year-old group where most of the parents of school age children are, as well as where the economic engine of the local retail businesses comes from.
Those numbers also give us a glimpse of where Davis might be in 2020. If those trends continue, the Over 55 population will increase by another 4,000 to 5,000 residents. Further, if Chancellor Katehi’s 2020 Initiative achieves its goal of 5,000 additional UCD students, the 13% increase of the proportion of the population between 20 and 24 years of age will continue to grow, reaching as much as 30% of the Davis population in that age group. Both those trends are going to put further downward pressure on the 25 to 54 year cohort and the Birth to 19 year cohort, with potential negative consequences for both the DJUSD and the local retail Davis economy.
Which brings us around full circle to the subject of Bob Fung’s article yeaterday. With organizations like the Davis Chapter of the League of Women’s Voters no longer helping the citizens and voters of Davis keep informed, how will we as a community keep informed?