Why is the City of Davis Recognizing PG&E?

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Last fall Measure H & I, a measure that was unanimously supported by the Davis City Council, was placed on the ballot. In a rare showing of unity, the councilmembers came out in support of public power as a mean not only save money but to produce cleaner energy not subject to windfall profits.

In response, PG&E waged an expensive, dirty, and misleading campaign.

As Stephen Souza co-wrote a letter to the editor in November with County Supervisor Mariko Yamada:

“Davis voters sent an unmistakable Election Day message about public power — we want it! The twin SMUD annexation Measures H and I passed here by a nearly 62 percent margin despite PG&E’s unprecedented $11 million disinformation campaign to defeat us. Unfortunately, their efforts to frighten and confuse Sacramento SMUD ratepayers and West Sacramento and Woodland residents were too great to overcome — this time.”

Because of these deceptive efforts, PG&E decided it needed to do damage control. After all there was a good deal of bitterness in this community and PG&E recognized that it had to mend the fences–otherwise it would only be a matter of time before the next Measure H & I was proposed.

After an $11 million campaign to keep their stake in Yolo, the company basically threw down some chump change to contribute to the development of the Davis City Street Smart public education program at the platinum level. Hey if they were willing to spend in the tens of millions, what is $10,000 to them.

Now the city of Davis has a contract with them to honor them in exchange for this contribution to the Street Smarts program. This is not something that the City Council wants it is being dictated to them by non-elected staff decisions. Who runs this town again?

Meanwhile as we have seen in the last few days, PG&E in response to a resolution before the Woodland City Council sponsored by Art Pimentel has set up a full-blown answering service to direct calls in the Woodland City Hall opposing the rather innocuous resolution.

The resolution declares,

“The City Council of the City of Woodland supports the continued assessment of power alternatives that would lead to less expensive, more reliable and more earth-friendly electric power for the citizens, businesses and property owners of Woodland and throughout the Yolo County region.”

So tonight at the Davis City Council, PG&E will be honored for their community contribution. At the same time, at the Woodland City Council they will be intimidating and browbeating the Woodland City Council in opposition to a resolution supporting the concept of public power.

If PG&E wants to donate to Davis Street Smarts that is fine, but we do not need a proclamation honoring them.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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52 thoughts on “Why is the City of Davis Recognizing PG&E?”

  1. sharla

    This is a pickle.

    When looking for corporate sponsorship for anything there is expected to be some kind of visibility for the sponsor, i.e. placement of logos, signage, mention in a printed program or on literature, public thanks, etc.

    This is typically part of the contract and there is nothing wrong with this. It is a standard business practice.

  2. sharla

    This is a pickle.

    When looking for corporate sponsorship for anything there is expected to be some kind of visibility for the sponsor, i.e. placement of logos, signage, mention in a printed program or on literature, public thanks, etc.

    This is typically part of the contract and there is nothing wrong with this. It is a standard business practice.

  3. sharla

    This is a pickle.

    When looking for corporate sponsorship for anything there is expected to be some kind of visibility for the sponsor, i.e. placement of logos, signage, mention in a printed program or on literature, public thanks, etc.

    This is typically part of the contract and there is nothing wrong with this. It is a standard business practice.

  4. sharla

    This is a pickle.

    When looking for corporate sponsorship for anything there is expected to be some kind of visibility for the sponsor, i.e. placement of logos, signage, mention in a printed program or on literature, public thanks, etc.

    This is typically part of the contract and there is nothing wrong with this. It is a standard business practice.

  5. Brian

    As we watched the payouts…er I mean community donations come pouring in throughout the election, we often reiterated Jesse Unruh’s famous line – “If you can’t eat their food, drink their liquor, f*** their whores – and then vote against them, you have no business being here.”

    Vulgar words in this new era of local civility, I know, but there’s something to be said about being frank in the political arena.

  6. Brian

    As we watched the payouts…er I mean community donations come pouring in throughout the election, we often reiterated Jesse Unruh’s famous line – “If you can’t eat their food, drink their liquor, f*** their whores – and then vote against them, you have no business being here.”

    Vulgar words in this new era of local civility, I know, but there’s something to be said about being frank in the political arena.

  7. Brian

    As we watched the payouts…er I mean community donations come pouring in throughout the election, we often reiterated Jesse Unruh’s famous line – “If you can’t eat their food, drink their liquor, f*** their whores – and then vote against them, you have no business being here.”

    Vulgar words in this new era of local civility, I know, but there’s something to be said about being frank in the political arena.

  8. Brian

    As we watched the payouts…er I mean community donations come pouring in throughout the election, we often reiterated Jesse Unruh’s famous line – “If you can’t eat their food, drink their liquor, f*** their whores – and then vote against them, you have no business being here.”

    Vulgar words in this new era of local civility, I know, but there’s something to be said about being frank in the political arena.

  9. Rich Rifkin

    This is a non-issue. Don’t you have bigger things to worry about than if the mayor of Davis gives out a silly certificate?

    I, too, supported SMUD. But if PG&E wants to give us some help with the traffic safety program in Davis, that’s all for the good. I suggest you let go of your juvenile grudges.

    In case anyone is interested, this is the rather innocuous proclamation that Sue Greenwald will present tonight:

    PROCLAMATION IN APPRECIATION OF
    PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY
    FOR ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE CITY OF DAVIS 2006-2007 STREET SMARTS CAMPAIGN

    WHEREAS, Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s generous contribution, at the Platinum Sponsorship level, has assisted in the development of the Street Smarts public education program to increase traffic safety on Davis streets and in Davis neighborhoods; and WHEREAS, PG&E, through its contribution, has helped implement this innovative program that uses education in conjunction with engineering and enforcement to improve traffic safety throughout our community; and WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has helped deliver traffic safety messages to Davis elementary school youth as well as to the entire Davis population; and
    WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has aided the Public Works Traffic Division’s mission to make Davis a safer place to live and work; and WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has provided invaluable assistance to reduce the number of Davis traffic accidents by changing driver, pedestrian and bicyclist behavior.
    NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sue Greenwald, Mayor of Davis, on behalf of the Davis City Council and the citizens of Davis, proclaim as follows:

    PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY is hereby recognized and commended for its dedication and contribution to community partnership, which has led to the successful launch of the 2006-2007 Street Smarts public education program to improve traffic safety throughout the City of Davis.
    Dated: April 17, 2007

    Sue Greenwald
    Mayor

  10. Rich Rifkin

    This is a non-issue. Don’t you have bigger things to worry about than if the mayor of Davis gives out a silly certificate?

    I, too, supported SMUD. But if PG&E wants to give us some help with the traffic safety program in Davis, that’s all for the good. I suggest you let go of your juvenile grudges.

    In case anyone is interested, this is the rather innocuous proclamation that Sue Greenwald will present tonight:

    PROCLAMATION IN APPRECIATION OF
    PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY
    FOR ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE CITY OF DAVIS 2006-2007 STREET SMARTS CAMPAIGN

    WHEREAS, Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s generous contribution, at the Platinum Sponsorship level, has assisted in the development of the Street Smarts public education program to increase traffic safety on Davis streets and in Davis neighborhoods; and WHEREAS, PG&E, through its contribution, has helped implement this innovative program that uses education in conjunction with engineering and enforcement to improve traffic safety throughout our community; and WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has helped deliver traffic safety messages to Davis elementary school youth as well as to the entire Davis population; and
    WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has aided the Public Works Traffic Division’s mission to make Davis a safer place to live and work; and WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has provided invaluable assistance to reduce the number of Davis traffic accidents by changing driver, pedestrian and bicyclist behavior.
    NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sue Greenwald, Mayor of Davis, on behalf of the Davis City Council and the citizens of Davis, proclaim as follows:

    PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY is hereby recognized and commended for its dedication and contribution to community partnership, which has led to the successful launch of the 2006-2007 Street Smarts public education program to improve traffic safety throughout the City of Davis.
    Dated: April 17, 2007

    Sue Greenwald
    Mayor

  11. Rich Rifkin

    This is a non-issue. Don’t you have bigger things to worry about than if the mayor of Davis gives out a silly certificate?

    I, too, supported SMUD. But if PG&E wants to give us some help with the traffic safety program in Davis, that’s all for the good. I suggest you let go of your juvenile grudges.

    In case anyone is interested, this is the rather innocuous proclamation that Sue Greenwald will present tonight:

    PROCLAMATION IN APPRECIATION OF
    PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY
    FOR ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE CITY OF DAVIS 2006-2007 STREET SMARTS CAMPAIGN

    WHEREAS, Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s generous contribution, at the Platinum Sponsorship level, has assisted in the development of the Street Smarts public education program to increase traffic safety on Davis streets and in Davis neighborhoods; and WHEREAS, PG&E, through its contribution, has helped implement this innovative program that uses education in conjunction with engineering and enforcement to improve traffic safety throughout our community; and WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has helped deliver traffic safety messages to Davis elementary school youth as well as to the entire Davis population; and
    WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has aided the Public Works Traffic Division’s mission to make Davis a safer place to live and work; and WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has provided invaluable assistance to reduce the number of Davis traffic accidents by changing driver, pedestrian and bicyclist behavior.
    NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sue Greenwald, Mayor of Davis, on behalf of the Davis City Council and the citizens of Davis, proclaim as follows:

    PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY is hereby recognized and commended for its dedication and contribution to community partnership, which has led to the successful launch of the 2006-2007 Street Smarts public education program to improve traffic safety throughout the City of Davis.
    Dated: April 17, 2007

    Sue Greenwald
    Mayor

  12. Rich Rifkin

    This is a non-issue. Don’t you have bigger things to worry about than if the mayor of Davis gives out a silly certificate?

    I, too, supported SMUD. But if PG&E wants to give us some help with the traffic safety program in Davis, that’s all for the good. I suggest you let go of your juvenile grudges.

    In case anyone is interested, this is the rather innocuous proclamation that Sue Greenwald will present tonight:

    PROCLAMATION IN APPRECIATION OF
    PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY
    FOR ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE CITY OF DAVIS 2006-2007 STREET SMARTS CAMPAIGN

    WHEREAS, Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s generous contribution, at the Platinum Sponsorship level, has assisted in the development of the Street Smarts public education program to increase traffic safety on Davis streets and in Davis neighborhoods; and WHEREAS, PG&E, through its contribution, has helped implement this innovative program that uses education in conjunction with engineering and enforcement to improve traffic safety throughout our community; and WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has helped deliver traffic safety messages to Davis elementary school youth as well as to the entire Davis population; and
    WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has aided the Public Works Traffic Division’s mission to make Davis a safer place to live and work; and WHEREAS, PG&E’s contribution has provided invaluable assistance to reduce the number of Davis traffic accidents by changing driver, pedestrian and bicyclist behavior.
    NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sue Greenwald, Mayor of Davis, on behalf of the Davis City Council and the citizens of Davis, proclaim as follows:

    PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY is hereby recognized and commended for its dedication and contribution to community partnership, which has led to the successful launch of the 2006-2007 Street Smarts public education program to improve traffic safety throughout the City of Davis.
    Dated: April 17, 2007

    Sue Greenwald
    Mayor

  13. Doug Paul Davis

    On the contrary, this is a very important issue for it gets to a heart of a number of problems in our system–the buying of influence by monied corporations in an attempt to forestall public policy changes.

    Moreover there is also the symbolic nature that Davis would be awarding PG&E the same night that PG&E was browbeating a public official in Woodland.

    Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. Stay tuned.

  14. Doug Paul Davis

    On the contrary, this is a very important issue for it gets to a heart of a number of problems in our system–the buying of influence by monied corporations in an attempt to forestall public policy changes.

    Moreover there is also the symbolic nature that Davis would be awarding PG&E the same night that PG&E was browbeating a public official in Woodland.

    Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. Stay tuned.

  15. Doug Paul Davis

    On the contrary, this is a very important issue for it gets to a heart of a number of problems in our system–the buying of influence by monied corporations in an attempt to forestall public policy changes.

    Moreover there is also the symbolic nature that Davis would be awarding PG&E the same night that PG&E was browbeating a public official in Woodland.

    Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. Stay tuned.

  16. Doug Paul Davis

    On the contrary, this is a very important issue for it gets to a heart of a number of problems in our system–the buying of influence by monied corporations in an attempt to forestall public policy changes.

    Moreover there is also the symbolic nature that Davis would be awarding PG&E the same night that PG&E was browbeating a public official in Woodland.

    Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. Stay tuned.

  17. Rich Rifkin

    “…the buying of influence by monied corporations in an attempt to forestall public policy changes.”

    Are you suggesting that PG&E owns our mayor?

    Something related… I am not so naive to think that money is unimportant in politics or elections. In order to get your message out, a campaign needs money. But money doesn’t always win. In fact, as the Measure X campaign showed, too much money on one side can be a detriment. (I think this may repeat itself in Dixon today, where I am guessing that the horse-track will be defeated.)

    In the public power elections, PG&E did not buy its any votes in Davis, Woodland, West Sac or Sacramento. Yes, they spent more money than the other side. But in the end, it was the people in Yolo County who voted no on H & I and the people in Sacramento who overwhelmingly rejected the expansion of SMUD that caused what I think was an unfortunate outcome.

    It is true that the people of Davis, exposed to the same information, voted overwhelmingly in favor of SMUD. So maybe a sensible and workable alternative proposal for a DMUD can be arranged; or maybe for all the communities in Yolo County who want out of PG&E can create a YMUD.

  18. Rich Rifkin

    “…the buying of influence by monied corporations in an attempt to forestall public policy changes.”

    Are you suggesting that PG&E owns our mayor?

    Something related… I am not so naive to think that money is unimportant in politics or elections. In order to get your message out, a campaign needs money. But money doesn’t always win. In fact, as the Measure X campaign showed, too much money on one side can be a detriment. (I think this may repeat itself in Dixon today, where I am guessing that the horse-track will be defeated.)

    In the public power elections, PG&E did not buy its any votes in Davis, Woodland, West Sac or Sacramento. Yes, they spent more money than the other side. But in the end, it was the people in Yolo County who voted no on H & I and the people in Sacramento who overwhelmingly rejected the expansion of SMUD that caused what I think was an unfortunate outcome.

    It is true that the people of Davis, exposed to the same information, voted overwhelmingly in favor of SMUD. So maybe a sensible and workable alternative proposal for a DMUD can be arranged; or maybe for all the communities in Yolo County who want out of PG&E can create a YMUD.

  19. Rich Rifkin

    “…the buying of influence by monied corporations in an attempt to forestall public policy changes.”

    Are you suggesting that PG&E owns our mayor?

    Something related… I am not so naive to think that money is unimportant in politics or elections. In order to get your message out, a campaign needs money. But money doesn’t always win. In fact, as the Measure X campaign showed, too much money on one side can be a detriment. (I think this may repeat itself in Dixon today, where I am guessing that the horse-track will be defeated.)

    In the public power elections, PG&E did not buy its any votes in Davis, Woodland, West Sac or Sacramento. Yes, they spent more money than the other side. But in the end, it was the people in Yolo County who voted no on H & I and the people in Sacramento who overwhelmingly rejected the expansion of SMUD that caused what I think was an unfortunate outcome.

    It is true that the people of Davis, exposed to the same information, voted overwhelmingly in favor of SMUD. So maybe a sensible and workable alternative proposal for a DMUD can be arranged; or maybe for all the communities in Yolo County who want out of PG&E can create a YMUD.

  20. Rich Rifkin

    “…the buying of influence by monied corporations in an attempt to forestall public policy changes.”

    Are you suggesting that PG&E owns our mayor?

    Something related… I am not so naive to think that money is unimportant in politics or elections. In order to get your message out, a campaign needs money. But money doesn’t always win. In fact, as the Measure X campaign showed, too much money on one side can be a detriment. (I think this may repeat itself in Dixon today, where I am guessing that the horse-track will be defeated.)

    In the public power elections, PG&E did not buy its any votes in Davis, Woodland, West Sac or Sacramento. Yes, they spent more money than the other side. But in the end, it was the people in Yolo County who voted no on H & I and the people in Sacramento who overwhelmingly rejected the expansion of SMUD that caused what I think was an unfortunate outcome.

    It is true that the people of Davis, exposed to the same information, voted overwhelmingly in favor of SMUD. So maybe a sensible and workable alternative proposal for a DMUD can be arranged; or maybe for all the communities in Yolo County who want out of PG&E can create a YMUD.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    “Our mayor had nothing to do with this decision.”

    “I, Sue Greenwald, Mayor of Davis, on behalf of the Davis City Council and the citizens of Davis, proclaim as follows: PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY is hereby recognized and commended for its dedication and contribution…”

    Nothing?

  22. Rich Rifkin

    “Our mayor had nothing to do with this decision.”

    “I, Sue Greenwald, Mayor of Davis, on behalf of the Davis City Council and the citizens of Davis, proclaim as follows: PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY is hereby recognized and commended for its dedication and contribution…”

    Nothing?

  23. Rich Rifkin

    “Our mayor had nothing to do with this decision.”

    “I, Sue Greenwald, Mayor of Davis, on behalf of the Davis City Council and the citizens of Davis, proclaim as follows: PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY is hereby recognized and commended for its dedication and contribution…”

    Nothing?

  24. Rich Rifkin

    “Our mayor had nothing to do with this decision.”

    “I, Sue Greenwald, Mayor of Davis, on behalf of the Davis City Council and the citizens of Davis, proclaim as follows: PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY is hereby recognized and commended for its dedication and contribution…”

    Nothing?

  25. Rich Rifkin

    FWIW, regardless of this proclamation, Stephen Souza and Lamar Heystek, at tonight’s council meeting, extended their support for Mr. Pimental’s actions in Woodland.

  26. Rich Rifkin

    FWIW, regardless of this proclamation, Stephen Souza and Lamar Heystek, at tonight’s council meeting, extended their support for Mr. Pimental’s actions in Woodland.

  27. Rich Rifkin

    FWIW, regardless of this proclamation, Stephen Souza and Lamar Heystek, at tonight’s council meeting, extended their support for Mr. Pimental’s actions in Woodland.

  28. Rich Rifkin

    FWIW, regardless of this proclamation, Stephen Souza and Lamar Heystek, at tonight’s council meeting, extended their support for Mr. Pimental’s actions in Woodland.

  29. 無名 - wu ming

    my guess is that a YMUD type deal is the way to go, with the possibility of joining up with SMUD at a later date if that works.

    i’m generally not a fan of corporate sponsorship of city events, but i don’t really think that will make much of a dent in any future city council resolution on PG&E. i certainly hope that lamar and steve will bring up this resolution ASAP, though.

  30. 無名 - wu ming

    my guess is that a YMUD type deal is the way to go, with the possibility of joining up with SMUD at a later date if that works.

    i’m generally not a fan of corporate sponsorship of city events, but i don’t really think that will make much of a dent in any future city council resolution on PG&E. i certainly hope that lamar and steve will bring up this resolution ASAP, though.

  31. 無名 - wu ming

    my guess is that a YMUD type deal is the way to go, with the possibility of joining up with SMUD at a later date if that works.

    i’m generally not a fan of corporate sponsorship of city events, but i don’t really think that will make much of a dent in any future city council resolution on PG&E. i certainly hope that lamar and steve will bring up this resolution ASAP, though.

  32. 無名 - wu ming

    my guess is that a YMUD type deal is the way to go, with the possibility of joining up with SMUD at a later date if that works.

    i’m generally not a fan of corporate sponsorship of city events, but i don’t really think that will make much of a dent in any future city council resolution on PG&E. i certainly hope that lamar and steve will bring up this resolution ASAP, though.

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