Election Digest: Major New Endorsements in Assembly, County Superintendent


Environmental community continues to rally behind Krovoza


Joe Krovoza, mayor of Davis and candidate for the 4th Assembly District, continues to sweep the district’s environmental endorsements. Krovoza’s two latest environmental endorsements come from Sonoma County Conservation Action and Clean Water Action.

“Joe Krovoza has impressive expertise in California’s most pressing environmental issues, and his values match ours in Sonoma County,” said Bill Kortum, a trailblazer of Sonoma County’s environmental movement and a co-founder of Sonoma County Conservation Action. “If you would like to protect our scenic coast, majestic redwoods, and rolling hills, join us in voting for Joe.”

Clean Water Action also announced its endorsement of Krovoza. Clean Water Action is a national organization with more than one million members dedicated to environmental stewardship. Clean Water Action’s endorsement is made all the more meaningful by California’s drought and the increased scrutiny on water issues.

These two environmental endorsements are the latest in a steady stream of environmental endorsements for Krovoza, including the Sierra Club, the California League of Conservation Voters, and Leadership for a Clean Economy.

“I am humbled to receive the support of Clean Water Action and Sonoma County Conservation Action,” stated Krovoza. “Both of these organizations are paragons of effective grassroots environmental leadership. In the Assembly, I will be a leading voice in defending California’s environmental treasures.”

Kortum and others point to Krovoza’s lengthy record of environmental leadership.

At UC Davis, Krovoza has worked for 17 years developing the University’s world-class academic programs in clean transportation and energy efficiency. These programs have led many of the state’s efforts to fight climate change, reduce energy costs, and advance vehicle technologies of the future.

As mayor of Davis for the past three years, Krovoza has been the lead environmental voice on the city council, spearheading the city’s efforts to protect open space, improve air and water quality, increase energy and water efficiency, and reduce carbon pollution.

Prior to his service on city council, Krovoza led the Putah Creek Council for seven years. This work transformed the creek’s ecology and restored its historic salmon run. For these efforts Joe received Davis’ Environmental Recognition Award in 2001.

Krovoza also walks the talk in his daily life: he commutes by bicycle, drives an electric vehicle, and his family was one of the first in the city to install solar panels on their roof as part of the Davis Solar Pioneers Program.

Krovoza, a lifelong Democrat, is a candidate for the 4th Assembly District, which includes Lake and Napa Counties, most of Yolo County, and part of Colusa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. For more on Krovoza’s campaign, see joekrovoza.org


Dan Wolk OathYolo County and California Educators Unite Behind Dan Wolk for Assembly

Teachers, Support Staff, College Faculty, Teaching Assistants Cite Wolk’s Vision to Reinvest in California’s Schools –Unions representing thousands of Yolo County and California educators, including the California Teachers Association (CTA) and California School Employees Association (CSEA), have endorsed Dan Wolk for State Assembly. Also endorsing Wolk are the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), which includes the University Council of the American Federation of Teachers, and Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC).

These organizations and their members cited Wolk’s desire to reinvest in California’s schools and fully fund public education as major reasons for their endorsements. Wolk is the father of two young daughters and has promised to make education a top priority in the Assembly.

“Dan Wolk is a steadfast advocate for better funding for California schools,” said CSEA President Michael Bilbrey. “In the State Assembly, he will dedicate himself to ensuring that our schools offer every child access to a safe and supportive learning environment.  Dan Wolk understands the role our classified school employees play in making that happen.”

“We are proud to endorse Dan because he is a product of our public schools in Davis and he understands the importance of education in helping our children to succeed,” said Blair Howard, President of the Davis Teachers Association. “We look forward to working with Dan to make our schools better.”

Wolk is endorsed by a number of important education leaders, including State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson, Lake County Superintendent of Schools Wally Holbrook, Solano County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck, Yolo County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jorge Ayala and former State Superintendent of Schools Delaine Eastin. He also has the support of the entire Davis Joint Unified School Board, as well as more than a dozen other local school board members and education leaders from around the 4th Assembly District. Wolk is the only candidate in the district with the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party.

CSEA represents more than 210,000 school support staff throughout California. They join dozens of education leaders supporting Wolk, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and three County Superintendents within the District.

Founded in 1863, the California Teachers Association has become one of the strongest advocates for educators in the country. CTA includes teachers, counselors, school librarians, social workers, psychologists, and nurses. These educators in the K-12 school system are joined by community college faculty, California State University faculty, and education support professionals to make CTA the most inclusive and most powerful voice of educators in the state.

The CFT represents over 120,000 educational employees working at every level of the education system in California, from Head Start to the University of California, and is the California affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) has provided California Community Colleges faculty with a focused voice in government for nearly six decades.

Assembly District 4 consists of Napa and Lake Counties, most of Yolo County, as well as portions of Sonoma, Solano and Colusa Counties.


Krovoza-2014Equality California Endorses Krovoza for Assembly

In the five-person race for State Assembly District 4, California’s leading LGBT advocacy group Equality California has exclusively endorsed Joe Krovoza. Equality California endorses candidates who advocate the fair and equal treatment of all Californians.

“Joe Krovoza has worked hard to advance full equality for LGBT Californians, from campaigning for groundbreaking LGBT candidates, through being a strong supporter of marriage equality while mayor of Davis,” said John O’Connor, Equality California Executive Director. “We know that Joe has the passion and experience necessary to be a strong voice for progress in the Assembly.”

Krovoza expressed his gratitude regarding the endorsement. “Equality and human rights are deeply rooted in my worldview,” said Krovoza. “Our elected leaders, our policies, and our community discourse must foster a culture of inclusion and must not tolerate discrimination of any kind. California has made great progress during my lifetime, but we must defend that progress and must not take it for granted.”

Krovoza was the nation’s one-hundredth mayor to sign on to the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry campaign. When Krovoza was a student leader, he volunteered for Steve Schulte’s West Hollywood City Council campaign. Schulte’s election gave West Hollywood the nation’s first openly-LGBT-majority city council.

By endorsing Krovoza, Equality California joins the company of other diversity organizations including the Northern California Latino Democratic Club and the Sikh Democrats of Sacramento. Krovoza has also received endorsements from independent papers such as the Sacramento Bee and the Davis Enterprise, from environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, and from a number of labor organizations.

Krovoza, a lifelong Democrat, is a candidate for the 4th Assembly District, which includes Lake and Napa Counties, most of Yolo County, and part of Colusa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. For more on Krovoza’s campaign, see joekrovoza.org


Swanson-2014-headshotCelebrate Davis with Rochelle Swanson

Come chat with City Council Member Rochelle Swanson at her Celebrate Davis booth this Thursday.

Get a chance to win some Aggie Swag while sharing your thoughts with Rochelle. Celebrate Davis by becoming a part of the city’s conversation about our future.

Celebrate Davis is an annual celebration of all the people and organizations that make Davis Davis. Come by Community Park 5:30pm to 10:00pm and enjoy the games, love music, and fireworks!


Jesse OrtizWoodland Daily Democrat Endorses Jesse Ortiz for Yolo Superintendent of Schools

“In the race for Yolo County Superintendent of Schools, voters have two excellent candidates. But our recommendation is for Jesse Ortiz, a person who has dedicated years of professional and personal service to the residents of this county.”

“But we prefer Ortiz based primarily on his 31 years of professional education experience coupled with his community involvement. He served for 10 years as a trustee for the Woodland Joint Unified School District and is presently a trustee for the Yolo County Office of Education, giving him the knowledge at a variety of levels to be effective.

“Beyond his educational doctorate degree obtained from BYU, a master’s degree from Sacramento State, and bachelor’s degree from San Jose State, Ortiz has credentials in K-12 administration, and K-12 adult education counseling. And beyond the professional experience of being an administrator, and working for the Sacramento and Santa Clara County Offices of Education, Elk Grove and North Sacramento school districts and Los Rios and Yuba community college districts, Ortiz has local volunteer experience.

“Ortiz has been involved in numerous groups and organizations such as the Yolo County Special Olympics, Yolo County Health Council, Yolo County Multicultural Council and Yolo Family Resource Board along with Woodland United Way and state Drug Advisory Board. Most recently he has also help groups seeking to place foster children.

“The superintendent’s post is a tricky one, no question. To our way of thinking it shouldn’t even exist since it’s a holdover from the previous century when the state administered regulations through the county office to the individual school districts. However, the state’s voters have decided otherwise, perpetuating the office, and if that’s what voters want then we can think of no one better qualified than Ortiz to fill it.

“We have heard from some that they do not like Ortiz’s ties to outgoing Superintendent Jorge Ayala after Ayala made a request of county trustees to increase his pay at what can be construed to increase his pension. But however one feels about Ayala’s latest action, one can’t dismiss his years of service to the Superintendent’s Office or his educational knowledge. Surely, his endorsement of Ortiz counts for something.

“Surely, Ortiz has earned the trust of local educators and voters.”


Neustadt-SamSam Neustadt is the Most Qualified Candidate To Be Yolo County Superintendent of Schools

by Delaine Eastin, CA Superintendent of Public Instruction (ret.) and resident of Yolo County

I am so grateful to live in the United States, in California, and in Yolo County.  I am the first and only woman in California to be the Superintendent of the California schools, and I am one who believes that training and experience matter.  Because of my experience and beliefs, I enthusiastically endorse Sam Neustadt to be the next county Superintendent of Yolo County Schools.  Let me stress that I support Sam Neustadt because of his experience, his expertise, his ability, and his proven track record.

By way of full disclosure, Sam Neustadt worked for me at the California Department of Education (CDE).  He was part of an amazing group of professionals that worked hard to improve the practice and morale of what had been a somewhat depressed department, as my predecessor had resigned a couple of years before my election. We brought in a number of what are called “visiting educators” because they were still on their district’s payroll, but the CDE reimbursed the district they worked for to bring current knowledgeable people who could enliven a dispirited department.  The result was a freshness in the Department and a new confidence in the field that there was more hands-on experience in the CDE.  Sam was a wonderful member of my team.

Beyond that, he has served as a teacher, a principal (at three award winning Distinguished Schools), a state department employee and a very respected member of the Solano County School Administration.  He is the Executive of his local SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) and is very well respected in the Special Education community regionally and state wide.  Why is that important?  Because the County Office plays a very important role in Special Education regionally. Sam has continuously been credentialed in and served in K-12 schools for over 28 years.

Sam’s worthy opponent has many political friends in Yolo County whose support he can take pride in.  It is not necessary to disparage him or them, to, nonetheless and all the more, endorse Sam Neustadt.   Twenty years ago, Sam’s opponent made a career choice to go into higher education, a wonderful field where I myself have worked. But, the reality is that Jesse Ortiz left K-12 public school administration for higher education counseling and administration.  His administrative credential in K-12 education lapsed for almost two decades. He voted with his feet to be in higher education.  I appreciate his service as a local school board member and later a county board member, but his day-to-day job has been in higher education.  Several hours a month of board work is not the equivalent of day-to-day work in the K-12 arena at a time of extraordinary change and challenge.

Sam Neustadt is my candidate for Yolo County Superintendent of Schools.  He has the character, the commitment, the experience, the expertise. and the tenacity to fight for the children in the county schools and the children of each district within the county.  He is a kind, good man and I hope when the dust settles, this county will put his integrity, hard work, commitment to K-12 education and experienced leadership at the top of its criteria for being the Yolo County Superintendent of Schools.  Leadership matters and Sam is a proven leader.  He has the courage, the vision, and the heart to do the increasingly demanding work of Yolo County Superintendent of Schools. I support him wholeheartedly.


Wolk-Assembly-AnnounceWolk Across the District

With just over three weeks before Primary Election Day and absentee ballots already in the hands of many voters, we’re in the homestretch!

That’s why we are taking our field campaign to the next level with one of the biggest mobilizations of any campaign in the state: we’re going to Wolk Across the District!

Next weekend, May 17 and 18, we are going to hold canvass events in every town and city in the 4th Assembly District – all 13 of them! Click here to find the event closest to you and to sign up to join us.

Conservative special interests are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to defeat me because they know that I’ll go to Sacramento and stand up for you. But by talking to voters directly, we can make sure they are armed with the truth.

But the 4th Assembly District is one of the most geographically diverse in California, so we need your help to reach voters in every corner. We can’t do it without you.

Will you join us next weekend in your area to Wolk Across the District?

Thank you for all your support. I know with your help, our campaign will be successful.


Dan Wolk

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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  1. Davis Progressive

    i don’t think that krovoza is going to win this by being the environmental candidate. dodd has pushed him away from his strength of fiscal sustainability but that’s what he needs to yell from the hills. dodd and wolk are going to pummel each other, but if it comes down to the issue that the opportunity pac is raising, dodd is going to win hands down.

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      ” if it comes down to the issue that the opportunity pac is raising, dodd is going to win hands down.”

      I was flipping channels on cable TV tonight and an ad, showing a picture of Dan Wolk, appeared, and in the ad, Dan’s head was flipping and flopping, which I guess was supposed to be the message. I had the sound off, and there were other distractions in my home at the time, so I did not pay close enough attention to say more.

      However, it seemed like one of those really dirty, nasty campaign ads. It says it was paid for by some group I’ve never heard of. I would be shocked if the group which bought this ad were not, essentially, the Bill Dodd donors, just as the flyers we have all received attacking Dodd are coming from the unions behind Wolk.

      I’m not sure if the TV ad suggests that Dodd’d people think Dan is a threat, or perhaps they are just fighting back to make sure he does not become one. However, this has suddenly become the dirtiest primary campaign for the Assembly seat representing Davis that I can ever remember. This stuff seems worse to me than the negative phone calls that Mariko Yamada’s backers in the teachers union used to make Democratic voters think (incorrectly) that Chris Cabaldon was “anti-public education.”

  2. Davis Progressive

    “California’s leading LGBT advocacy group Equality California has exclusively endorsed Joe Krovoza. Equality California endorses candidates who advocate the fair and equal treatment of all Californians.”

    now this is interesting, why they would support krovoza over wolk, i’m just curious.

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      I don’t know, DP. However, it would not surprise me if it is 1) that Krovoza came to them and appealed for the endorsement; or 2) one of this group’s directors has a personal friendship with Joe or with others in his campaign.

  3. rfmagon

    Ms. Eastin fails to mention that her candidate has spent most of his life in one very narrow area, special eduction. It is a very important area but he lacks depth outside of such. She also fails to mention that in addition to her support he is supported by the California Charter Schools Association and it is alleged that she was one of the leading voices with the smear campaign against Dr.Ortiz. Her silence on this issue speaks volumes.

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