Wolk Receives Endorsement from Torlakson

Torlakson speaks in Davis in October 2014 on the Campaign Trail
Torlakson speaks in Davis in October 2014 on the Campaign Trail

On Monday, Davis Mayor Dan Wolk announced in a press release that he has received the endorsement of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in his race for the 4th Assembly District. Torlakson joins dozens of local leaders in supporting Wolk and is the first statewide official to endorse in the race.

“I am proud to support Dan Wolk for Assembly because he will make our public schools a top priority,” said Mr. Torlakson. “As a mayor, county attorney and father of young children, Dan has the experience, dedication and skill to make a difference for our students and make sure every child has the opportunity to succeed.”

Dan Wolk has committed to making education a top priority in the Assembly and to focus on dramatically reinvesting in California’s public schools. His goals include fully funding public schools for the long term, providing universal preschool, reducing class sizes, closing the achievement gap and improving career technical education.

In an interview with the Vanguard earlier this month he said, “It all starts with education. I am the product of public schools and I firmly believe we must end the neglect of our K-12 system and dramatically reinvest in our schools. That includes fully funding our schools for the long term, providing universal preschool, so all children are ready to succeed from day one, closing the achievement gap, reducing class sizes and strengthening career technical education.”

Mr. Wolk added, “Looking beyond K-12, we need to rein in the constant rise of college tuition and control the outrageous costs and risks associated with student loans. The state must make it easier for people to attend college – not put it further and further out of reach. We must demand that our state colleges and university campuses become more efficient.”

Tom Torlakson was elected as State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. He is a second-generation public school teacher who applies his experience as a science teacher, coach and parent in the fight to transform education so that all California children get the world-class education they deserve.

He has helped lead and win the battle to stop budget cuts to California’s schools and put decision-making about how to spend billions of education dollars back in the hands of local parents, teachers and community leaders.

Since announcing his candidacy less than two weeks ago, Mr. Wolk has announced endorsements from more than two dozen local elected officials in the district, including six county supervisors.

Two weeks ago, Yolo County Supervisors Jim Provenza and Oscar Villegas, who are colleagues of opponent Don Saylor, announced that they are endorsing Davis Mayor Dan Wolk for State Assembly.

“I have worked closely with Dan Wolk, and I know he has the experience and the skills to bring people together to represent us effectively in the State Assembly,” said Supervisor Jim Provenza who, along with Don Saylor, are the two supervisors who represent Davis. “Dan is dedicated to giving everyone the opportunity to succeed and will reinvest in our public schools, ensuring all California students have access to a quality education.”

Supervisor Provenza was first elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in 2008; he previously served as President of the Davis Joint Unified Board of Education.

Supervisor Oscar Villegas was first appointed to the Board of Supervisors in February 2014, but won the seat outright in an election in June. Prior to that, he was a member of the West Sacramento City Council for 14 years.

Other supporters of Dan Wolk include former Assemblymember Helen Thomson, Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto, Yolo County Public Guardian Cass Sylvia, Napa County Supervisors Diane Dillon and Mark Luce, and Solano County Supervisors Jim Spering and John Vasquez.

Currently serving as mayor, Wolk has been on the Davis City Council since 2011. In that time, “he has led efforts to construct a regional surface water project, pushed for greater investment in streets, parks and other vital infrastructure, promoted renewable energy initiatives and has passed fiscally responsible city budgets, while restoring the city’s rainy day reserves.”

Mr. Wolk works as a Deputy County Counsel for Solano County, handling public finance, public contracting and water issues. “He is also the founder of the Legal Clinic of Yolo County, a legal services provider for low-income families.” Mr. Wolk grew up in Davis and attended local public schools, before attending Stanford University and receiving his law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall. He lives in Davis with his wife, Jamima, a former professional triathlete and small business owner, and their two daughters, Avery and Layla.

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

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. Barack Palin

    These endorsement articles have to be the most boring reading.  I really don’t think endorsements have much bearing on any election, unless of course the party endorses then people often times vote the party flyer mailer.

    1. David Greenwald

      I agree it’s largely inside baseball, but I’m always curious as to who is backing whom. It’s also more important than you think. It’s not that an endorsement is going to have bearing on the election, but who the establishment backs will have a huge bearing on the flow of money which will in part determine the election.

    2. Napoleon Pig IV

      I agree; very, very boring. The fact that one politician endorsing another affects either the flow of money or the outcome of an election just supports the hypothesis that the process is corrupt. I think I’ll take a nap under a shade tree with the sheep. To hell with what the political porkers do. Oink!

          1. David Greenwald

            It wasn’t meant offensively but if we are putting out on most days three or four articles, read the ones that interest you.

  2. SODA

    …and as was mentioned last time there was an endorsement article (who remembers whom endorsed whom however), I find it interesting that prominent politicians would endorse before knnowing the complete slate…..deals I am sure. David do you think it strange that there hasn’t been a candidate from the western part of the district yet? Cynical me thinks Dodd might have promised the senior Wolk camp to use his influence to keep anyone from running.  Any possibility in that cynicism?

    and again, think it would be advantageous to prominently mark these articles as press releases.

  3. Davis Progressive

    there is a more interesting question that i think bp neglects to note and that is whether the endorsement by torlakson signals that the educational reform wing will get involved in this race either backing sayl0r or another candidate.

    it’s also interesting that torlakson is backing wolk over a former school board member and lifelong educator.  politics over issues i suppose.

  4. wdf1

    DP:  it’s also interesting that torlakson is backing wolk over a former school board member and lifelong educator.  politics over issues i suppose.

    If you’re referring to Don Saylor, he was definitely a former school board member.   But a lifelong educator?  I was unaware of that.  I thought he was a state government employee prior to politics.  Do you mean someone else?

    DP:  educational reform wing 

    That depends on what one means by educational reform.

  5. wdf1

    DP:  wasn’t he an educator at the california youth authority?

    This suggests possibly not.  Maybe a more complete bio would say otherwise.  Davis Enterprise, July 17, 1995, when Saylor ran the second time as a challenger for DJUSD school board and won:

    Saylor is currently assistant director of the California Youth Authority for Prevention and Victims Services, responsible for administering and developing policy for delinquancy prevention programs throughout the state.

      1. wdf1

        Davis Enterprise, October 15, 1993, “Saylor touts his skills, vision in bid for school board,” Saylor quoted, here:

        “What I do for a living is planning and management of a large youth services department for the state of California.  My responsibility is to manage the budget, the personnel activities, training, program evaluation and primarily planning and construction.”

        Prior to taking this job, Saylor was directly responsible for coordinating the design and construction of more than $500 million worth of public facilities.  He also worked for the Office of the Legislative Analyst and as a city planner in Massachusetts and Wyoming.

  6. Eskimo Pie

    You guys watch too much “House of Cards” and now you think you’re all political insiders. Everything is  “cynical”, “deal” or “politics”. Sometimes (dare I say usually) people build relationships and support who they want to work with or even (gasp!) like better as a person. Torlakson supported Wolk last time, Wolk continues to make education, including support for teachers, public schools and universal preschool, his #1 issue. It shouldn’t be a surprise Torlakson is on board early this time.

    The real key is what happens in the rest (West) of the district. If Wolk starts to get support from the Democratic electeds there, including those rumored to be running, that would be huge. It’s one thing to get support from someone who supported you last time (Torlakson, Provenza, Lee, etc.), it a completely different thing to start making gains among those who supported someone else in 2014.

      1. Eskimo Pie

        The point is that you and others here are armchair quarterbacks, implying all kinds of devious motives without any actual knowledge. It’s all very sophomoric. You know that backroom deals are a thing, so you think everything that happens in politics (certainly when it’s someone you don’t like) is some nefarious scheme that only you and your keen eye can detect.

        1. Eskimo Pie

          “politics over issues i suppose.”

          Perhaps “devious” isn’t the right word. But you are certainly implying dishonestly on the part of Torlakson, who said in his quote that he supports Dan because he “has the experience, dedication and skill to make a difference for our students and make sure every child has the opportunity to succeed.” Yet you say it must be something else motivating him and not the “issues”.

        2. Frankly

          Should read…

          “He supports Dan because he “has the experience, dedication and skill to make a difference for our unionized education system employees and make sure every unionized education system employee has has the most job security and the highest pay and benefits possible.”

        3. Davis Progressive

          eskimo – sorry, got bogged down in some actual work yestarday.  i don’t view as devious, i see it as politics.  statements are not made for the truth of them so much as their political value.

          torlakson isn’t endorsing wolk because of his experience and dedication on this issue.  he has no experience on education – saylor does at the very least as a two term school board member.

          would torlakson be endorsing a similar person to dan wolk at this stage, with his experience, if he wasn’t the son of lois wolk?  no way.

          so yes, i am a little cynical about the process, but there is nothing untoward going on here.

      2. Frankly

        House of Cards is a great TV series… the most popular TV show in China as I understand.  But it is just a TV show.  Remember West Wing?  That was just a TV show too.

        1. Matt Williams

          The original BBC version was better than the Netflix version IMO.  Not that Spacey and Co. are bad, just that Ian Richardson and Co. were even better.

  7. sisterhood

    “…job security and the highest pay and benefits possible.”

    Most people want job security, high pay & benefits. The reason I could afford PERS retirement at age 56 is because I did not live extravagently. I chose tier one, had hundreds of dollars of my paycheck witheld into my PERS account. The state of CA did well in the past 26 years & my investments did well. It was my own money that was witheld. The state also matched it, the same as some companies do in the private sector. I could name several private co. examples, but, frankly, you get my point.  You probably think, “well, the taxpayers are now paying for your golden ticket.”

    What did the taxpayers get in return? I worked for scif, processing disability checks,  medical payments and settlement checks for the severely injured: death claims, 100% psyche disability, asbestosis claims for firefighters, etc. If we had no scif, the workers comp rates for you, a private businessman, would be even higher. I also helped 1.3 million families in CA get their WIC benfits. I am very proud of that.

    Frankly, some folks are jealous of my early retirement. Probably not you, because you are a wise businessman who knows how to save & how to invest. I have no guilt whatsoever re: retiring at 56. I rented  a home for many years in Davis, I drove an old honda accord, nissan sentra, and miata. I lived within my means and took no fancy vacations. My kids did not join select. My kids rec’d no allowance for doing their household chores, only allowance was earned by doing extra chores.  They went to state colleges, no fancy degrees for them. We are now all sharing with the payments of their student loans. My daughter works two jobs to pay off her debt, and I help her with the $300 monthly student loan payment, while she also lives on her own, within her means, in a studio. She uses public transportation, or her bike. No fancy car.

    I get a little bored with your rants about government employees’ fat retirement packages. We earned them.

    1. Frankly

      Most people want job security, high pay & benefits.

      Most people want all they can get.  So what is your point here?

      The reason I could afford PERS retirement at age 56 is because I did not live extravagently.

      That is only part of the reason.  The other reason is that you were provided a pension that allowed you to retire early.   And I am 56 and a long ways from retirement because I have to save ALL of what I need because I DON’T have a pension… like everyone else except for government workers.

      I get a little bored with your rants about government employees’ fat retirement packages. We earned them.

      I get tired of the entitled attitude when we are getting the crap taxed out of us so government workers can retire early with an end of life paid vacation.  You did not earn them with respect to what everyone else gets working just as hard if not harder.   It would be much better if you admitted this and showed some gratitude.   I don’t blame you for getting all you can… but the sanctimonious position that you someone deserve more than others just because they were a government employee is impossible to respect.

    2. Frankly

      But let me add that I do respect what you did to save and scrimp and do without to help fund your retirement.  That is what I expect everyone to do that wants to retire early.

  8. sisterhood

    Sanctimonious, great word. I wasn’t kidding when I told BP I relish your comments. You put a lot of thought into them & I do enjoy the banter.

    You also make suggestions & not just rant to hear yourself rant, and you do not just wait for a poster to say something so you can attack them. Thank you.

    So, what is your suggestion for city & state workers, lower wages, retirement or lay off? Newly hired state ee’s already are no longer eligible for my wonderful tier one. Oh, Lord, plz don’t say I have to go back to work? I volunteer…

  9. sisterhood

    Thank you VG staff for the immense volume of interesting news articles you publish on this blog. There is usually at least one relevant (to me) article, even though I live far from Davis.

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