Will Arnold: Just Reach Out Your Hand

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Will Arnold with wife Nichole
Will Arnold with wife Nichole

by Will Arnold

Note: On Thursday, February 11, Will Arnold kicked off his campaign for Davis City Council. After introducing family members and elected officials in attendance, he delivered the following remarks.

So, how was parking out there?

Yes, parking is rough in this town. But, you know, if this event was being held in downtown Vacaville or downtown Woodland, you could’ve pulled right up front and found a spot. Or when they say in the South Park song “ample parking day and night”, that line wouldn’t work in the Davis song.

So, right, having trouble finding a parking spot is obnoxious. But it is, itself, a sign of something good.

Davis is a great place, and people want to be here.

Now, I had debated whether to bring this up, but we’re among friends.

Running for office requires a lot of shaking hands. And when folks are faced with shaking my hand, especially for the first time, I get a range of responses. If I could tell everyone ahead of time what to do, it would be: Just reach out your hand.

And after telling that story to a few folks, it’s become an unofficial campaign theme. Just reach out your hand.

Davis is a great place, and people want to be here. They really do. They want to study here. They want to work here. They want to invest here. They want to walk here, run here, bike here, and yes, occasionally drive and park here. They want to plant roots, raise a family, and be part of a community. Here.

People want to be here. And that is itself a very good thing. Because people are our community’s greatest asset. You are our community’s greatest asset.

More than our parks, or our schools, or our bike paths and greenbelts. More than our land or our buildings or our streets. More than our pipes or our wires or anything flowing through them. More even than the great university. It is people, who designed these things, built these things, whose purpose they serve, and whose shoulders we stand upon. People are our community’s greatest asset.

And, yet, people are too often seen as a challenge to overcome. People are reduced to numbers, and groups. They are reduced to good guys and bad guys, the right and wrong kind of people. They are the cause of traffic jams, noise, litter, crime, pollution, and of course, they make it impossible to find parking.

But people are not a challenge to overcome. They are our community’s greatest asset.

Just look around this room. We are joined tonight by young and old; rich and poor; black and white; gay and straight; Democrat, Republican, Independent and Green.

We have Chamber members and Union members; developers and progressives; townies and transplants; PhD’s and GED’s; a State Senator, and people who aren’t yet registered to vote (don’t worry, we’ll get you).

We have world-class athletes and those who can barely move a muscle; folks who never stay out past 10pm and folks who clock in at that time; people who work to save our City budget, and people who work to save our lives should the call go out.

We are here together, and we are in this together. Just reach out your hand.

Our challenges are indeed real, but our neighbors are not among them.

So when I ask you, “what is your vision for Davis, and how do we get there?”, there is one answer I know to be true already: We get there together. Thank you.

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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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7 thoughts on “Will Arnold: Just Reach Out Your Hand”

  1. sisterhood

    Great speech, Will.  When I saw you  campaigning for Dan at the Farmers Market, I was always impressed with your thoughtful remarks, and how generous you were with your time. You seem to connect with a lot of folks from many different backgrounds. I especially like this comment in your speech: “People are reduced to numbers, and groups.” That sums up my frustration when I worked for the state for 26 years. I really liked the work I did, but hated the way people were often reduced to statistics, and quick fixes. I hope you examine and analyze issues in a deep and meaningful way, and do not bow to the folks who are impatient and aggressive. Good luck with your campaign.

    Thank you.

    1. Alan Miller

      And when folks are faced with shaking my hand, especially for the first time, I get a range of responses. If I could tell everyone ahead of time what to do, it would be: Just reach out your hand.

      I didn’t understand the significance of this comment when I read the article yesterday.  I had not met Mr. Arnold and only taken note of his face in photos of late.

      I’m gonna stick to the fist bump.

      Holy crap!  I just re-read my comment from yesterday.  I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Arnold for the first time last night, and he did indeed reach out his hand.  I politely declined, not because I had an issue with shaking his hand, but because I was doing the same with everyone because I felt a cold coming on.  He made a joke about the fist bump and I realized he read my comment.

      But it wasn’t until I re-read my fist bump comment from yesterday that I realized now how that could be taken as an offensive comment.  To Mr. Arnold’s credit, he doesn’t strike me as the easily offended type — not even close.  I was making a joke about shaking hands, as I would have with anyone else using that line in a campaign speech.

      For the record, the next time I see Mr. Arnold, I will reach out my hand!

  2. Alan Miller

    Our challenges are indeed real, but our neighbors are not among them.

    Listening to Frank Lee, Mr. West, & The Big P of late, you’d think the neighbors in this town ARE the problem.  They must be jealous of neighborhoods that actually stand up for themselves and each other.

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