Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry Talks Land Use, Economic Development

Cecilia Aguiar-Curry

Newly elected Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry sat down with Leanna Sweha of the Davis Vanguard for an interview on a variety of topics.  The former Mayor of Winters discussed a variety of issues of interest to Vanguard readers ranging protection of agricultural land and sprawl to housing to economic development, and even a push to keep the World Food Center in Davis.  This is part one of a two part interview by Leanna Sweha.

You describe yourself as hands on and as a promoter of public-private partnerships. How will this play out in your representation of AD4?

I believe we need to think outside the box and move to 21st century solutions. It’s important to acknowledge that public-private partnerships work. We saw this in the establishment of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.

Take the issue of water clarity at Clear Lake, on which I’ve been engaging all interests – UC Davis, the California Resources Agency, local agencies, local area business, and investors in local tourism.

You have said a top issue for AD4 is the “housing/jobs balance.” Please explain.

Balance means being able to provide housing to local workers to avoid the long commutes so many people face. For example, most of Napa’s workforce commutes into the city. People should be able to live where they work. In Winters, PG&E is building a training center, and we have built enough housing for new employees.

Winters is a refuge for many who work in Davis, because we have kept up with housing needs. We also are building with Domus Development a new senior center in Winters with associated senior housing.

I have met with housing groups in the region and everyone agrees that all types of housing is needed – single family, affordable, senior.  But are we really willing to build affordable housing? When I bring this up in a meeting, you can hear a pin drop.

I have worked with Yolo County Housing Authority, CHOC, and Mercy Housing to keep current affordable housing stock under good condition. In other towns, this has not happened.

You have said that you also want to protect farmland and open space from suburban sprawl. 

We know we must build infill if we want to preserve open space and agriculture and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m for green technology, but we need to be careful of unintended consequences. For instance, with the updated state new building code going into effect in January, the number of permits pulled in 2016 have gone up substantially, because builders want to avoid the increased costs imposed by the new rules. How will this affect housing starts next year?

Your campaign promoted technology and small business incubators as ways to spur business and job growth, in particular for agtech. How should this be done?

A lot of data suggests we are not effectively tapping the expertise at UCD. I have been approached by investors who want to invest in agriculture in this district. I will be opening a district office in Davis because I want to engage the knowledge base at UCD.  I know a lot of farmers in the region who are ready and willing to work towards solutions to production issues. I know how to engage them. We simply need frank discussions on how to reduce costs and increase profits for farmers using better technology. Profit is not a bad thing.

Former UC Davis Chancellor Katehi was pushing for a World Food Center in Sacramento, but recent press suggests that it seems more likely to be on campus or in Yolo County. Is this something you will actively work on?

I need to have a discussions with UC Davis leadership to see where they are on this. I want to see Yolo County as a hub for ag-tech, including value added product manufacturing. AgPlus (Central Valley Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium) is one initiative I’m involved with that is a good model here.

UC Davis could consider building on its land and there are other parcels like the (on-hold) Mace Ranch Innovation Center proposal.


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7 thoughts on “Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry Talks Land Use, Economic Development”

  1. Roberta Millstein

    This interview makes my head spin. She supposedly wants to preserve open space and agricultural land, but not on Mace, apparently, even though it is prime agricultural land. And she thinks that we have not enough housing,  yet her proposal would only worsen the housing situation.

  2. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

    Former UC Davis Chancellor Katehi was pushing for a World Food Center in Sacramento, but recent press suggests that it seems more likely to be on campus or in Yolo County. Is this something you will actively work on?

    Chancellor Katehi together with UCOP was pushing for World Food Center in Sacramento because WFC if build in Sacramento would be connected to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) electrical grid as same as the  UC Davis Medical Center is  . The UC Davis Medical Center has own electrical energy source , the 27 MW co-generation facility . The  plant has  15 MW of spare capacity  at night time and around 12 MW at  the day time . The plant  would easily power the WFC and would   save millions of dollars for the UC Davis instead of loosing millions of dollars by buying energy from the outside source.

    The spare energy from the UC Davis Medical Center  12 MW can not to  be transmitted  to  UC Davis Campus which demand for electricity is over 100 MWh . However, the   UC Davis Campus with over 30,000 students  has no own source of energy like other UC campuses and is  paying mega bucks for the electricity .

    The demand for steam in  the UC Davis Campus is over 150 ,000 lb/per hour and natural gas which is used to produce only  steam  could be used to produce steam and electricity from the same source with  the enormous multi-millions dollars saving for the UC Davis .

    The two billion dollars WFC is not the UC Davis administration decision to build or not build , This the UCOP and the UC Regents decision .


    1. David Greenwald

      “The two billion dollars WFC is not the UC Davis administration decision to build or not build , This the UCOP and the UC Regents decision .”

      Actually not true. From all accounts, this was Katehi’s project and once Katehi resigned, the movement for the WFC to the Railyards left with her.

      1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk


        Please do not not follow Klein’s  statements  and do not misinform people . 2 billion dollars to spend  was not in the  Katehi’s jurisdiction without  the Regents approval . Ask Katehi , she is around She is  Chancellor Emeritus . She has e-mail and twitter account . Talk to Diana Lambert or Railyards developer who waited to the last minute for Regents to make decision to build or not to build.   This was a major 2 billion  project not movement.

  3. Marina Kalugin

    Deborah De Angeles…  liked this woman..  she is the kind of “nice” person who has little clue and can and will be used by the likes of PGE and Chevron..  kinda like BO and Monsanto now Bayer..

    I have always liked Debbie.. . she is nothing if not honest..  kinda out there also…

    Cecilia got a handsup.   because she is a woman and a nice person..  so is Don Saylor.. I mean a nice person…

    Dan was way too young and thought he could make it due to family ties etc..  Dan shoulda waited his turn and Don would’ve been way better…..

    These comments are already proving that MS. CA   is not the sharpest in the bunch..  but that is why the likes of PGE and Chevron supported her..

    We will see if she is sharp enough to wade through the docs needed and to hold the side of the people..

    So far..  either the young lady who interviewed was not up for the job or Ms. CA hasn’t done her homework or is not up on doing that kinda homework..

    It is all to be seen, DG….

  4. Marina Kalugin

    I never liked that location to start with and furthermore wasn’t sure if it wasn’t going to be another Bayer/Monsanto and the Mars/3 M company getting their way on the research on campus…… those three and other pals of those companies, Genentech, Affometrix, Affred and Dow et al.. are some of the biggest donors on campus..    and most of them are now in the seed and food business/////

    If done properly and closer to campus proper.  .it could have been a good thing..

    The only who could have pulled it off is our Chancellor Emerita, LK. .  Once the UCOP  Napolitano got her way, things went to hell in a handbasket.

    Why would any big donor still be interested after what was done to Linda?

    Follow the money   🙂

    1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk


      I followed the true and  Chancellor Linda Katehi followed the money and see what happened  to us  . Looks like  the UC Davis is a wrong place to follow the true and  the money.

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