Guest Commentary: “One Tribe, One Vote” or “One Person, One Vote”? Hopefully We Can Do Better


By Matt Williams

Yesterday Sharla C. said . . .  yet people are willing to destroy all good will in the process.   I don’t know if there is much goodwill left to burn in Davis’ politics.

Sharla’s comment brings back to mind Robb Davis’ assessment in the June 27th Vanguard article Mayor Davis Critical and Concerned about Future of Community as He Exits the Council  His comment in that article was as follows:

We seem to be growing older as a community, more change averse, angrier, and more cynical. There is very little celebration of what is good in Davis. […] Accusations of wrongdoing and that we lack concern for citizens’ needs are an almost daily experience for a council member. We are frequently told that we caused harm to community members. I can’t count the number of times people have accused us of lying or hiding the truth. […]  I am most concerned about crumbling social capital and increased ideological tribalism that divides not only Republicans and Democrats, but also divides natural allies along smaller, and ever less meaningful, fracture lines. I had hoped to use my skills to bring people in conflict together to solve problems. Sadly, I have witnessed more division, not less.

When I read Robb’s “tribal” comment in June, it was very striking, especially since he singled me out by name in his comments as one example of the accusations of wrongdoing.

Perception is reality, and it was clear from Robb’s comments, both in the article and at the Measure J forum, that he had “joined” a tribe and he also unilaterally believed I had joined a tribe as well … a different tribe from his.  Instead of treating one another as individuals, with individual sensibilities, we were assigned “tribal” labels, with tribal winner take all, “we win, you lose” sensibilities.

Sharla’s comment sounds many of the same notes as Robb’s, and both of their comments prompt me to wonder whatever happened to “one person, one vote” where each individual simply voted/votes their conscience.  I know in the case of Measure J, I personally “joined” no tribe.  I simply fought for what I believed was the best possible outcome for our community.

Why do individual decisions of conscience have to be “tribal”?  Unilateral assignment of a “tribal label” resonates with the kind of winner take all thinking that pervaded the last Presidential election and the recent Kavanaugh confirmation hearings … and most of the time in between.

Two years ago (10/2/2016), when Robb Davis made the individual decision (as Mayor) to give life to the voices of the opponents to the installation of the Gandhi statue at Central Park, he was in my opinion acting from his conscience in the best traditions of “one person, one vote.”  Nonetheless, he was actively accused of joining the “other tribe” by many of the Gandhi statue proponents, simply because he was willing to let everyone be heard.

I personally experienced that “tribal” anger at 10:30 pm that Sunday night after the Central Park “giving everyone a chance to be heard” event when I was woken from my sleep by a telephone call from an angry Gandhi statue supporter berating me in the strongest terms for my support, both here in the Vanguard and also in public discussions, for Robb’s defense of the Gandhi statue detractors right to be heard.

At the heart of the caller’s angry complaints with both my behavior and Robb’s was a winner take all polarism. Any semblance of the “good will” Sharla refers to was wholly absent.  Perception was reality.  And the caller’s perception of Robb and me was that each of us had “joined” the other tribe … just as Robb’s perception of me this past June was that I had joined the “other” tribe.

Perhaps the place to start is to take a page from Sharla’s “book” (her comment yesterday), and reach into our own individual store of good will and try and treat each other individually rather than as part of a tribe.  My fight to provide housing for 5,000 to 7,000 students at Nishi rather than 2,200 was not a decision based on “tribal” loyalties.  Robb’s decision to provide a place and time for hearing the voices of the Gandhi statue detractors was not a decision based on “tribal” loyalties.

When we go to the polls in three weeks, will we be following “one person, one vote” or will we be following “one tribe, one vote”?  If we do the latter, then Sharla’s words may be right, and it would appear that we are “willing to destroy all good will in the process.   I don’t know if there is much goodwill left to burn in Davis’ politics.

The choice is ours.  Hopefully it is time to begin to mend fences.  Let’s start by celebrating what we do well as a community, and at the same time try and do even better.

Get Tickets To Vanguard’s Immigration Rights Event

Eventbrite - Immigration Law: Defending Immigrant Rights and Keeping Families Together


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.

Related posts

63 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: “One Tribe, One Vote” or “One Person, One Vote”? Hopefully We Can Do Better”

  1. Rik Keller

    As others have pointed out, it is very unfortunate that Jason Taormino started the debate accusing the project opponents of lying but never substantiating his allegations.

    Later in the forum, Jason went on a rant, repeatedly using the word “they” with a bunch of broad and false accusations (to paraphrase: “they are against seniors, they are against all development”, etc.), I called him out for his divisive “us vs. them” language and for detracting from the public discourse. I corrected him that the “no” side had very specific criticisms against a specific project.
    Additionally, his smirking throughout and his repetition of the same marketing language for the program that his father already apologized for in an Enterprise op-ed earlier in the weekend  did not add to the public and civic discourse.

    Others observers have noted that Jason owes both the “No On L”  forum participants as well as the other forum attendees  an apology. I will note that Robb Davis provided a full and unequivocal apology in the earlier campaign referenced in the article.

    1. Craig Ross

      It’s a little unseemly that a participant in the forum is now weighing in on the propriety of the opposing party.  You’re not exactly in a position to offer an impartial analysis of the forum.

  2. John Hobbs

    The concept of “goodwill” in Davis politics is darkly hilarious. I joined the Vanguard when Sue Greenwald was trying to give the mayor a stroke at a council meeting. The hateful way Davisites speak about their leaders has been de rigueur for at least that long.  In a town where everything is politicized it’s amazing that we don’t see more physical conflict, but it’s coming, I’m sure.

    1. Alan Miller

      it’s amazing that we don’t see more physical conflict, but it’s coming, I’m sure.

      Violence is coming to Davis politics.  So sayeth the Prophet Hobbs.

  3. Tia Will

    I would like to illustrate one example of how good will in politics still exists in Davis. Since moving to Old East Davis, I have had the opportunity to participate on multiple occasions in a local civic event called Pancakes and Politics.

    At this political potluck, all are welcome regardless of political party, ideology or personal philosophy. The purpose is to discuss the candidates and measures on the current ballot in a friendly, non threatening venue. Each participant is welcome to research and take the lead on discussion of a particular issue….or not. If someone has gained special insight through previous experience or current research they are invited to give a brief presentation. We then go around the room with everyone welcome and encouraged to express their views. When everyone has had the opportunity to “speak their piece” we take a straw poll. Results are written up and published here on the Vanguard and distributed to all participants.

    These events that I have attended have all been very pleasant, amicable discussions which are anything but an echo chamber. At the most recent we had about 15 people including some liberals, some conservatives, at least one libertarian and a few I would have found difficulty to characterize if asked. Fun, civil, informative, and distinctly non tribal.

    Too late for this election, but I would encourage anyone who feels that civility is gone from Davis to come check out this tradition, or start one of your own.

    1. Dave Hart

      Hmm, Tia proposes an actual tried and proven remedy, face to face contact, and all we hear are crickets from those with strongly held opinions.  Maybe some of us just love our tribalism so much we don’t want to let it go.

      1. Matt Williams

        Dave, the people with th most strongly held opinions not only have their opinions, but frequently have manifested those opinions into formal organizations  … political parties et. al., and organizations create power structures and jobs for people who perpetuate and protect those power structures.  That creates formalized resistance to actually working collaboratively together.

    2. Ron

      I agree with Tia and Dave Hart, on this.  I have found that (for some reason), meeting in person (and getting to know and understand another person better) often lessens differences.  (Definitely more so than arguing on an online blog.)

      Truth be told, I’m not convinced that tribalism actually exists (to the degree that it might seem). (However, it certainly exists on blogs and in the media, at times.)

      Good article, Matt.

        1. Ron

          No – it’s just the nature of the beast.  (By the way, I suspect that both you and Don are fine people, as well.  Jeff and Howard, too. Just don’t tell anyone that.)

          (I’m in an unusually good mood, today. Maybe due to secularism, not sure.)

          1. David Greenwald

            Maybe. But I will say that I really believe that things in this community are not as bad as they have been in the past in terms of the divisive behavior. I’ve seen a change over the 12 years I’ve been doing this. That said, I am concerned that the level of discourse on the last two projects has gone to a bad place in my opinion. And while people are going to point their fingers in one direction or the other – I think it’s the overall process itself that has degraded.

        2. Ron

          One factor is that there weren’t a lot of proposals (if any), during the recession.

          We’re at the tail end of the economic expansion, now. There has always been a cyclical pattern regarding expansion and contraction. (And yet, people seem to forget this every single time.)

        3. Rik Keller

          David Greenwald: you are one of the people that has brought discourse on this project to a “bad place”.

          Just to name one example…

          You stated on 9/29/18 that“ the Buyer’s club is not going to pass legal muster.” In an article on 9/29/18 you also characterized the fair housing lawsuit against WDAAC as a “dangerous game playing the race card.” In this article you go to use the phrase “race card” four more times without ever defining what you mean by it in the first place or providing any examples in the lawsuit that you think  constitute “playing the race card”.

          Please provide an exact detailed definition of what, in your view, “playing the race card” does and does not entail? Please also discuss you views regarding the recent history of conservative/right-wing voices using this accusation and others like it such as “race baiting”.

          You stated on 8/24/2018 that the “Davis based buyer’s program means an all-white senior development most likely”. The reason the project will not pass legal muster–as you and I agree– is that it discriminates (through disparate impact) against some protected classes under Fair Housing Act provisions, and among those are groups defined by race/ethnicity. Keeping that in mind, in your view, what is the threshold for a Fair Housing complaint that you have already described as valid and would pass legal muster and which is based on race/ethnicity to entail “playing the race card”?  What, in your view, “playing the race card” entails when arguing about civil rights violations involving protected classes defined by race/ethnicity?

          Do you think that the filing of a civil rights lawsuit against a project that you admit would not “pass legal muster” represents a “new low” as you stated on 9/29?

          And why did you disgracefully attempt to doxx the plaintiff in the case in your private newsletter and reveal information that you gathered that you believed to describe his employment status, places of residence, and familial relationships?

        4. Rik Keller

          David: you missed the point that it is YOU making spurious and loaded allegations without substance? You have degraded public discourse with your irresponsible behavior.

        5. David Greenwald

          I’m debating on whether or not to even engage with you here, because while you are quick to call me out or the developers out, you seem completely lost as to your own contribution to the uncivil discourse.  Your 4:02 and 10:10 posts both bear that out.  You demand I ask Don Shor to apologize to you, and yet you call me clueless.  You rightly call Jason Taormino out for his “bologna” comment in the forum, but then in the next exchange you deride them for being “insensitive and offensive” as you deride them for either desperate impacts where you say, “That is these aren͛t necessarily discriminatory by intent, but they are discriminatory effects.”  So you’re not ruling out discriminatory intent.  Later you add, “the needs of seniors can be met without excluding other households and without the specific exclusionary Fair Housing violations that this program is admitting to.”  Of course they haven’t admitted to any Fair Housing violations.  But that didn’t stop you from stating it.

          So yeah, you’re quick to throw the jobs and complain about incivility, but you completely fail to recognize it when you yourself engage in it – and you do so on a very regular basis as my string of messages from you will attest.

        6. Rik Keller

          The Taorminos themselves have stated their program is illegal and that their legal team agreed when it was applied by “zip code.”

          David Taormino apologized for the insensitive language they used (“Taking Care Of Our Own”), though they continue to use slight variations of that language.

        7. Rik Keller

          Mart Williams, let’s be clear: I am pointing out that Greenwald has made broad unsubstantiated accusations that even now he refuses to clarify or justify. The fact that I am pointing this out and calling him on it is not similar in type nor kind to his tactics and his debasement of the public discourse.

        8. Matt Williams

          Rik, while I don’t dispute your logic, that logic fails the “two wrongs don’t make a right” test.

          An alternative would/could be to present the information you believe to be correct/accurate/verifiable without “calling out” the information/person you believe to be wrong/unverifiable.

          Some people may say that that approach is not good politics, but I believe it is good public service.

        9. Rik Keller

          Matt: again I pointed out that Greenwald has made broad unsubstantiated accusations that even now he refuses to clarify or justify. The fact that I am pointing this out is not similar in type nor kind to his tactics and his debasement of the public discourse.

          Is your logic implying that it is “wrong” to point out something like this?

        10. Rik Keller

          Matt, for further specific context. I formally requested an apology from David Greenwald and from Don Shor for Don’s comments on 10/7 about my article published that day. As a “moderator” of the site, Don’s outlandish and unsubstantiated accusations, and attempted smears against me have no place in a civil discussion forum.

          Don said (my emphasis): “With respect to apartment rentals, Rik’s data is not merely wrong. It is egregiously wrong and misleading as a result. This is the only data he’s presented that I am able to fact-check readily with data that I already have at hand, as I posted above. Unfortunately, it nullifies his assertion regarding rental housing and calls into question the accuracy of not just this essay but all of his presentations on the Vanguard that are comprised of data and charts. He’s clearly wrong about the most important housing issue in Davis — the availability and cost of rental housing. I’ll just have to consider anything else he posts to be invalidated until fact-checked, and I don’t usually have the time or data at hand to do that. This essay seriously undermines Rik’s credibility.

          As I noted at the time, the same datasets I used are used in a professional context by professional economists and demographers because they are considered to be among the best data sources available. For example, see the links I posted regarding the Economic Forecast Project at UC Santa Barbara explaining why they use those same Zillow datasets and they consider it to be the best data around.

          10 days later, there has been no response from Don or David to my repeated requests for an apology and retraction. This reflects very badly against them and the forum that they are running.

          It should also be noted that, as I have discussed above, Greenwald still refuses to substantiate his accusations of “dangerously playing the race card” or even to define what he means by the term, and how it would apply or not apply to similar situations. Again, this kind of behavior has no place in a civil public discourse.

          In a recent article, Greenwald also made false accusations against both myself and Alan Pryor that we had a basic fact about the lawsuit wrong. After this was pointed out to him, against standard journalistic ethical convention he deleted his accusation and pretended like it never existed.

          We deserve a public forum that is far more responsibly and ethically run than this.


  4. Jeff M

    Thank secularism.

    There is a human need for spirituality.  Religion brings together a larger tribe with a basis of shared values.  Rejecting religion leaves a gap that has to be filled.  For the secular left, it has been filled with ideology and politics.  Challenging someone’s spirituality results in a irrational reaction because faith cannot be rationalized.  Challenge it again and again, and anger boils.  Challenge again and the opponent is branded as evil to justify any response.

    This is why we see leading Democrats calling for incivility, direct confrontation and even violence against others daring to challenge their ideological values and politics.  Instead of just accepting the need to debate the merits of ideas in the political sphere, the armies of leftism are deciding to draw a line and fight with any means possible.  Almost any action is justified against “evil.”

    This isn’t really new… it has been this way for a while.  The difference is that conservatives used to ignore it… take the high road and not engage in the protesting ceremonies from the church of liberalism.

    Conservatives having a bifurcated set of values… one connected to their religious faith and the other part of the social, ideological, political arena.   And this has always been a source of irritation for the secular left as to them conservatives appeared to have conflicting values… double standards.  For example, maintain a position against government entitlements while giving of themselves to their church to help feed and house the poor.   But conservatives can rationalize policy better from a long-term cost-benefit because they subscribe to a separate book of morality that liberals don’t own.

    It all worked well enough until the secular left took it too far.  They started to persecute and attack the actual religious faith of conservatives and their long-standing American values as non-inclusive and oppressive and then attempted to replace these things with the left’s religion of political correctness and identity politics … and conservatives started to understand that their previous silence had been a mistake.  They now, not only had the standard ideological battle, but it had morphed into a culture war… and in effect, a religious war.

    And this affects Davis politics.  We all see it.  We all feel it.  There are all these little tribal battles, but they are all connected to a war… a religious war.   And like all religious wars, violence is certainly a possibility… and we see it already happening… unfortunately.

    1. Eric Gelber

      Thank secularism.

      This propagandist screed is misguided on so many levels.

      … religious faith of conservatives and their long-standing American values …

      Religious conservatives do not have a monopoly on determining “American values.”

      And it’s not like history has examples of violence and atrocities being carried out in the name of religion. Yeah. Right.

    2. Don Shor

      I think it will be a long time before I will accept any conservative lecturing us on morality.

      There is a human need for spirituality. Religion brings together a larger tribe with a basis of shared values. Rejecting religion leaves a gap that has to be filled.

      This, especially the last sentence, is not true for all, most, or necessarily even many people. When I hear this, it’s usually from someone from a faith background projecting his or her own views onto others. Secular people don’t feel any void that “has to be filled.” They derive ethics and values differently, perhaps, but they aren’t lacking them.

      This is why we see leading Democrats calling for incivility, direct confrontation and even violence

      I think the calls for incivility and direct confrontation and even violence are not unique to “leading Democrats.”

      … conservatives and their long-standing American values

      Conservatives and liberals and moderates all have American values. We just don’t agree on what those are necessarily. We all come from different cultural and ethical backgrounds and we emphasize different aspects of American values in our lives.

      1. Jeff M

        Secular people don’t feel any void that “has to be filled.” They derive ethics and values differently, perhaps, but they aren’t lacking them.

        So then, where does all that leftist protesting anger derive from?

        I think the calls for incivility and direct confrontation and even violence are not unique to “leading Democrats.”

        Name me any leading Republicans doing the same.  Do you really want to get into a quote example here?  It would save us both a lot of time if you would just acknowledge the point.

        Conservatives and liberals and moderates all have American values.

        In the past you argued that there is no such thing as American values nor American culture.

        1. Don Shor

          Name me any leading Republicans doing the same.

          You must be kidding me.

          In the past you argued that there is no such thing as American values nor American culture.

          In the past we have debated the list of American values that you pasted, with which I disagreed.
          Here’s a copy of one of my replies from awhile ago. Probably best not to take this too far off topic, but certainly tribalism exists and I agree with the thesis of the essay that it can become problematic.

          What Americans value.

          Liberty, freedom, democracy, self-determination as a people.

          Equality: no caste or class system.

          Americans admire individualism and hard work.

          Americas favor the right to be left alone (right to privacy).

          Americans have generally favored expansionism and overall have supported our role as the dominant power in the world.

          Within different communities, centered in different regions, there are other values:
          Community: helping others who are less fortunate through community effort.
          Conservation: protecting natural resources from exploitation.
          Faith and secularism: each very strong in some regions, much less so in others; each with a long history.
          Tribal identity: the desire to stay together among ethnic peers, to preserve the old traditions and values, even while appreciating the material goods and freedoms of this country.

          There is no consensus (and has never been) about some values:
          The role of religion in the public sphere.
          The appropriate limits of government.
          The regulation of free enterprise.

        2. Jeff M

          Name me any leading Republicans doing the same.

          You must be kidding me.

          Trump is all you have?  I have a long list of leading Democrats spouting clear advice to their followers to get physical.

          The Democrats have become an angry mob.  Their faith has been challenged and they don’t know what to do other than protest and grow more violent every day.

          If not this, then why don’t we see any leading Democrats getting traction with their political ideas?   Elizabeth Warren’s embarrassing attempt to prove she is of native Indian heritage is an example of the left “religion” taking over rational pursuit of ideas.  The Democrats have embraced leftism, and leftism has morphed into a pseudo religion… a book of speech codes and moral lines.  Everyone that disagrees is evil and can be destroyed.  Welcome to the religious war.

      2. Matt Williams

        As the author of this article, my personal opinion is that Jeff’s comment is not off topic at all.  He is focused on tribalism … which is indeed the topic.

        With that said, I do believe Jeff’s comment suffers from an abundance of discussion of the problem (as he sees it), and precious little discussion of possible ways we can work together to solve the problem.

        As I said in the final paragraph of the article, “it is time to begin to mend fences.  Let’s start by celebrating what we do well as a community, and at the same time try and do even better.”

        1. Jeff M


          My recommendation was embedded in there.  It is to openly debate ideas and difference of opinion related to political matters by shedding the feeling that it is a win-vs-lose of personal self-worth, identity or “religious” type commitment that ends up becoming angry dismissal and demonization of those with a different opinion.  There are material and calculable trade-offs for everything and reasonable people can reasonably disagree.  But just look at the reaction to what I posted here.  Did anyone write “interesting point, but this is how I see it.”?  No, they went into strong and emotionally charged total denial defense and in mob fashion.



        2. Matt Williams

          The challenge Jeff is to put those words into action. As long as we are only talking , it is easy to stay in our respective poles.  Once we actually commit to working on a common project…with our individual and collective actions following your model, we will actually make progress.

    3. Tia Will

      There is a human need for spirituality.  Religion brings together a larger tribe with a basis of shared values.”

      Oh for heavens sake. You don’t even get past the first two sentences without realizing the irony of your position. Yes, all humans have a need for a spiritual component in their lives. This is the source of, but not synonymous with “religion”. You rightfully state that religion is a source of tribalism. What you fail to acknowledge is this religious tribalism is frequently the source of defining those who call their religion by a different name as inferior or less than human. This paves the way for all kinds of atrocities against the “other” up to and including genocide.

    1. Tia Will


      Compared to what we have recently been exposed to in the political realm I would agree. Sadly, I see this as an erosion of previous norms. Since I was there from the beginning, I was able to directly witness how directly after there had been a plea from both CivEnergy lead Bob Fung and moderator Linda Deos to preserve civility by focusing on the issues and not making personal attacks, Jason Taorominno in his opening remarks did the exact opposite calling the no side liars and accusing them of “Trumpian tactics” as the initial forum statement.

      While it is true that both sides have engaged in saying the other side is “lying”, that has been in the media and in tabling materials. What was different here was that he chose to open, in a face to face public forum with the same tactics directly after a request from the sponsor and moderator not to do so. Since it is clear from the Pancakes and Politics experience, civility can prevail in a public forum, I find it both objectionable and very sad that Mr. Taoromino chose to not adhere to the format specifically requested by the sponsor and moderator.


  5. Jeff M

    This is way off topic

    Not at all.  For example, the rage over Jason Taormino’s statement “taking care of our own” is exactly the point.  It was offensive to pious followers of modern leftism (not rational thinking people).  Jason Taormino was then branded as evil and hence open for attack.

      1. Matt Williams

        Actually David, tribalism is not limited to the Davis locality.  It has become a more and more pervasive part of our society.  The July 2, 2018 article by Yascha Mounck The Rise of McPolitics … Democrats and Republicans belong to increasingly homogeneous parties. Can we survive the loss of local politics? details how we got to where we are.

        American politics has become thoroughly nationalized: voters pay vastly more attention to what is going on in Washington, D.C., than to what’s going on in their own town or state. The Democratic and the Republican Parties have become much more homogeneous, offering largely the same ideological profile in Alabama as they do in Vermont. In each election, Americans now face a choice between two clearly demarcated alternatives of action.

        Once upon a time, every community in America had its own store with its own local products. Today, chains like Walmart and Home Depot offer the same wares all over the country. The parties, Hopkins believes, have undergone a similar process of homogenization: “Just as an Egg McMuffin is the same in every McDonald’s, America’s two major political parties are increasingly perceived to offer the same choices throughout the country.”

        Americans aren’t just less interested in local politics than they once were; their voting behavior is also much less determined by their place of residence or by the attributes of a particular candidate. It’s true that a voter’s home town or home state can help predict which party she supports. But, as Hopkins explains, party affiliation is influenced more by factors like race and religion than by local interests or political traditions. Once we know a voter’s demographic information, finding out where she lives helps little to predict her political behavior.

    1. Dave Hart

      The social media landscape is designed to foster and feed on overreaction.  When I heard the “taking care of our own” tag line, I thought “wow, that will be grist for the mill”.  Now, where does that place me on the non-rational scale?  Or, for that matter, on the issue of Measure L?

      1. Jeff M

        Egg zackly.  Look for triggers and you will find triggers.  Better to destroy the credibility of your opponent than to debate the actual merits of the case for and against.

        But when I read “taking care of our own” I thought how refreshingly honest as that is human nature.

        1. Tia Will

          “taking care of our own”

          Whether this statement makes you feel warm and fuzzy and cared for, or that this is “refreshingly honest”, or you see it as discriminatory depends entirely on who you view as “our own” and who you view as “not our problem”.

          One can view this as narrowly as “our own” is our family and everyone else can go to hell. Or one can view it as broadly as “anyone who is in need and comes to my attention” regardless of group or tribal membership, nationality, race, religion, sexual preference or age.

          Jeff sees the phrase as “refreshingly honest”. I see it as entirely mutable depending on the interpretation of the user.

      2. Rik Keller

        I still can’t believe that no one on City Council raised an issue about the “Taking Care of Our Own” motto. I know Davis is a bubble, but that is ridiculous!

        1. Craig Ross

          It’s also interesting that the people it’s triggering are white rather than people of color and predominantly anti-growth folks.  It’s really weird how that works.

        2. Jeff M

          It’s also interesting that the people it’s triggering are white

          This is what I am talking about… the liberal “religious” dogma.  First of all it is a racist comment.

          And I think you are being intellectually dishonest here… because I think you KNOW that the context of the slogan is taking care of our residents.  And it does not matter what skin color or gender or sexual orientation… or even what their political leanings are… only that they are part of the existing Davis family of residents.

  6. Tia Will

    It does not trigger most people because it is what people do”

    People do many things. One thing that people should do, and often neglect to do, is to attempt to see the world from the perspective of others, especially those less fortunate than oneself. This might lead to another aspect of “what people do” which is to help each other out when in need instead of drawing arbitrary lines and saying those on our side are worthy of help, while those on the other side are not.

    1. Jeff M

      So, you would not give preference to caring for your own son over the children of others?

      Please think about this question before succumbing to a virtue signaling tug.  I might then check to see what resources and privileges you have provide your son compared to the children of others.  My guess is that the difference will be YUGE with copious evidence that you have taken care of your own.

      And there would be nothing wrong with that.

  7. Sean Raycraft

    Over the years, I certainly have engaged in my share of social media pugilism on the topic of politics, local and otherwise. This last cycle, it was about the housing crisis, the Nishi project, inter Democratic Party politics and the council race. Sometimes it got ugly, sometimes it remained above the fray.

    Over time, I have learned there is a time and place for protest and anger and red faced denunciations. For example, the President failing to actually denounce literal Nazi’s… twice… However, when it comes to local politics, I think its important for interested parties to understand that most people are coming from a place of good faith. We all want good schools and quality roads, and a quiet community. We would like our downtown to stay healthy, our favorite restaurants to stay open, and for the community to be sustainable financially and ecologically. If we remember to recognize that simple fact, that we are humans looking to better co exist first, and have disagreements on how to get there second, ultimately we will all have better outcomes.

    This is a lesson I have had to learn the hard way, but I think I have learned it, for the most part. Long story short, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!

    1. Rik Keller

      Sean: while well-intentioned, your post seems charmingly naive about the influence of big money in local politics and the lack of good faith among some who wield that big money. There is a massive imbalance in power and messaging that is tied to that.

      In regards to the current controversy about the insensitive and exclusionary language used to market the WDAAC project’s exclusionary program, I think keeping the following in mind (I found it in a textbook that some of my social work students are currently reading) is vital for perspective about fair housing and civil rights issues tied to discrimination:
      “As long as we define social life as the sum total of conscious and deliberate individual activities, we will be able to discern as racist only individual manifestations of personal prejudice and hostility. Systemic, collective, and coordinated group behavior consequently drops out of sight. Collective exercises of power that relentless channel rewards, resources, and opportunities from one group to another will not appear “racist” from this perspective, because they rarely announce their intention to discriminate against individual. Yet they nonetheless give racial identities their social meaning by giving people from different races vastly different life chances.”  (George Lipsitz, “The Possessive Investment In Whiteness” in Readings For Diversity and Social Justice (4th Ed., 2018)

    2. Ken A

      Sean, thanks for the great post. I’ve always been a laid back guy and I’ve never been one of the “red faced guys” at a protest.  One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is to spend a lot of time listening (as a little kid my Mom would remind me that I had two ears and one mouth and tell me to always spend twice as much time listing than talking).  After listening I can usually tell who wants to negotiate (and cares what I have to say) and who just wants to fight (and does not care what I have to say).  Life for me has been a lot better since I do what I can to avoid the people that don’t care about my views at all and are just looking to fight with someone…



      1. Rik Keller

        Ken A: in this case the developers are asking for the voting citizens to give them something worth millions of dollars. They are willing to spend a LOT to produce lawn signs, glossy flyers, totebags. etc. all emblazoned with questionable slogans in order to get that.

  8. Ken A

    Rik needs to understand that the “massive imbalance in power” does not have to do with money, it has to do with the parties in the negotiation.

    If I want to build a home on the vacant lot next to my home and I start negotiation with the city I will have more power than the “anti-lawn activists” that want to make sure I don’t put a lawn in front of the house.

    Rik is free to go to Safeway and try and get people to buy only “fair trade” coffee but he will soon find that there is a “massive imbalance in power” when a college kid with even less money than him decided to buy the cheapest coffee on the shelf.

  9. Ron

    The “honey is the money”, for developers.

    The honey/money would derive from approval of the hive (voters).  The hive will collectively decide if the proposed change is in its best interests. They might end up stinging the developer/requestor, instead.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for