By Robb Davis
On Thursday July, 2, the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) Board of Trustees made a provisional appointment to fill a board seat vacated by the resignation of Cindy Pickett, who is leaving the City due to a job change. The result of that appointment is a governing board that failed to respond to the significant public input regarding the decision, as well as failing to represent the diversity of the school district, which is nearly 50% students of color.
As a result, a citizen’s group—the Yolo Committee for Diverse and Inclusive Election—has formed and its first initiative is to collect signatures to require the DJUSD to place the vacated seat on the November ballot.
To put the seat up for election requires a petition of registered voters. We are seeking to collect 800 signatures but time is very short and we will need to do so by Tuesday, July 14. I am asking you to please sign the petition, which will be available at the Solidarity Space in Central Park (under the large oak tree), every evening from now until Tuesday, July 14 from 5:00-8:00 pm.
We are legally required to observe signatures but all volunteers will assure safe physical distancing and wear masks while collecting signatures. Alternatively, you email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to get a petition to you—and answer any of your questions! Please go to https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/ to check your voter information to assure you fill out the petition correctly.
By putting the seat up for election in November 2020, the voters will be able to decide for themselves who should fill this seat and represent them on the school board. Deeply qualified women of color have run for public office in Davis and won, indicating a desire on the part of this community to have a board that more fully represents the perspectives, experiences, and needs of our diverse – and historically underrepresented – population.
I think most Davis residents would agree that having diverse and informed perspectives on local government bodies like the DJUSD Board of Trustees is critically important to making sure that the needs of all citizens—students and parents in this case—are considered in the decisions that directly affect them. I support this aim and believe an election in November is the best way to pursue it at this time.
We understand the current board’s desire to fill this position quickly in a way consistent with how previous boards have done it. But given that this appointment will last for two years, and given our desire to achieve a more diverse and inclusive board with comprehensive experience in a time of crisis, we are pursuing an election of all the voters in the district. Please join us.
Robb Davis is a proponent and former Mayor of Davis