On Thursday, Superintendent John Bowes during his comments noted that an appointment process was used to appoint a replacement to Cindy Pickett, whose term would have expired in December 2022.
The result of that process was the provisional appointment of Joy Klineberg. A community petition to nullify that appointment was submitted to the Yolo County Office of Education.
“The requisite number of signatures were gathered, submitted and then certified,” Superintendent Bowes said. “With the provisional appointment nullified and as a function of law, the district is now served by four trustees instead of five through December 2020.
“The district thanks Joy Klineberg for her second round of service in two years as a trustee,” he said. The open at-large board seat will be on the November ballot with the term expiring in December 2022. This will be the last at-large seat on the ballot.
In a statement from YCDIE, the group that collected the ballot signatures, they said, “The Yolo Committee for Diverse and Inclusive Elections (YCDIE) is looking forward to the November general election when the public will be able to vote for who should fill all three Davis Joint Unified School District trustee seats: area 2, area 5, and one at-large seat.
“YCDIE thanks the many volunteers who worked to make this happen and who were committed to a democratic process for selecting our school board representatives. YCDIE’s mission is to support political candidates who will contribute to diverse governing bodies in Yolo County,” they said. “Members of the public who want to learn more about becoming a candidate or how they can volunteer for a campaign are encouraged to reach out to YCDIE at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The announcement comes less than ten days after the group announced they had turned in 1700 signatures. They were required to get about 1.5 percent of the registered voters, calculated roughly at 658.
In a previous statement, they noted, “The vacated seat was originally filled through a provisional appointment made by the DJUSD Board of Trustees on July 2, 2020. This appointment resulted in an overwhelmingly white board that does not reflect the diversity of Davis.”
They add, “A successful petition will terminate that appointment and allow the voters to decide on who should fill the seat.”
YCDIE representative, Peggy Enderle, said, “We believe strongly in the importance of representation and of allowing the public to select their representatives through a democratic process.”
Along with the petition proponents—Robb Davis, Peggy Enderle, Cathy Farman, Calvin Handy, and Jenni Biggs—over 100 community volunteers circulated the petition and gathered signatures. Volunteer coordinator, Joanna Friesner, said, “This outpouring of volunteerism reflected loud and clear that our community values, and will work towards, equitable representation on the school board.”
YCDIE’s mission is to support political candidates who will contribute to diverse elected bodies in Yolo County. Echoing this, YCDIE representative Dzokerayi Minya said, “This effort was led by women of color and white allies. We want to continue to create opportunities for women of color to lead in politics. Seeing the community support our efforts in this way solidifies that diversity is wanted and needed.”
“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,” former Mayor Robb Davis wrote in a letter a few weeks ago. “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.”
He added, “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.”
—David M. Greenwald reporting