This is our first of eight questions. The candidates get exactly 250 words. We did have some technical problems, so not all the answers have come in. Normally we do have a hard cut off at 9 pm on Thursday.
Question number one: What is your vision for Davis if elected to the council?
Our community faces significant uncertainty, but I believe we are equal to the task. We’ve faced adversity before, with perseverance, resilience and innovation, and used challenges to learn, adapt and become national leaders. Now is no different.
I’m reminded that this historic moment is another opportunity for us to re-examine our own personal actions and reaffirm our conviction that a person is not defined by gender, color, economics or disability—but by their compassion and integrity.
We cannot take our special community for granted. It’s the legacy of hard work and thoughtful planning. Now it is our turn!
Our City Council has become a cohesive, knowledgeable and effective team. That stability is paying dividends.
- Our city budget is more secure, even in the face of current economic challenges
- We have invested in roads, bike paths, and other critical infrastructure
- We have increased housing inventory, and improved access to services
- We are working to examine both policies and assumptions in order to become ever-more equitable and just
But that’s not enough. There is more to do!
Even before COVID-19 changed our world, there was a lot to do in planning for the impacts of Climate Change. Now we must simultaneously address the immediate needs of our community, while planning for an uncertain future.
More than ever, our Councilmembers need to possess experience, competence, creativity and resolve. As a united Council, we remain dedicated to the health of every resident, maintaining a strong economic foundation and preserving the community we love.
My vision for Davis is one where community engagement is not seen as a barrier to accomplishing plans, but as a path to better outcomes. Where stakeholders are truly engaged in a process that doesn’t create division, but brings us closer together. Where unvetted plans are not created at midnight during City Council meetings in unsuccessful attempts at compromise. In my world view, the tension and division we see is a result of bad process.
When everyone in Davis sees transparency and accountability as tools for improvement, that will lead to the City I envision.
I want to help this City realize the full potential of our community because innovation always comes from the community. Everything Davis is so justly famous for has come from the community. In my view, the biggest job of City leadership is to actualize the goals of the community.
The Davis that I envision is a city where everyone has a share and a voice, regardless of race, economic background, gender identity, or abilities. I believe everyone has skills to improve this City and that leadership’s job is to use those skills where they will do the most good.
I want to see Davis honor its commitments to the environment, to fiscal responsibility, and to resiliency. A City that keeps its promises to the community and where we hold others to their promises.
In short, my vision for Davis is to be the progressive, inclusive, and equitable city that we say we are.
My vision for Davis is the same whether I am fortunate enough to be elected to City Council or not. I want Davis to be an inclusive, enlightened, equitable, and resilient community that meets the social, environmental, and economic needs of ALL its residents.
I want a community that shelters the unsheltered and provides mental healthcare for all residents in need, including students and our homeless population. I want a community that prioritizes meeting the basic needs of our most vulnerable residents, including safety for all minority and disenfranchised populations.
I envision a stronger, more sustainable, and vibrant downtown that serves as an arts and entertainment hub and provides a space for ALL residents. I have and will continue to advocate for and support our downtown businesses and to think innovatively about ways to spur continued economic development and investment in our local community.
My vision for Davis requires strong local leadership to develop and execute creative and actionable solutions to deal with the pandemic-induced social and financial crises and to navigate the challenges of these unprecedented times. Transparent policy making and direct engagement with community members to identify and address the needs of Davis residents is essential to creating the opportunity for positive change.
I want a community that is engaged in the planning and decision-making process and where all voices are heard and respected. If elected, I am committed to engaging not only with the District 5 community but with the entire community to realize our shared vision.
Davis is a phenomenal community, and yet, like any community, there are issues to work on to continually make it better.
Due to the COVID pandemic, we will need to work over the next few years to weather the economic, fiscal and societal storm together. Yet, now is the time to begin laying the groundwork for the type of resilient community we want to see in the future.
Thankfully, some of this work has already been completed, with the Woodland Davis Clean Water Project bringing us a sustainable source of water. Both the Downtown Plan, and the pending update to the Climate Action & Adaptation Plan, are underway. We have strong collaborative partners in UC Davis & Yolo County.
I believe we need to continue collaborations with Yolo County, interfaith & non-profit community & UC Davis to address homelessness, and providing more mental health and other wrap around services.
We’ll work on increasing affordable housing, both subsidized Affordable Housing, and also housing which is affordable.
We need to continue investing in citywide & neighborhood infrastructure, including repaving bike paths, roads & park improvements.
I’m committed to working on the reimagining of public safety, and the types of investments in social services that are needed to bring about change.
Perhaps most important, we need to continue our efforts to address the pending adverse impacts of climate change. The future will focus on resilience, and we’ll need to work to reimagine our energy, transportation and food systems, as well.
Stable Housing, Caring Communities. This is my vision for Davis. Every person should have their needs met, including having comfortable living conditions.
Making sure people have what they need to survive, and even thrive, benefits not only those whose needs aren’t currently being met, but also those who are already in stable living situations. Stability for all creates healthy communities and true public safety that lowers the rate of crime, which is often due to desperation.
Additionally, we should strive to achieve a vibrant and democratic community. We need more neighborhood associations, tenants unions, and other organizations that build connections between community members.
We need public safety services rather than policing. We need decision making processes that empower people, especially the most marginalized and historically disenfranchised.
We need a Davis, and a South Davis, for all — which will require actively addressing the underlying systems of oppression that have, and continue to, shape our society.
The City of Davis is at a crossroads and I am running after two years off the City Council because I have hope and optimism that we can meet the substantial challenges that face our community.
I come back to running for office with a new perspective. I want to improve how we engage and include the entire community. As we reimagine public safety and economic resiliency, I want to inspire the voices who haven’t been heard to come to the table.
We must begin by reviewing our budget from top to bottom, including employees and contractors benchmarked by what is necessary to run a healthy city while supporting essential services.
It’s time to create a clear and transparent framework for City decision-making that encompasses community, commissions, staff and Council. Our commitment to affordable housing must include a robust array of jobs for every income level.
We can’t ignore Davis’ role in the regional recovery and the assets our community has with UCD and numerous innovative thinkers who call this home. The reality is emissions, traffic, social needs and economic vitality are not bound by the borders of our city. Davis has transportation, renewable energy and agricultural industry giants that we can leverage to reap the benefits of the Green Economy.
I believe we can determine the course we want to set Davis on not only in the next two to four years but well beyond. Trying to solve our issues alone is short-sighted. We must move forward together.
My vision for Davis builds on the work we have already done. Our community is passionate about
- increasing inclusion, diversity, and equity,
- rethinking public safety,
- keeping downtown a destination,
- fighting to limit climate change,
- creating communication, transparency, and accountability in local government,
- and planning how to get to the future we want and need.
This looks like denser housing and sustainable infill development, so all people who work, play, and want to be here can live here. Creating a healthy housing market is an important step toward the diverse and welcoming town Davis wants to be. This vision includes an increase in the types of response to 911 calls, so police officers can handle crime, and public safety can put a focus on people and prevention. This vision means less cars, more bikes, and includes improvements to infrastructure that build on our strengths. Picture downtown with more space allocated to businesses, pedestrians, and bikers. Now we are surrounded by smoke, and it is clear that every one of us needs to do more when it comes to climate change. Davis is poised to be an example of a net zero emission economy. We all have blind spots and different perspectives. Local government should be a place where all voices are heard, and decisions are made and explained with this knowledge in hand. My vision for Davis relies on community-based planning to create concrete steps to reach lofty goals because that’s what Davis deserves.
More importantly than what is my vision for Davis, the question is, what is the community’s vision for itself. That is what the general plan is all about. Our current general plan came from an engaging citizen driven planning process and deserves to be treated with respect. There are however aspects of it that are out of date and need updating, for example to better consider climate change. I support initiating a transparent, community driven planning process to update the general plan as soon as possible.
My vision for Davis is a community where people with diverse perspectives work together to set a long-term vision for the City. In the shorter term, I envision a council that represents diverse viewpoints, respects community involvement, and commission input, and makes decisions based in intellectual honesty and integrity.
You can learn more about me on my website – Walsh4davis.com. Please feel free to contact me there for more information or please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.