Monday Morning Thoughts: Clean Up on Aisle Vanguard

By David M. Greenwald

County May Have the District Boundaries Correct, but What a Mess

Following the announcement by the Yolo Elections Office on Friday about wrong district boundaries, we got a number of concerned emails over the weekend.  Turns out that the county probably has this one right, but the public is confused.

One point of confusion is that the school district and city have different District 5s.  The city council’s district is pretty much all of South Davis.  But the school district’s version is different.  There is a portion of District 4 that jets into South Davis.

Sunday Commentary: Problems with Yolo Ballots More Widespread than Elections Office Lets On

Several pointed us to the locator—but the locator is clear as mud.


The default map for the locator shows the elementary school boundary areas, not the trustee boundary areas.

But it gets worse.  You can select the trustee boundary areas, but it overlays them over the existing colors.

That is definitely not the best map I have seen.  But if you follow the yellow lines, you can see that District 4 cuts down into South Davis along Mace, goes all the way down to Montgomery Ave., then jets back up on Drummond, and follows Lillard back over the freeway. Montgomery Elementary is in the 5th, but on the other side of the street is the 4th. I think that is the primary source of confusion, along with the colored boundaries for elementary school lines.

Bottom line is that, while there is confusion, the people got the right ballots.

Clarification of Saturday’s Column

I actually thought Saturday’s column was pretty clearly written.  My analysis leads to the conclusion that Will Arnold, Lucas Frerichs and Rochelle Swanson are the favorites to win.

I did hedge my bets, as there are some undercurrents that could push the electorate in a different direction.

My comments were also apparently taken out of context.

I wrote, regarding Josh Chapman, “Josh Chapman in most years would be a clear favorite to win.”

However, I added, “he is facing a de facto incumbent in that Rochelle Swanson served eight years on the council, took two off, and is back.”

I am not talking about COVID here.  I am talking about the strength of the candidate that Josh Chapman is facing.

What I am saying here is that Josh Chapman is a strong candidate, he has a good resume, and if he were facing an open field like in 2018, he would be a clear favorite to win.  But the fact is, he is not facing an open field.  He is facing a very strong candidate.  I focused on Rochelle Swanson’s eight years on the council and all her support—but all of that embodies the fact that she has a very strong track record.

So, in fact, she is in my view the clear frontrunner.

My View: Looking at Council and Two Ballot Measures

Again I hedge: “If this ends up being a typical election, I think Rochelle Swanson has a clear edge.  If one of the undercurrents mentioned above comes into play, this is the race that seems most competitive.”

But throughout this analysis, I have argued that I don’t really see anything to indicate that there is a wave of anti-incumbency in Davis.

I thought this one was fairly clear.  I don’t want to take anything away from Chapman, but he’s facing a tough opponent this time and that will be hard to overcome.

This Is Not Your Father’s Vanguard…

Did you know that as of last week the Vanguard has a new number: (916) 970-3131?  You can still reach us at as well.

We launched the Davis Vanguard at UC Davis project, which is publishing between two and four articles a day.

In September, we ran 316 articles.  That’s just over 10 per day on average.  I thought it was important to note that, of those 316 articles, I, David Greenwald, wrote just 30 of them.

One of our new regular features is our court watch week in review article—here—and perhaps people do not have a sense for how large a project this has become.  But we have 40 to 70 people each week covering the courts now.

This week, we featured 40 court articles by 32 different writers.  We covered: Yolo, Sacramento, Fresno, El Dorado, and Riverside courts.

You might ask, why not San Francisco?  That’s been my headache.  Read Layla Mustafa’s article from Thursday as it lays out our problem brilliantly.  We are sending interns from San Francisco to cover Sacramento, Yolo and even Fresno and Riverside Counties.

Inconsistent California Court Livestreaming – A Public Access Crisis

We made one more change—we have gone from using PayPal for our donations to Network For Good.

Why?  Largely because we can do so much more with Network For Good, which is a donation management tool.  You can still donate on PayPal, but all of our fundraising campaigns will now be on the new site.

So far we have added a bunch of sustaining donors.  Those are people who are donating $5 or $10 on a monthly basis.  We have some who are donating $25, $50 and even $100 a month.

The more of these we get, the less we have to raise each month to pay the bills.

So please consider helping:

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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