Special to the Vanguard
Bapu Vaitla is thrilled to announce his candidacy for District 1!
Come meet Bapu at his campaign launch event on August 20, 3:00 pm-5:30 pm, in West Davis at the Village Homes Community Center located at 2661 Portage Bay East. He would love to hear your ideas and concerns and tell you more about his priorities for Davis. This will be a community picnic and all are welcome, whether seasoned in politics or new to civic action. Bring kids, pets, friends, and a picnic blanket. Light refreshments will be provided. For more details and to support the campaign, visit www.bapu4davis.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good change depends on commitment to place—to a community of loved ones and to the land. Home is where we can make the greatest impact, and Davis is Bapu’s home. He’s devoted many years to working for social and environmental justice in Davis, both in government and the non-profit sector. As Chair of the Social Services Commission, he helped lead Davis’ groundbreaking public safety reform and continues to fight for affordable housing for our workforce and low-income families. As a Davis Homelessness Alliance steering committee member, Bapu strengthens our community’s safety net for the unhoused. For climate action, he is a board member of Cool Davis, the leading non-profit organization in our community working to reduce carbon emissions and build climate resilience.
Bapu is running because he believes that Davis can be a regional and national model for social justice and climate action. The past several years have made clear that racial, social, and economic justice in America are still dreams deferred, and that climate change has brought the global community to the brink of catastrophe. However, in the midst of despair, local action can bring hope. Cities all over our nation and the world are showing that a different future is possible, that science-backed policy and civic cooperation can create equity and justice for all. Now is the time for all of us who call Davis home to show what a unified, passionate, tireless community can do.
Bapu’s commitment to social change comes from his upbringing. He was born in rural India and moved to the United States when he was four years old. His childhood in a working class neighborhood of Chicago and a highly segregated part of Los Angeles taught him how racial and class discrimination affects American families. He came to UC Davis for his undergraduate studies, quickly forging bonds with the activist community in town, learning about the power of science to change the world, and falling in love with the Putah Creek watershed. He’s spent his career protecting the health of people and ecosystems, working in India, Ethiopia, and Brazil for non-profit organizations. He returned to the United States for a PhD at Tufts University on the politics and economics of child hunger, and later completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University on climate change and food security. He currently works for Data2X, a gender equality initiative housed in the United Nations Foundation.
Bapu has a plan for building affordable, climate-friendly housing in Davis that will enhance our quality of life. He has a plan for substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning our city to a carbon-neutral economy. He has a plan for meeting the needs of our unhoused residents and those undergoing mental health struggles. Making this vision a reality will require mobilizing all of Davis’s diversity—people of all ages, backgrounds, colors, genders—and he’s got a plan for expanding civic engagement too.
A just and healthy world, for all people and for the rest of nature, is closer than it seems. Join Bapu in building solutions together.