By Robb Davis
I am excited to endorse my friend and colleague Bapu Vaitla for Davis City Council in District 1. Bapu is a seasoned leader who has helped lead the City’s Social Service Commission for the past four years. He facilitated a multi-commission process (requested by the City Council) to develop recommendations to re-vision public safety in Davis. He is an active member of the Davis Homelessness Alliance (DHA) and board member of Cool Davis—the local non-profit that has partnered with the City to implement its Climate Action and Adaptation Plan over the past decade.
I know from first-hand experience that Bapu tirelessly pursues policies and programs that focus on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community. He has developed forward-looking recommendations to rebuild the City’s Housing Trust Fund. He is working with me and other members of the DHA to create a community health worker “navigator” program to extend essential health and social services to unhoused individuals, those struggling with mental health challenges, low-income seniors, and disabled community members. This community health worker program is a crucial focus of Bapu’s campaign as are increasing affordable housing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Bapu has a fantastic ability to bring community members together to develop agreed-upon goals and then develop evidence-based programming to achieve them. He seeks out not only the wisdom and knowledge within Davis (and UC Davis) but also researches best practices and successful programs worldwide.
He is a leader for our time—a leader who is focused on ends, a leader who places community needs at the center of his work—especially those whose voices are often not heard—and a leader who humbly learns with others to discover solutions to our most pressing problems.