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Friday, August 03, 2007

"Claire"-ifying the Davis Enterprise Story on Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald’s Candidacy for Davis City Council

Editor’s note: My wife Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald has been considering a run for the Davis City Council. In order to avoid appearance of a conflict of interest, Doug Paul Davis will not be covering the Davis City Council campaign and instead, will have at some point another permanent writer who will specifically cover the city council election if she launches a formal candidacy. I have posted an article submitted by Rebecca Wu on this topic.

The Davis Enterprise announced last night in an above-the-fold story on the front page, that “Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald has filed papers with the Davis city clerk’s office to run for City Council in 2008.”

In fact, Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald has filed the form 410 with the State’s Secretary of State’s Office several weeks ago. However, the Davis city clerk’s office just received it. The form 410 creates a committee for the purposes of raising money and does not in fact indicate that she has filed papers to run for the City Council. An official announcement of her plans will occur in the future.

Mayor Sue Greenwald has expressed concern that the similarity in names could cause confusion among Davis voters.
“In all honesty, having two candidates running in the same election with the same last name could cause confusion to many voters as to which candidate is which… Of course, anyone has the right to run, but I was hoping that Cecilia would either run under her maiden name of Escamilla, by which she was known for many years in Davis political circles, or wait two years until the next election.”
Escamilla-Greenwald responded that “she'd prefer that her last name not become a campaign issue.”
“Everyone knows me as Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald… I don't want to get into a discussion of my name. I got married five years ago, and I've had my husband's name ever since then. I go by, professionally and personally, Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald.”
In looking to the past history of voters we might find that two candidates with the same last name will not effect an election in Davis.

If we look at the 2000 Davis City Council elections, we notice that among the eight candidates on the ballot were Susie Boyd, a sitting Councilmember, and Joe Boyd. Did the same last name cause confusion among voters? It does not look to be an issue. Susie Boyd finished first to become Mayor Pro Tem with a record 9015 votes, while Joe Boyd finished a distant seventh out of eight candidate with 5590.

Source: John Lofland, Davis City Council Elections, 1917-2000. Yolo County Historical Society, 2001, page 9.

Moreover, the names on the ballot will be Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald, labor relations representative and Sue Greenwald, Mayor. It seems from both common sense and historical evidence, that the Mayor’s fears are unfounded. Mayor Greenwald is a well-known and well-respected figure in Davis politics and she will likely have no negative consequences from such a run.

---Rebecca Wu, special to the Vanguard