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Friday, February 15, 2008

Davis Democrats United Around the Concept of Change

Last night the Davis Democratic Club came together for their annual Valentine's Day potluck. While they may not agree on who should be the Presidential nominee from the party as the close battle between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama moves on past Super Tuesday, what is clear is that the leaders of the local party are united around the concept of change from the current leadership under George W. Bush.

Assemblywoman Los Wolk told the crowd that she was
"incredibly excited that we were going to take back the White House."
She continued,
"Throughout the state, the number of Democrats that came out and voted exceeded the number of Republicans by three-to-one. There are just not enough voting machines, it is just unbelievable what is going on."
Assemblywoman Wolk told the crowd that in March she would formally kick her race to succeed Senator Mike Machado for the 5th Senate District of California. It will be a tough battle against right wing Republican Greg Aghazarian. She will be spending much of her time campaigning in San Joaquin County.

Davis Mayor Sue Greenwald acknowledged that the Presidential Primaries have been so exciting that it's been hard to concentrate on her own reelection campaign.

Supervisor Mariko Yamada, candidate for the 8th Assembly District joked,
"Today is the only day when red is my favorite color, the rest of the year blue is my favorite color."
She pointed out that there were 79 days until the June 3, 2008 election in which she would faced West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.

The West Sacramento Mayor Cabaldon remarked,
"Watching over the last couple of months this election, I heard Bill Clinton say just the other day 'looking at the faces of young people,' well looking at the faces of people of all ages over the last several months about our Democratic Primary, for the last couple of years over our ability to actually do something about big problems like global warming, we're starting to believe in change and possibility again and young people are certainly the best example of that, but all of us are doing that. We can't blow this one. It's too easy to take that for granted. In November if we don't have that same sense of hope and possibility and energy and optimism, we will lose and we know what another four or eight years of a Republican in the White House will mean."
Jim Provenza, former Davis School Board President and current candidate for the 4th Supervisorial District remarked:
"I'm very excited about what's going on in the Presidential race as everyone else is, but one of the things that really moves me is that both candidates for President have really called on all of us to be part of change. It's not just electing someone, having them go to office, and then go back to what we do in our daily lives and expect everything to get better. Instead they are both talking about a movement that will involve all of us as agents of change on a national, state, and local level and that's really what essential because we elect our leaders to take us in that direction but it is all of us that will accomplish these things."
Mr. Provenza then hearkened back to John F. Kennedy's call to arms about public service asking the nation to sacrifice in order to accomplish collective goals.

Jim Provenza's opponent, John Ferrera who works in the State Senate for Senator Denise Ducheney.
"We share a lot of the same values. My wife Anna and I for instance grew up in families that were very active in their communities."
He remarked that Democrats in the legislature are united for the first time in many years.
"Something that is so different this year is that for the first time in many years... Assembly Democrats and Senate Democrats are actually on the same page, working together because we know, that beyond the competition between house, beyond the competition between Assemblymembers vying for the next Senate seat or Senate members vying for the next constitutional office what is absolutely critical this year is that Democrats stick together. Otherwise we will have a Governor's budget where we trick poor people into having to file for their health care often enough that the fall out of eligibility that just isn't how we save money. We will raise college fees again. We will cut off aid to children of working parents because they come up a percent short of a federal work requirement... That's not the kind of California that we want."
In the coming weeks and months many of the people in the room last night will be working against each other. Davis is largely a Democratic town. All of the candidates for non-partisan offices such as the County Supervisor and City Council will be Democrats. However on this night at least people saw beyond those battles to the big picture. The fight at the national level, the fight at the state level, and the fight at the local level for the kinds of Democratic, big D values that unite us in common purpose.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting