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Saving California Communities: Starting Here!

May 16 Community Workshop Addresses Reform of State Budget Process. Also published in The Enterprise as op-ed with the title "Community workshop will address budget reform" on May 10, 2009.


Click here to see program details


Welcome to Davis SignOn May 19, California voters will cast their ballots on an array of initiatives designed to balance this year's state budget and change aspects of the budget process.  We hope each Davis voter studies these initiatives and casts a ballot on Tuesday.  Regardless of the outcome of this election, our state will continue to face frightening deficits and challenging economic conditions.

We believe these economic woes simply highlight and amplify fundamental systemic problems in our government.  The underlying causes for ongoing stalemates at the state level go beyond intransigence of factions and ideological differences.  The best intentions are hampered by fundamental flaws in our budgeting process that have built up over the decades.

We are increasingly concerned that the impact of this dysfunction directly threatens the fabric of our community.  The results are described almost daily in the Davis Enterprise.  One day we read about drastic cuts in community health services for children, the next, large reductions in public safety. 

For the past two years, our schools have experienced dramatic funding reductions and we have come together as a community to protect valued educational programs – only to face further cuts to our schools.  Yolo County curtailed or is eliminating a tremendously high proportion of "safety-net" services.  Non-profit agencies have not been paid for basic services provided.  Businesses suffer from fewer purchases.  No doubt these impacts are exacerbated by the economy, but there is something more afoot.

How did we get to this point in a state with boundless energy and creativity? Are lawmakers to blame or has the system simply become unworkable?  Must we accept this situation or can we do something about it?  What reform ideas are under discussion and what needs to happen to make them reality?  How do we start?

These questions and others will be considered at Saving California Communities: Starting Here! next Saturday, May 16, from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm at the UC Davis Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.

This event is hosted by our recently formed coalition, Saving California Communities.  We bring together county, city, and school elected representatives and a wide cross section of community members.  We are united voices for strong, healthy communities in Davis and throughout California.  We support clear alignment of resources, authority and accountability.  We seek stable revenue for services that respond to the needs of all Californians and we believe that only public engagement in the problems of our day will generate the momentum needed for meaningful reform.

Our goals for Starting Here! are to increase awareness of the local impacts of state dysfunction; to build knowledge and understanding of reform efforts underway; and to explore opportunities for the Yolo County and Davis communities to join these efforts.  To those ends, we have convened an outstanding slate of local, regional and state speakers, with opportunity for the audience to participate in determining next steps.

This event is free and open to the public.  Breakfast and lunch are included and an RSVP is required.  For more information, contact, visit, or call (530)792-1297.

In his Inauguration speech President Obama issued a civic call to arms:

"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task."


Set aside apathy and anger.  Check your skepticism at the door.  We invite you to join us in this new Era of Responsibility to help create the government we deserve.  Where does change begin?  It STARTS HERE!

Bob Agee, Jan Agee, Sheila Allen, Ruth Asmundson, Davis Campbell, Delaine Eastin, Lucas Frerichs, Jackie Hausman, John Hills, Michael Hulsizer, Sara Husby, Hiram Jackson, Charlotte Krovoza, Susan Lovenburg, Karen Mo, Don Palm, Gavin Payne, Jim Provenza, Richard Reed, Don Saylor, Helen Thomson, Kirk Trost, Jay Ziegler

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.