Opinion: An Open Letter to Councilman Davis From STRONG

By Linda Valles To Councilman Gary Davis: On March 28, the Elk Grove City Council heard from several senior citizens who are residents...

By Linda Valles

To Councilman Gary Davis:

On March 28, the Elk Grove City Council heard from several senior citizens who are residents of Renwick Square, a St. Anton Partners property. Their problems with secondhand smoke were compelling. The testimonies included new residents developing serious health problems and longtime residents whose health issues are being exacerbated by the killer smoke. Have their pleas fallen on deaf ears?

Do you care, Mr. Davis?

Elk Grove promotes itself as a HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) City. You have fought for a ban on liquor stores in Elk Grove, citing an oversaturation within our city limits. So why are you dragging your feet about cigarette smoke? Smoking is certainly not healthy and there is definitely an "oversaturation" of deadly fumes infiltrating the apartments of seniors at Renwick every second.

There is a meeting on April 18 at Renwick Square which you are scheduled to attend. As the Council suggested, is this meeting a collaborative effort between St. Anton and the residents to develop a new policy regarding smoking? Or, has the policy already been established without the input of the residents and this is purely a "good press" opportunity?

What concerns me, Councilman Davis, is that St. Anton has been a contributor to your campaign fund. Are you a neutral party with sincere intentions or are you sympathetic with the interests of the deep pockets who have thrown money your way? Please tell me that your political ambitions are not more important than the health and welfare of the people you have sworn to serve.

STRONG (Senior Tenant Rights Our Number's Growing) is keeping an eye on this issue, the outcome of the April 18 meeting and you. Seniors, and there are a lot of us, are informed and we vote. Not all of us have dementia and we will not forget which politicians are treating us with dignity and respect and which are not. We will mobilize if we are ignored, dismissed or dissatisfied.

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Anonymous said...

As Assembylman Darrell Steinberg's former staffer, former Natomas school board member, former Sac State student president, long- running City Councilmember and now a Mayoral candidate, you would be smoking those funny kind of cigarettes if you think he is going to approach this issue in any other way than "political"--this is all the guy has done his whole adult life--politics.

Now ask yourself...how does a politician think? They immediately look for a compromise position--how can both sides walk away and feel like they scored a victory; take credit for success, avoid defeat and don't take a hardline position on ANYTHING unless you know you can win; always view major decisions as a political cost-benefit analysis; and view contributions as quid-pro-quo business dealings--the larger the contribution, the bigger the trap you may have cornered yourself into.

Good luck STRONG, you will need it until you get big enough to wield some serious political clout (i.e. Sheldon rural homeowners, Chamber of Commerce, BIA, etc.). Until then, you are just another bump in the road along someone's long political journey.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I find this threating letter very unfortunate as Mr. Davis is most likely your srongest advocate regarding anti-smoking. In fact, I believe all of the council members were in your ballpark when this came before them. You must be aware this did not happen overnight and the fix won't likely happen overnight.

There is an April meeting planned and it seems it would be in Strong's best interest to stand "strong" with him instead of publicly blasting someone who is most likely your best advocate in this arena.

Believe me, I am not one of Mr. Davis' strongest supporters, but I do believe this statement was somewhat premature. There are many problems facing this city of ours and you are just a tiny speck on that map......so be patient and see what happens at this meeting. You want the community behind you and IMO this is not the way to accomplish that.

Anonymous said...

I do wonder why STRONG is singling out Gary Davis here. It is just because he is running for Mayor?

A little research will tell you that other council members have been far more supportive of St. Anton Partners; jumping on the microphone to approve anything and everything they have wanted. And most have received far more money from St. Anton than Davis as well.

At the last council meeting, it was Davis who held St. Anton Partners very much accountable for a current project.

Davis has a long history of being a vocal anti-smoking advocate. In fact, he lobbied that the current smoking ordinance be much stronger but his fellow council members vetoed him.

But kudos to Davis for his public reply; his peers wouldn’t have bothered.

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

I can concur with the above comment.

As for the first comment, yes Mr. Davis has political ambition. But is that a bad thing?

One of the problems with term limits is that just at about the time a politician becomes skilled in the process, they are booted out. Just look at what happens downtown.

If an elected official does a poor job, it is up to us voters to remove them.

If you look at Mr. Cooper, he has grown in his role in the city council and is much better than he was 12 years ago. That long term experience helps. If Mr. Cooper does a poor job or fails to learn from his experience, we as voters can remove him.

Don't forget Dan Briggs, Rick Soares and Mike Leary failed to grow and respond so we booted them.

Anonymous said...

Any time their are votes or money involed you will find Mr Davis their. This also applies to Mr Detrick.

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