There is reckoning going on in Davis.

There was a fairly routine situation — a current member of the school board took a new job in a new state and needed to leave her position on the board. The board moved forward in its customary way to appoint a replacement to fill out her term (two and half years remaining).

What makes this situation different is that the departing school board member is a woman of color on a board whose other members are all white. And, the school board chose a white woman to fill the spot, in spite of the fact there were fifteen applicants, many of whom were people of color. And, we’re in the middle of a racial reckoning in this country…awareness awakened as to the institutional racism that exists across the board. There have been numerous uprisings and marches in town over the course of the last couple of months …. and now what may feel like lip service on the part of officials to remedy long standing injustices.

Many feel, rightly so, that this was an easy opportunity to make a more meaningful appointment. Addressing racial injustice must be on the minds of people everywhere. Increasing representation in positions up and down the scale has to be a priority. School boards have to look like and represent the populations they serve.

So.. there are petitions circulating around town. They are calling for an election to fill the vacancy, rather than to let this appointment stand. I believe they need 800 signatures.. don’t quote me on that. But gathering signatures is near-impossible in a time of physical distancing, so people are getting creative.

Our neighbor, Meghan, reached out to her contact list and let folks know that she was going to set up a petition signing station on her front porch. She promised it would be safe. She would witness the signing (a requirement of the process) from the other side of a glass window. There would be hand sanitizer and disinfectant.. or you could bring your own pen.



And, it’s working. Dozens of people are gathering signatures and they just might make their number. Dozens of small efforts, hundreds of people participating.. to correct, in this case, a ridiculous opportunity missed. These actions feed into a larger, national effort to address the monumental challenge of bending society toward fairness and justice.

This is where it starts…