Presentation and talk before the PBE on March 21, 2012
G Richard Yamagata had the pleasure of introducting Stephen Souza. Stephen is a member of the Progressive Business Exchange and a long time friend of G Richard's. They have both worked on many campaigns, including Jerry Kaneko's campaigns for City Council.
Stephen came to Davis in 1979 as a botany major at UC Davis. He has started and sold many businesses since his first business venture in 1975. He has strong roots in the Davis business community and understands all of the challenges facing businessmen to day. He is one of the founding members of the Progressive Business Exchange.
When Stephen came to Davis in 1979, he never envisioned the course his life would take as he became more and more rooted to the community of Davis. He has been on a large number of boards serving in leadership positions, starting in 1985, like DCTV, Quail Ridge Nature Conservancy, Davis Democratic Club, Amnesty International and many others. Starting in 1988, he started serving on City of Davis Commissions, like the Tree Commission, the Human Relations Commission, the Budget and Finance Commission and others. He has served on numerous board and commissions for Yolo County. Through all of this service, the motivating goal for Stephen has been to do everything he can to make the quality of life better in the City of Davis. The next goal that motivates Stephen is to give back to the community. Davis has been home to Stephen and his wife Robin, and it has been very good to him, nurturing his businesses and giving him a wealth of friends.
Stephen feels that he has accomplished a lot in the 8 years on the council, but stressed that no one person can do the work alone. You need your colleagues and Stephen is able to work with them to get things done. Stephen said that some people may take pride in being the only nay vote, but he believes that does not accomplish a thing.
Stephen pointed to the high tech companies Mori Seiki with 150 new jobs and Digital Technology Laboratory with 175 jobs settling in Davis as one of the accomplishments of his colleagues and his tenure on the Davis City Council. This is the largest influx of jobs in this region in recent years.
Stephen pointed to the 8 consecutive balanced budgets with him on the council. There are very few cities that can claim this in the current economic atmosphere with decreased State and local funding to cities. And, this was accomplished with a 15% reserve kept back each year.
His three key points in his campaign are Green, Safe, Smart. To this end, he wants to replace all of the Davis City street lights with LED lights. They run much cooler, using less energy, but putting out the same amount of light as halogen street lamps. The second thing he wants to accomplish is to make Davis energy self-sufficient. This will become more and more important as our oil resources dwindle in the coming years. To this end, he wants to develop 3 solar energy farms around Davis. Stephen talked about a 20 megawatt farm and an 80 megawatt farm that are being developed. Davis needs one more site to become energy self-sufficient.
Stephen is planning for the future and that future needs a steady source of water for all of our needs. To that end, Stephen wants to finish his career by cutting the ribbon on the new water treatment facility. That will be, what he believes, the fitting culmination of his service to the Community of Davis. The completion of that facility and the securing of the surface water rights will ensure the future of Davis. Stephen has been instrumental in acquiring 20 million dollars in grants to build an intake facility on the Sacramento River to provide a reliable source of surface water for the City of Davis by 2017.
The Safe part of his campaign is support for Fire and Police. The need for these services is not going away. Stephen points at the City of Davis and its 4000 acres of open space, parks and easements, the newest of these is the Howlett Ranch, which is out beyond the Mace road bend. This purchase was funded by money from all types of sources.
The Smart part of his campaign is the building of a research hub in Davis, where the technologies developed at UCDavis can be used to create jobs and city revenues. There are millions of dollars in ideas being created every day on the UCDavis campus and Stephen and Rochelle Swanson are trying to create a research hub to harness these ideas and these technologies.
The last thing that Stephen talked about is the need for a parking structure for the downtown. He believes that such a structure needs to be a multi-use facility. He is committed to making this a reality in the next four years. Stephen states that he needs three votes to move the City of Davis forward on this project and he believes that he has the votes once he is re-elected.
For more about Stephen, his bio, and Green, Safe, Smart, visit
He owns all of them;^)
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