Thanks so much for your interest in my campaign to bring a Local Green New Deal to Yolo County. My name is David Abramson, a near-lifetime resident of Davis, CA. I wear many hats…I am a devoted researcher, student of history, ecology, economics, community & regenerative-design, consensus-building, permaculture, and whatever else I can delve into! I am also a teacher, a small business owner, a musician, a writer, and a member of a community that I love very much.
I’ve been blessed to have a family that has unflinchingly supported my path in life and supporting what has brought fulfillment, meaning, and happiness all while asking good questions and making sure I think everything through. My family and community growing up has taught me the importance of service, compassion, respect, and seeking understanding and I wouldn’t be who I am today without their influence.
My campaign is about bringing a Local Green New Deal to Yolo County, but it owes much to the inspiration I’ve received in my 32 years on this beautiful planet.
My (Condensed) Life Story
I was born at Woodland Hospital on April 30, 1987 to my parents Amy and Dan Abramson, 4 years after my older brother Nate and 6 years before my sister Maya arrived. I lived in Davis for the first 18 years of my life, attending West Davis Elementary (Now Cesar Chavez Elementary) Willett, Emerson Junior High, and Davis High School.
My first job when I was 16 was working with the Alternative Recreation Program in Davis, providing support for young adults with disabilities. After graduating from Davis High School in 2005, I attended UC San Diego where I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Cognitive Science, with a specialization in neuroscience). After working at an imaging lab post-graduation, I decided that while the knowledge I learned in my program was invaluable and the work hugely important, the journey of a lab scientist was not for me.
After working again in programs for kids and adults with disabilities and later at a drug rehab center where I worked various roles first as Resident Assistant and eventually Business Manager, I started my own business in 2011 helping people build their online presence to achieve financial security in doing what they love to do.
Around the same time, the Occupy Wall Street movement was coming into full effect, and I became a regular participant in general assemblies and working groups. It was really my first foray into community activism, the consensus process, and deep inquiry into the root problems that we are facing in our communities.
See the following video if you want a glimpse into to where my head and heart was at in 2012!
Back to Davis
In 2012, I left San Diego and embarked on a road trip around the country with 2 of my best friends, visiting some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and culminating in the Occupy National Gather in Philadelphia for the 4th of July Weekend. I will never forget marching down the streets in songs reverberating off the tall buildings, with man, women and child joining in the marches until we swelled into the thousands. Those moments gave me great hope in our collective power of action and awakening to a better world that is possible.
Upon return, I landed back in Davis unsure of how long I would be here, but feeling reconnected and happy to be back in my home community. 7 years later, I am still here!!
I lived in Village Homes for 5 years between 2013-2018 at Sunwise Cooperative. My time at Sunwise Co-op was an invaluable learning experience, especially with regard to consensus-building, empowerment within community, and ecological stewardship.
Village Homes is still one of the greatest inspirations for designing regenerative communities. Designers all over the world are looking know about Village Homes as an example of what can be done in designing urban and suburban environments. The entire community is designed to store and infiltrate water, preserve ecological zones for wildlife, support open space, support abundant food production, demonstrate energy-efficient, energy-producing, and passive-solar homes, and facilitate community involvement.
Unfortunately, this privilege is not currently accessible to the 95% of people, as Village Homes has the highest cost per square foot to purchase a home. But it is an example that we can replicate everywhere in an accessible way.
The Grass-2-Garden Project
In 2014, I helped form a group that received a Federal CDBG Grant to help low-income homeowners and tenants of an apartment complex in Davis to convert their lawns into to drought-tolerant, food-producing, and pollinator-friendly gardens. I still work with many of the people who participated in this project project, and I see them continuing to be inspiring leaders in climate action and community resilience.
Standing Rock and Standing Rock Divestment Action
In winter of 2016, I heard the call to support the indigenous Water Protectors at Standing Rock and I put out a call for Davis supporters to donate requested supplies. When I awoke and went outside, I was amazed to see my driveway full of food, supplies, and warm clothes. We loaded everything into my RV and drove to Standing Rock where we stayed for about 2 weeks. I worked in a Hoopa Kitchen (aka Grandma’s Kitchen/California Kitchen) where we served 300-500 hot meals a day for Water Protectors. I learned to do dishes and sing in -30 degree weather with our ‘Dishroom Jugband’.
Upon our return, a group of community members formed seeking to divest money from Wells Fargo in the wake of Wells Fargo’s financial support for Dakota Access Pipeline and further calls to divest from a fossil fuel economy. Alongside the Davis City Council, we helped Davis divest $124M from Wells Fargo and transfer our resources into a local bank.
The Ecosystem Restoration Movement
In Fall of 2018, it was time to end the chapter at my beloved Sunwise Co-op. I booked a ticket to Barcelona and participated in the very first Re-Generation Festival in the South of Spain, part of the larger Ecosystem Restoration Camps movement, an effort to restore degraded ecosystems and farmland all around the world.
This moment was a catalyst for me to invest my life in service of regenerative projects, and intense participation in various restoration and regenerative community projects in the last year. I was also introduced to the very important work of researcher and filmmaker John D. Liu, who for the past several decades has been studying and documenting large-scale restoration projects and showing us that it is not only possible, it is being done right now!
His film Green Gold is a testament to what can be done when we work together towards a common goal of healing the land.
While abroad, I got word about the Camp Fire. Even people halfway around the world (at that time, in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt) were asking me about Paradise. I heard from friends who lost their homes and barely escaped with their lives, and heard that many people were not that lucky. And for weeks, my friends and family having to wear masks to protect themselves.
The Camp Fire Restoration Project
When I returned just days after the rains that put an end to the fire, I heard about an effort happening up there to provide relief work up there, I talked with one of the organizers, and decided to go up there. This effort later became known as the Camp Fire Restoration Project, an inspiring show of local empowerment and knowledge-sharing about ecosystem restoration and community resilience. It has been one of the biggest inspirations in drafting of a Local Green New Deal.
After 6 months of being between Davis and Butte County, I returned back home in May of 2019. After visiting unique and special places all around the world, I came back to the Davis Farmers Market and I felt at home. I felt the sense of community here in Davis and in Yolo County, and I knew that my hometown was the place that I needed to be working to heal alongside the community
We have been drafting a Local Green New Deal since May of 2019. The version you see in my platform is just one vision of many that are coming together in this community-collaborative effort. Legislation for a Yolo County Climate Emergency Declaration and Yolo County Local Green New Deal are already being created by our communities. We are working from models in other communities that have been tried and tested, and we are interweaving a web of sharing and regeneration action plans between communities.
We can do so much right here in Yolo County. We can transition our energy systems to clean, renewable energies. We can draw down carbon into the soil. We can support a healthy, thriving, abundant, and accessible food system that supports farmers regenerating the soil and replenishing and cleaning our groundwater. We can become a model for what is needed to address the great challenges of our times.
I am grateful to be on this journey with you and to see the beauty that may arise from our collective efforts.
Our Campaign Needs Your Help!
We need to fill 50 2 hour shifts to be able to get the message out to the people in District 4!! Can you sign up for one of them or otherwise support our campaign?