Trailblazing Redlands councilwoman works to make politics, cities more inclusive – San Bernardino Sun

Talking to Redlands City Councilwoman Denise Davis on the downtown pedestrian street felt like the whole world stopped to say “hello”.

Near a rainbow mural of pedestrians, she chatted with a woman pushing a stroller for several minutes. Across the street near City Hall, others just waved or called as they passed.

Making people feel like they can participate in the political process is one of the reasons Davis is so enamored, and perhaps this is just an extension of that.

Redlands City Council Denise Davis, the city’s first openly LGBTQ council member, stands near Redlands Hall on Thursday, December 16, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

As director of the Women’s Resource Center at UC Riverside, she created the Steadfast Women’s Political Engagement Conference and a podcast with the same title.

As an elected official, she is considered her greatest achievement for the city plans to open a shelter for the homeless, to start a student leadership academy at City Hall, decisions made as part of the COVID-19 subcommittee to help local businesses and champion program to support electricity and water bills and that the art of integration in the crosswalk.

She introduced some of the city’s first manifestos on topics like Transgender Remembrance Day, Pride month and International Non-binary Day. She also introduces statements for Dark History Month and Women’s History Month, and possibly the first Sexual Assault Awareness manifesto.

Like a city first openly LGBTQ board member she said she felt it was her duty to bring these issues to the fore.

“I take that responsibility seriously and want to create an important path for others to follow,” she said. “I want people to see this as a space that can and should be open to everyone.”

Davis grew up in Las Vegas, and came to the Redlands in 2002 to attend the University of Redlands. She has spent her career working in higher education and in 2018 was elected to the council as the first and only person to run for her political office.

“I always knew I wanted one job, or in this case two jobs, where I could make a difference,” she said.

https://www.sbsun.com/2021/12/28/trailblazing-redlands-councilwoman-works-to-make-politics-city-more-inclusive/ Trailblazing Redlands councilwoman works to make politics, cities more inclusive – San Bernardino Sun

Curtis Crabtree

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