Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Evans named 2013 Citizen of the Year

AnnEvans1W

Ann Evans shops for fresh produce and flowers at the Davis Farmers Market, a thriving institution for which she played a major role in founding. She is being honored as the 2013 Davis Citizen of the Year. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

By
From page A1 | December 03, 2013 | Leave Comment

The Davis Farmers Market and the Davis Food Co-op, two iconic organizations that have earned this community national recognition at times, may never have existed had it not been for Ann Evans.

A former mayor of Davis and a UC Davis graduate, Evans played a key role on the team that established and grew both entities, literally, from the ground up.

For these accomplishments, and for decades of civic and community service in Davis, Evans has been given the 2013 C.A. Covell Award for Citizen of the Year, an honor that recognizes an individual who’s offered outstanding service to the community in a number of areas over time.

“(Davis) allows people to come in and make it their home and express the best of what humans have to offer,” said Evans, a Berkeley native and a Davis resident of more than 40 years.

“I think we’re blessed here. That’s why I’m so honored to receive this award.”

Evans will receive the award at the Davis Chamber of Commerce’s annual installation dinner in January.

Pay tribute
What: Davis Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner, featuring cocktails, dinner, awards and dancing to live music
When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25
Where: Freeborn Hall, UC Davis
Tickets: Price not yet set; call the Chamber office at 530-756-5160 or watch www.davischamber.com

While Evans has served the community in many capacities — from her time on the City Council, to founding the Davis Farm to School Connection, to serving on the Davis Cemetery District board — perhaps her most acclaimed achievements are helping form and expand the Davis Food Co-op and the Davis Farmers Market.

In 1971, Evans and several friends from UCD took it upon themselves to form a food buyers club, which provided the natural, locally grown produce they preferred. That club was the first iteration of the food co-op.

With a strong belief in sustainable agriculture and natural foods, Evans, who would later earn her bachelor’s degree at UCD in consumer food science, saw the club as the opportunity to bring that organic food source and the general culture of healthy eating to Davis.

“At that time, also, that was a real time of consumer movements, movement around food and agricultural labor,” Evans said. “It wasn’t just me having these ideas, in this society it was a time of home back-to-the-land.”

The interest in affordable, high-quality organic food in Davis allowed the organization to grow rapidly and, naturally, the membership ballooned.

Eventually, after outgrowing two smaller stores, in 1984 the Davis Food Co-op moved into its existing home at 620 G St. By then, Evans, who began working for the state in 1976 — including a stint with the Department of Consumer Affairs, where she initiated changes in state law to advance consumer food cooperatives — had accomplished incorporating the co-op.

The buyers club, which at one point served only 400 members, has evolved into what’s now a full-line grocery store owned and operated by roughly 10,000 households.

“It feels really good (to see the success of the two organizations),” Evans said. “I walk into the Co-op, I buy my food, check out with the grocer, and they don’t know me from anybody, and I love that. You feel full-circle.”

As the Co-op gained popularity in town, so burgeoned the Davis Farmers Market, which was founded in 1976 by Evans and largely the same team who had cultivated the Co-op. After starting with only about three vendors, the market now has dozens of vendors selling to 7,000 people every week.

But it’s no coincidence that both of the former mayor’s seedlings blossomed at the same time. Evans and company knew Davis must have both organizations to sustain a natural and nutritious food market here.

“They grew up together, like brother and sister,” said Evans, who served on the market’s board for seven years. “We were building component parts of a local food system; I don’t think it ever occurred to us to do one without the other.”

The leadership Evans displayed with those organizations, while also effecting change locally and statewide in co-op and farmers market policy, enhanced her prospects for civic service in Davis as well.

After some prodding from community members, including those involved with the Co-op and the Farmers Market, Evans agreed to run for City Council where she would serve for eight years from 1982 to 1990, including a term as mayor from 1984 to 1986.

As an elected official, Evans helped install a set-aside or inclusionary affordable housing policy that obligates developers to build a certain percentage of affordable units into their projects.

“We had the best affordable housing policies in the nation,” Evans said. “We did, we were the model.”

Also while on the council, Evans assisted in establishing the city’s redevelopment agency, which was responsible for funding the development of many community amenities before its dissolution in 2012, including the construction of 2,000 units of affordable housing, the development of Davis Community Housing and construction of the Davis Farmers Market pavilion in Central Park.

In addition to her time on the council, Evans thinks fondly about her service on the Davis Cemetery District board. On that body, Evans ushered in changes with a focus on green practices, such as allowing green burials and enhancing the landscaping there.

But the list of committees and local boards stretches on.

Evans served on Davis Farm to School, the UC Davis Center for Nutrition in Schools Advisory Committee, and the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture Food Access Advisory Committee. The former mayor also served on the Slow Food Yolo Convivium and the Roots of Chance Council.

Meanwhile, in addition to the co-op and the market, Evans also has contributed to the community by founding the Davis Community Housing Corporation, the Davis Rural Land Trust — which is now the Yolo Land Trust — and Slow Food Yolo.

Evans also successfully convinced the school board to pass a parcel tax that included funds for a program to include more fresh, local produce in school cafeterias.

“We passed the first ever parcel tax in the nation that included money for extra purchasing of local produce,” Evans said.

After working for the state for 30 years, Evans continues to advance the local natural food market, as she now runs her own consulting business helping clients such as school districts and nonprofits develop policy for sustainable food and agriculture systems and lunch programs.

Delaine Eastin, a former state superintendent of public instruction and legislator (Evans was her chief of staff), adds that Evans also mentors many local young women and men in leadership skills at the local, state and national levels.

“I live in this community, in part, because of Ann Evans, who I believe to be visionary, compassionate, creative and steadfast,” Eastin wrote in her nomination letter. “She is one of the finest citizens I know and I am proud to nominate her for this award.”

The C.A. Covell Award for Citizen of the Year was created by L.N. Irwin in 1944. The criteria by which candidates are judged include leadership in civic activities, unselfish service to the community, reliability in following through on commitments and involvement in a variety of activities.

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

    Going green at church, school, everywhere

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    UCD to host Global Health Day event

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    .

    Forum

    Dad makes mom look bad

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20