We met Teddy Davis the other day on Larchmont over coffee and scones.
A candidate with local roots. Davis grew up here in Los Angeles’ Council District 4. He went to Larchmont for his dental, orthodontic, and eye appointments. He even attended Cotillion at the Ebell, remembering with a smile, “white gloves and sweaty palms.”
In his mid-thirties, Davis is personable and energetic. An attorney by training, he has a boyish look that belies a wide range of experience in politics and government over the past fifteen years. He has worked in Washington, D.C., New York, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, and his experience runs the gamut, from work on national and state issues like the environment and energy, to citywide issues like traffic and jobs, and local neighborhood issues like zoning and street cleanup.
Davis moved back to Los Angeles in August 2013 after accepting a fellowship at USC’s Unruh Institute of Politics. In September 2013, he was the first to file for the Council District 4 race.
“I wanted to be first in the race because, to do the job well, I need to have conversations with many people, block by block. Then you hear, not just from the most organized groups, but also others,” he explained.
When asked about his leadership style, he responded, “I believe in a consensus model that gets people taking and finding common ground in order to move things forward.” He elaborated with an example from when he worked in D.C. “When leaders brought together diverse groups and fostered a healthy dialogue, the various groups started to see themselves as more connected and developed a greater sense of a common goal.”
He put this to work here in Los Angeles when he worked on the 2011 “Yes on Measure L” effort to keep libraries open on Mondays. “Even though I didn’t represent the city librarians, I thought that everyone would benefit,” he commented.
We were impressed by Davis’s understanding of how core, citywide transportation priorities can have an impact on the district. He noted that, if done right, they can both enhance the community and reduce traffic. “For example, bigger developments need to be geared toward transit lines. Also, a system of better neighborhood transit, e.g. ‘Dashes’ can connect users to the major lines,” he explained.
When asked about difficult zoning issues in the Larchmont area, Davis responded, “There is a need for clarity in zoning and consistent enforcement. Outdated zoning needs to be revamped and all zoning enforced consistently.”
As we left the terrace and wished him luck, Davis commented that “the Council member needs to be accessible and to know how to listen well, talking to people one on one and trying to find shared interests.” Davis certainly is practicing this already. We’ve seen him doing the rounds at the Larchmont Fair and participating in last months’ “What’s Next for Larchmont?” walk along the boulevard.