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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

City of San JoseCandidate for City Council, District 6

Photo of Devora Joan "Dev" Davis

Devora Joan "Dev" Davis

Education Researcher/Businesswoman
20,360 votes (53.85%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • I am running to make sure that the city of San Jose provides the five core services (Police, Fire, Roads, Libraries, and Parks) in fully functional capacities while maintaining fiscally responsible policies.
  • I will make increasing the number of Community Service Officers (CSO's) a top priority to help meet San Jose's public safety needs.
  • I will work hard to streamline the permitting and fees process to enable local businesses to grow and to provide a more welcoming environment for new businesses. I would also like to see the character of established neighborhoods maintained.



Profession:Education Researcher at CREDO, a division of the Stanford University Hoover Institution
Policy Analyst, Research Manager,, Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University (2004–current)
Chair and Vice Chair, City of San José Early Care and Education Commission — Elected position (2014–2016)
President and Board Member, North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association — Elected position (2013–2016)
Data Analyst, Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) (2002–2004)


Stanford University Master's of Arts, Organization, and Leadership Studies (2016)
Stanford University Master's of Public Policy, Public Policy (2016)


Born and raised in North Dakota, Dev moved to California after college to work at the San Francisco based Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) in 2002. After receiving an offer to be a researcher with Stanford’s Center for Education Outcomes (CREDO), Dev and her husband Chris, moved to San Jose in 2004. With formal education as an economist, Dev’s expertise is in data analysis; she is currently finishing up dual master’s degrees at Stanford in Public Policy and Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies. 


Dev has worked hard for her District 6 community. She has been the president and a member of the board of the North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association, where she established the disaster preparedness program. Dev also chaired the City of San Jose’s Early Care and Education Commission. Furthermore, Dev served on the Sherman Oaks Playground Committee where she helped plan and build a new playground. These are just a few of Dev’s outstanding qualifications and accomplishments in the community. For a full list please visit 

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (3)

  • San Jose Chamber of Commerce
  • San Jose Mercury News
  • Silicon Valley Chinese Association

Elected Officials (2)

  • San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo
  • Past San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters (4)

What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?
Answer from Devora Joan "Dev" Davis:

I have over a decade in economic and education research and analytics with CREDO at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University that has shaped my ability to look at a situation with objective analysis. I am also recieving dual master's degrees from Stanford University. Beyond my background in economics and my education, what sets me apart the most is that I am NOT bringing any promises, rather a commitment that I will keep the interests of the voters and the sustainibility of the five core services at the forefront of everything I do. I am bringing the ability to set aside emotional responses to very complex issues and to bring cogent and practical solutions.



San Jose budget difficulties have resulted in unprecedented cuts to staff and services. How will you deal with coming shortfalls? Restoring some of the City services? And, if you think the City needs additional resources, what are your ideas for increasing revenues?
Answer from Devora Joan "Dev" Davis:

I have experienced what it means to have services cut, first-hand. When my children were pre-school aged, we experienced not being able to go to the libraries, or play in parks, because the libraries were closed and the parks were not maintained and their bathrooms were closed. Every day I drive down our District 6 roads and I fear for the integrity of my tires. Cuts to city services affect each resident on a daily basis and in very tangible ways. My priority, through out this campaign, has been to hear from voters what issues are most important to them, and repeatedly I hear "public safety" and "road maintainence" as the to most frequently cited issues. We need to have a fiscally responsible approach to restoring the five core services (police, fire, roads, libraries, and parks) and I have a plan. To read more about my plan go to

Q3. What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?

No answer provided.
Q4. Balancing needs and interests

How would you balance the needs of the City as a whole while also addressing needs of your district as well as those of special groups?

No answer provided.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Why Dev Is Running for San Jose City Council:

As a candidate for San Jose City Council in District 6, Devora “Dev” Davis is bringing the concerns of voters to the forefront of the race.

As a resident of San Jose for 11 years, Dev and her husband Chris, together with their two children, call Willow Glen home.  If elected, Dev will continue to work hard to make District 6 a better home for all residents. San Jose’s budget crisis and extreme service cuts motivated Dev to go back to school and, ultimately, to run for City Council. “Our kids were in preschool during that awful summer when the libraries were closed, the park bathrooms were closed, and the police stopped patrolling our neighborhood. Like many families, we relied on those services and felt the impact when they were gone.”

Dev is running for City Council to make sure that doesn’t happen again. As a councilmember, Dev will focus on finding cost-effective ways to improve public safety, fix our roads, and bring more jobs to San José while keeping our neighborhood services open and operating full time. Dev is setting the priorities where they should be – with the issues that matter to voters.


“I hope you will consider voting for me for City Council District 6 on June 7th. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to make San José an even better place to live. Please call me at (408) 479-4864 if you’d like to discuss local issues or have ideas about possible solutions.”

Position Papers

Lincoln Ave Road Diet


One year after Lincoln Avenue was re‐striped from a four‐lane road to a two‐lane road, traffic count and average speed data was collected. This data matched well with data collected before the re‐striping, so a difference‐in‐differences regression analysis was possible. Over 80 percent of the residential streets experienced a statistically significant change in average traffic counts, average speeds, or both as a result of the road diet. Traffic calming measures should be investigated for these impacted residential streets if the road diet is made permanent.

Findings from the DOT report – including information about the three community meetings that were held on this topic from November 2014 to June 2015 – as well as entries opposing and supporting the road diet on two different petitions indicate that public perception is more positive than negative about the road diet. In addition, the DOT report showed that businesses on Lincoln Avenue have mostly held steady or improved from 2014 to 2015. Thus, the road diet does not appear to have negatively impacted the Lincoln Avenue economic activity.

Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen was re‐striped from a four‐lane road to a two‐lane road with a center turn lane and two bike lanes in March 2015. This “road diet” was implemented as a trial lane configuration with data collected before and after the re‐striping to determine the impacts on automotive, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic on Lincoln Avenue. Vehicle traffic impacts on more than two dozen streets in the vicinity of Lincoln Avenue were also studied.

In Spring 2015, along with my Stanford colleagues Misa Fujisaki, Miho Tanaka, and Lucy Xiao, I conducted a social cost‐benefit analysis of the road diet. Unfortunately, we were unable to conclude whether the net effect of the road diet was positive or negative due to incomplete data.1 Since then, the City of San Jose has acted upon at least two of our four recommendations for additional data: Gather and analyze pre‐ and post‐diet data on business sales receipts, and survey area residents to gauge perceptions about livability before and after the road diet. The San Jose Department of Transportation (DOT) staff report contains information about the economic impacts of the road diet as well as public perception.2 In addition, two petitions have been started by community members – one supporting the road diet and the other opposed to it. The supporting petition has 1,449 entries, while the opposing petition has 814 entries. Given the DOT staff report as well as the petition numbers, public perception seems to be more positive than negative about the road diet. The DOT report indicated that businesses on Lincoln Avenue have mostly held steady or improved from 2014 to 2015. Thus, the road diet does not appear to have negatively impacted the Lincoln Avenue economic activity.

As part of the social cost‐benefit analysis of the road diet in 2015, we conducted a statistical analysis of the then‐available pre‐ and post‐diet traffic counts and speeds. The pre‐diet data was collected in February 2015, and the post‐diet data was collected in April 2015. New post‐diet traffic count and speed data were collected in February 2016 and has been made publicly available. This new post‐diet data has two advantages over the April 2015 data. First, the 2016 data was collected in the same month as the pre‐diet data. Since early February – unlike April – is without holidays or school breaks, a new February‐to‐February analysis will provide a more appropriate comparison than the previous February‐to‐April analysis. The second advantage to having February 2016 data is that traffic patterns have had ample time to adjust to the re‐striping and solidify into new patterns. In other words, the February 2016 data is more likely to reflect the true impact of the road diet on long‐term traffic patterns than the April 2015 data.

As with the data from 2015, the traffic counts and speed data was collected from traffic counter tubes laid across Lincoln Avenue and other streets in the vicinity in 46 locations. Of those, 41 locations matched with the pre‐diet data; there are two days of pre‐diet and two days of post‐diet data in these locations. Both count and speed data was collected every half hour. The combined pre‐ and post‐diet data contained 7,869 observations. The average speed data contained 7,440 observations.3

Because of the large number of available observations, a difference‐in‐differences regression analysis was able to be conducted. This analysis was done to determine the road diet’s impact on traffic counts and average speed on Lincoln Avenue and the nearby residential roads.4 Any confounding factors in the data, such as an overall increase in traffic due to a better economy in 2016 than in 2015, are controlled using this method. To conduct the analysis, the traffic counter locations were divided into three categories: “Lincoln Avenue,” “residential,” and “other.” Five of the 41 locations were on Lincoln Avenue, 29 were residential locations, and seven locations were placed in the third category. As with the 2015 analysis, the “other” category is populated with streets that have four lanes of traffic and a speed limit above 25 mph and are primarily business or otherwise non‐residential roads. A map of all the traffic counter locations is in the Appendix, courtesy of C Davis Designs.

Traffic Counts
Prior to the road diet implementation, 273 vehicles traveled on Lincoln Avenue every 30 minutes on average. Although the 2015 pre‐ and post‐diet analysis suggested a significant decrease in the number of vehicles, the 2016 regression results did not. When February 2015 and February 2016 traffic counts were compared, the results showed no statistically significant change in the average number of vehicles after the lanes were re‐striped. Before the road diet, an average of 68 cars traveled through the typical residential street near Lincoln Avenue every half hour. As of February 2016, the regression results showed that the average number of vehicles on residential streets did not significantly change after the road diet was implemented. However, this is an average result of all the residential streets. A street‐by‐street analysis revealed that eight residential streets had a statistically significant increase in the number of vehicles every 30 minutes from pre‐ to post‐diet. Meanwhile, sixteen streets had a statistically significant decrease in the average number of vehicles. Average vehicle counts were unchanged in only five of the 29 residential streets. Table 1 below lists the streets with statistically significant changes in traffic counts.

Table 1. Streets with Significant Traffic Count Changes After the Road Diet Implementation.

Bird Ave on 1000 block
Bird Ave on 1200 block
Coe Ave
Hicks Ave on 1400 block
Hicks Ave on 1900 block
Pine Ave on 900 block
Pine Ave on 1100 block
Willow St

  Decrease Blewett Ave Brace Ave California Ave Curtiss Ave El Abra Way Garfield Ave Glen Eyrie Ave Iris Ct Kotenburg Ave
Lester Ave
Malone Rd on 1100 block
Michigan Ave Newport Ave on 1800 block
Paula St
Settle Ave
Willow Glen Way


  Traffic Speed
Before the road diet, the average speed each half hour on Lincoln Avenue was 31.9 miles per hour (mph). As of February 2016, the average speed on Lincoln Avenue was statistically similar to the pre‐diet measurements. On nearby residential streets, the average speed was 24.5 mph every half hour before the road diet. There were no significant changes in average speed on these streets overall as of February 2016. As with the traffic count analysis, the road diet’s impact on individual residential streets varied. Only two residential streets had no statistically significant change in average half‐hourly traffic speeds from February 2015 to February 2016. Over that same time period, 13 residential streets had significant increases in average traffic speeds, while 14 residential streets had statistically significant decreases in average traffic speeds. The streets with significant changes from pre‐ to post‐diet are listed in Table 2 below.


  Table 2. Streets with Significant Traffic Speed Changes After the Road Diet Implementation.


Bird Ave on 1000 block
Bird Ave on 1200 block
Camino Ramon
Coe Ave
Cottle Ave
Hicks Ave on 1400 block
Hicks Ave on 1900 block
Malone Rd on 1000 block
Newport Ave on 1500 block
Pedro St
Pine Ave on 900 block
Pine Ave on 1100 block
Willow St


  Decrease Blewett Ave Brace Ave California Ave
Curtiss Ave
El Abra Way Garfield Ave Glen Eyrie Ave Iris Ct Lester Ave
Malone Rd on 1100 block Michigan Ave Newport Ave on 1800 block Settle Ave
Willow Glen Way


Although residential streets on average did not experience statistically significant impacts in either traffic counts or speed after the Lincoln Avenue re‐striping, some residential streets were very impacted by the change. For example, all eight residential streets with a statistically significant increase in traffic counts also experienced a statistically significant increase in average traffic speed after the road diet was implemented. This is likely a doubly negative impact from the residents’ viewpoint. On the positive side, 13 residential streets experienced a significant decrease in both traffic counts and average speed following the implementation of the road diet.If the road diet is made permanent on Lincoln Avenue, traffic calming measures should likely be taken on the eight residential streets that experienced the most severe negative impacts from the lane re‐striping. A social cost‐benefit analysis calculation of the road diet would need to include any costs from these traffic calming measures in order to determine the net effect.


2 3 There are fewer traffic speed observations than traffic count observations, because average speed cannot be calculated for any half‐hour increments with zero vehicles on the road.
4 This is the same analysis conducted in Spring 2015 with the following equation for the regression: Y = BL + OR + pD + a(L * D) + t(R * D) + yT + E where L = average traffic counts on Lincoln before the road diet; R = average traffic counts on residential streets before the road diet;D = average traffic counts during the road diet on all streets; and T = controls for time fixed effects. The same controls were used for our analysis of the road diet’s impact on average traffic speeds.



Dev sent an e-mail to all councilmembers including the above report. That e-mail reads as follows:

Dear Councilmember Oliverio,


As you may recall, some colleagues and I conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the Lincoln Avenue road diet about a year ago and sent you a memo about those findings. The attached memo updates the traffic portion of that analysis using the traffic data collected in February 2016.

Given the data from both memos as well as the data reported by the DOT, I support making the Lincoln Avenue road diet permanent. There were three public meetings on this topic, which gave ample opportunity for community input and feedback into the process. There are also two petitions about the Lincoln Avenue road diet. On balance, public perception of the road diet appears to be positive. In addition, biking and walking on Lincoln have increased, and business has held steady or increased since the lane reconfiguration was implemented. Any negative traffic impacts can — and should — be mitigated, which the DOT has committed to doing. For all these reasons, I urge you to make the current lane configuration on Lincoln Avenue permanent.


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