After lengthy negotiations, the city reached an agreement with the Davis Youth Softball Association and two civil rights nonprofit organizations to level the playing field in youth community athletics by providing opportunities and equal benefits to female athletes.
The settlement announced Thursday relates to allegations of non-compliance with a state law known as the “Fair Play in Community Sports Act,” which requires gender equity in youth sports programs, including those operated by parks and recreation districts.
Under the agreement, the City of Davis will make improvements to softball-focused facilities, building shaded dugouts, providing quality spectator seating, and installing portable toilets and drinking water stations at proximity. Those improvements are already underway, the city said.
DYSA will work with the city to implement additional facility improvements for women’s softball, such as improved storage, nighttime lighting, and the installation of concession stands.
The Davis Youth Softball Association is a nonprofit recreational and competitive fastball league for youth ages 4 1/2 to 16, with nearly 300 girls participating in Davis during the spring, summer and fall.
“DYSA is thrilled to have reached this milestone in recognizing the need for gender equality for our youth softball league,” said DYSA President Jennifer Martinez. “We have been officially working on this file since October 2020 and are extremely grateful to our civil rights attorneys and Jennifer Licciani, Stephanie Haro, Carson Wilcox, David Schapira, Steve DeHoff and the DYSA Board of Directors for their efforts to bring this about. to a conclusion we were hoping for.
DYSA was represented in negotiations with the city by Legal Aid at Work and the California Women’s Law Center.
“We are thrilled that the City of Davis is taking all necessary steps under the law to ensure that its young people are treated equally and that girls have the same opportunities to participate in community sports as boys,” said Harriet Fischer, a California attorney. Women’s Rights Center. “This agreement demonstrates that the City of Davis prioritizes gender equity under the law and is committed to providing an equal athletic environment for its young girls.”
Under other terms of the settlement, the city will also collect data on levels of participation in competitive sports for young people that the city operates or hosts to ensure that every girl has an equal opportunity to play and track her milestones to assess. programs and promote gender equity.
Specifically, the city will monitor funding; equipment; training and match times; opportunities to receive coaching; coaching assignments and remuneration of coaches; access to venues and facilities for matches and training; seasonal sports selection; advertising; and officiating by qualified and certified umpires, referees or judges.
“Equity and inclusion are essential to the well-being of our community,” said council member Gloria Partida. “We have taken the time of these discussions to understand the underlying concerns raised by the Davis Youth Softball Association and believe that the changes we are implementing will benefit the Davis girls.”
Mayor Lucas Frerichs said, The city recognizes the need for improvements that will improve and expand the playing opportunities for girls in youth softball in Davis.
“We take the issue of equity for all of our residents seriously – equity and access to services and activities are key principles guiding the decisions of our City Council.”
For more information on the settlement, visit: https://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/parks-and-community-services/forms-and-publications.
— Contact Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy.