Izzy Lopes Troth
(From a Speech given by Yolo County
Supervisor Dave Rosenberg
at Memorial Services for Davis Citizen Activist Izzy Lopes Troth in May of 2002)
It was a cold day in Davis when I first met Izzy. I didn't know her name at the time. But I soon learned it. And I'll never forget it. I first met Izzy at a City Council meeting. That won't surprise any of you. Izzy would spend a great deal of time at city council meetings over the years. Almost as much time as I did over my 12 years as a member of the city council and mayor of this town.
As I said, it was a cold day in Davis when I first met Izzy. I actually remember it well. It was cold. It was wet. It was drizzly. The council was going to discuss the subject of an overcrossing to South Davis. Izzy was there. I remember it well since Izzy was wearing a short sleeve shirt and shorts. Dressed for the heat. I thought to myself, "Now, that lady must burn a great deal of energy."
Well, I soon learned where that energy was directed.
Over my years on the city council and as mayor, Izzy and I had many . . . discussions. I think many people tuned into public TV to see those . . . discussions. Izzy weighed in on lots of subjects that affected her beloved neighborhood, East Davis, and the city in general. The Pole Line over crossing, Oak Tree Plaza and what markets should or shouldn't go there, the Richards Blvd. undercrossing, Wildhorse.
On Pole Line in particular, we had some real donnybrooks. You see, I was of the mind that we needed that over crossing to South Davis, and on balance, Pole Line Road made the most sense as a location. And Izzy was of the mind that I had lost my mind. In any event, Izzy never held back or minced words. She was a fierce advocate, a formidable adversary, and a great ally. She was Izzy, the public citizen, the community advocate and activist. And when Izzy spoke, all people listened. Because she spoke from the heart, and she told it straight. And agree or disagree with Izzy, she made her points. Ultimately, the Pole Line over crossing was built, but in large measure because of Izzy, major improvements and traffic calming modifications were made to Pole Line Road. Frankly, it's a better project because of Izzy's advocacy.
I remember when Izzy's diabetes took away her ability to get around, and eventually, put her on crutches and then a wheel chair. Her disability never really slowed her down. Izzy still came to the city council meetings and still told us what she thought, and kept us on the straight and narrow.
Ultimately, Izzy had to go to the hospital. And friends of hers called me and told me an interesting story. They said that when they visited her in the hospital, she kept a photograph of me on her nightstand, next to her hospital bed. I since learned that it was my colleague, Lois Wolk, who gave her my photograph. When they asked her "why" she told them that looking at my picture got her so motivated and so ticked off, that she just had to get out of that bed and over to the city council.
As Bob Dunning has said, Izzy was one of a kind. I will miss her. I know everyone here, in their own special, personal way, will miss her too. I speak for every elected official who ever served on the Davis City Council when I say, "thank you, Izzy, we will indeed miss you." You were forceful, but always with a purpose; you spoke often, but always as a voice of your neighborhood; you lectured us, but always as the conscience of the community.
I am going to do something a little unusual. But Izzy, you were special.
I am going to purchase a small plaque, with your name on it, Izzy. It's
going to say: "Dedicated to Izzy Lopes Troth, Citizen of Davis".
I'm going to give that plaque to the City of Davis, and I am going to ask
that it be attached to the back of one of the public seats in the city
council chambers. One of the seats reserved for the members of the public
whom we serve. I want future citizens of Davis who sit in those seats,
20 years from now to see that plaque and ask about Izzy Lopes Troth, Citizen
of Davis. And perhaps some old timer who hangs around City Hall will say, "It
was a cold day in Davis when I first met Izzy."