Redlands Councilwoman Welcomes First Child

Redlands Councilwoman Denise Davis is now a mother, having given birth to a boy in March.
Davis has been a member of the city council since 2018, when she was the top vote-getter among five candidates to represent Redlands District 1. Last year, she was reelected.
Davis said she was reluctant to go into specific detail about her son, saying, “I would like to keep my private life from becoming a focus, but I think it is important for people to know I had a baby.”
Davis acknowledged that traditionally, women of childbearing age have not been widely involved in politics generally in Southern California and, further, that in Redlands over most of its history going back to its incorporation in 1888, women only sporadically participated in the political process, with just three distaff mayors in 135 years. In both ways, Davis indicated, she stands out.
But she is not breaking any new ground, she said, pointing out that in the last few years, the tenor of politics in the Inland Empire has begun to change.
“Eastvale Councilwoman Jocelyn Yow, Corona Councilwoman Jacque Casillas, Palm Springs Councilwoman Christy Holstege and Riverside City Councilwoman Erin Edwards all have had babies while they are in office over the last few years,” Davis said. “Norco City Councilwoman Katherine Aleman had hers before she was elected, but she has four very young children, all, I think, under the age of eight. I know all of these woman personally. They’re my friends. Seeing them do it, balancing being in office and being mothers, gave me the confidence that I could, too.”
Women, locally have come into their own politically in the last decade, Davis said.
“I think society is undergoing a shift, with more women in office and more women in office having babies,” Davis said. “Post 2016, you have seen younger women getting involved politically and that is because they are being encouraged to run for office.”
Asked by the Sentinel if being a mother has changed her as a politician, Davis said she believes it has.
“Having a baby made me think about what mothers who support families are going through or just about families in general,” she said. “You work to support a baby and you find out what it takes for healthcare and other considerations. I needed to add my baby to my health coverage with the city and as I was filling out the forms, I could see how much more that is going to cost. It makes you more empathetic with the situation working families find themselves in.”
Practical issues aside, Davis said, being a new mother is enlivening.
“I am so excited to be a mother and have a child,” she said. “I am looking forward to raising him here in Redlands.”

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