Supporting Our Neighborhoods
We Need Strong Neighborhoods
Our diverse and unique neighborhoods are fundamental to what makes Sacramento special. I bought my first home in Tahoe Park, where my wife Julie and I started our family. When Tahoe Park was having trouble with gangs and crime, I joined with my neighbors to create the Tahoe Park Neighborhood Association, and they elected me as the first President. That’s how I started in public service. I understand the attention our neighborhoods need to flourish and thrive. Strong neighborhoods are essential to the quality of life we enjoy in Sacramento.
Making Our Neighborhoods A Priority
In the 1990’s, the City Council created the Neighborhood Services Department as a central place for neighborhood services, prioritizing issues and working closely with neighborhood leaders. During the recession, city budget cuts hit our neighborhoods hard and the Neighborhood Services Department was pared down, becoming a division under the Parks and Recreation Department.
As our economy continues to improve, we need to prioritize the restoration of the Neighborhood Services Department. As Mayor, I want to grow our city’s economic base so that we have funding in our budget for neighborhood programs and services:
- Restore the Neighborhood Services Department to improve responsiveness for our residents on neighborhood issues and city news.
- Restore maintenance for neighborhood parks.
- Expand youth recreation programs and support youth sports.
- Reduce fees for renting community centers and cover liability insurance to encourage use.
- Support arts programs in every neighborhood.
- Develop a program to improve sustainability and walkability in every neighborhood, including tree planting, sidewalks, community and school gardens.
Sacramento should be on the forefront of using technology to make government more responsive, efficient, and accountable. Right now, if a citizen snaps a photo of a crime in progress on their cell phone, there is no capacity for that person to quickly upload and share the images with Sacramento’s Police Department. This is unacceptable. We must modernize our technology and make it easier for residents to access public safety and other city services.
As Mayor, I will have a sharp focus on utilizing technology to improve neighborhood services. I will prioritize opening up government data to the public to ensure transparency, accessibility and a better exchange of information between residents and City Hall.
Taking City Government to the Neighborhoods
In the past, Sacramento’s Mayor led neighborhood bus tours for the City Council members, city staff and neighborhood leaders. These tours helped everyone to better understand what was going on outside their own council districts and neighborhoods. People learned about some of our most challenged communities, neighborhoods that were having success with economic development and practices that were working to combat blight, improve parks and enhance services. As Mayor, I am going to schedule neighborhood bus tours as a way to expand everyone’s understanding about all the neighborhoods in our city while at the same time creating a forum for us to work together.
We can and should improve neighborhood services, including community input and engagement. As Mayor, I will meet with neighborhood organizations throughout the city and listen to what they need. I will convene an annual convention of neighborhood associations to discuss city services, programs, the city budget and their priorities. Not only will this help the Mayor and City Council better understand our city but it will ensure neighborhood leaders can also learn from one another about programs and policies that are working in their areas.
Building Coalitions from Day One
I am proud that the majority of the Sacramento City Council is supporting me for Mayor – Larry Carr, Eric Guerra, Steve Hansen, Jeff Harris, Rick Jennings and Jay Schenirer. I will be a leader who builds coalitions across our city so that our neighborhoods and local business corridors can prosper. I will make sure our neighborhoods are a critical part of the decision making at City Hall.