On Monday, September 29, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson held a city town hall meeting on the campus of Sacramento State University courtesy of their social sciences department. He spoke about issues concerning citizens the most. Johnson started off by recalling times growing up in his hometown and neighborhood of Oak Park and receiving high grades but not being well-prepared for college. He joked about not being able to spell the word, “euphemism,” at the time when he was a student. Johnson also talked of how Sacramento High School which is now ran as a Charter school has a 93% acceptance rate of its student being accepted to four year colleges. Between Johnson and wife, Michelle Rhee, they plan to make Sacramento a strong educational system for all kids.
Johnson also spoke about the Downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings that will have a major impact on the city. It will not only house the city’s basketball team but soon a soccer team, and several other entertainment venues as well as creating several thousand jobs.
“You’re going to have eleven hundred construction jobs. A number of permanent jobs around the arena. Our restaurants, retail and our entertainment is going to grow and develop jobs. This is really good for Sacramento,” Mayor Johnson said.
The meeting ended on a more pressing matter, Johnson talked often about creating a ‘Strong Mayor,’ for the city with hopes of not running Sacramento like a governance city anymore. He says he just doesn’t agree with not being held accountable for electing a Chief of Police. Johnson wants the voters to feel like their opinions matter and believes that this can’t be done if someone who is not on a ballot gets to make all of the decisions for the city.
“The person you vote for you want them to have a full democracy to carry-out what he or she says. The city manager is not elected. But that’s not who people vote for. People vote for the Mayor of Sacramento. I want them to understand a full democracy and accountability.”
He feels that by implenting Measure L is a way to give mayors a boost of authority in the mayoral chair in City Hall. If this bill passes, Johnson plans on making Sacramento 3.0 which will run this city like the major cities in California; Oakland, Fresno and Los Angeles bringing vitality to the city, making it more enjoyable for the citizens to live.
“We picked a new Chief of Police a little over a year ago, that person was selected by the city manager. They didn’t ask me what my opinion was, I didn’t get to interview the candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m the mayor, everybody thinks I’m the one doing this like I don’t have anything to say.”
“You want to get a mayor to carry out their vision. That’s just one example of where I have no say so what so ever. I think Sacramento should be ran better than that.”