By Sierra Fatlowitz
“I think most of you know last week I was at Washington D.C, and had an opportunity to give my first State of the City’s Address in my capacity of the president of the U.S Congress and Mayors,” stated Mayor Kevin Johnson.
U.S President Barak Obama declared “The State of the Union is strong,” during the State of the Union address. The next day, Johnson responded consecutively stating, “The state of the Union is strong, because the state of our cities is strong.”
January 29 2015, all classes of Sacramento society united in the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium to bear witness to the 2015 State of the City Address with the theme “Sacramento Strong”.
The preshow was appropriate as the night kicked off with an ensemble to Macklemore’s “The City Can’t Hold Us”, followed by a short film highlighting Sacramento’s best entertainment, business, influential people, arts, and sports.
According to Johnson, “Our city is moving into a new and vibrant era.”
Amidst the address, Johnson depicted the antecedent, and succeeding developmental eras of Sacramento into 3 stages.
Sacramento 1.0 “A community built around the Gold Rush and agriculture.”
Sacramento 2.0 “Came much later and saw our city develop as a government town that completely revolved around the state capitol, and real-estate.”
Sacramento 3.0 “Sacramento has to be a hub of innovation, of entrepreneurship, and technology. It’s paperless, its wireless, it’s cashless.”
Johnson stated Sacramento will break barriers enabling its third generation to “have more cell phones than land lines, more tablets than desktops, and more smart devices than tooth brushes.” Adding an “It’s true” to his statement as the audience laughed in disbelief.
In his vision for Sac 3.0, “The world’s largest music company has no records, Apple. The world’s largest bookseller has no bookstores, Amazon. The world’s largest taxi company has no cars, Uber.”
Johnson spoke with irony and with stating “It’s only a matter of time before the world’s largest hotel chain will have no hotel rooms, Air B and B.”
With sympathy to neighbor and sponsor of the address, California State University, Sacramento, Johnson stated empathetically, “I know the university folks are not going to appreciate this, but very soon the world’s largest universities will have no campuses.”
“When you think about the potential of Sac 3.0, it’s hard to not get excited.”
Johnson believes that Sacramento’s path forward will be dependent on its collective ability to focus on 3 main areas; innovation, infrastructure, and inclusion.
Johnson plans to build Sacramento’s innovated fundamental foundation by creating an economy that will create new jobs for all social classes. In order to do this Johnson spoke with urgency stating,
“We have to stop thinking about our community and our economy as being confined within our city limits. The global economy has no boundaries, so neither should ours.”
Johnson then announced the recently developed Greater Sacramento Economic Area Council powered by the regions leaders, the CEO’s and elected officials, under newfound leadership of Barry Broome with the purpose to create, attract, and grow new businesses from the 6 surrounding counties.
Accompanied with applause Johnson stated, “Barry will work to ensure that Sacramento is the easiest place to do business in California, that’s our goal.”
Johnson initiated the transition of the importance of infrastructure, including city wide Wi-Fi networks, and turnkey start up operations for startup companies. Civic amenities are expected the improve Sacramento’s quality of life, by providing a culture center, and a sense of community.
Specific infrastructure plans were disclosed such as the Downtown Sacramento Rail yard, soon to be home to the UC DAVIS World Food Center, and new soccer stadium to the Sacramento Republic FC, and other additions that will double the size of Downtown Sacramento.
“I am pumped beyond belief to announce today that in the spirit of regionalism the newest investor of the Sac Republic who will join our efforts to secure major league soccer in Sacramento is none other than the San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York!”
Johnson drew to the public’s attention that the big “whole in the ground”, where the construction of the new Downtown Entertainment Sports Complex is expected to be completed in 2016.
ESPN, the award winning 30 for 30 documentary, will do a premiere major film later this year about Sacramento’s fight to save their Sacramento Kings.
Interrupting his own address, Johnson interjected, “Wait, really quickly… DeMarcus Cousins didn’t make the all-star team? Okay can we just give a round of applause for DeMarcus because we know…” Johnson was abruptly cut off by the chants and screaming of the provoked Sacramento Kings fans.
Johnson declared that Sacramento is “just getting started” due to recent plans to commission a new state of the art performing and arts cultural center, that will house the philharmonic, the opera, the ballet, the California Music Theatre, and strong ethnic performing arts groups “because arts are just as important as our sports teams.”
-Staff Reporter Sierra Fatlowitz