Friends - We are living through historic days in our community.
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** Support Mayor Accountability and Community Equity
We are living through historic days in our country and our community. People are rightfully demanding that we address systemic inequity and the lack of genuine opportunity for too many people in too many of our neighborhoods. The people of Sacramento are asking: ‘Is my city doing all it can to improve the lives of all our people, but especially people whose zip codes too often dictate their life choices and their life chances.’
Next year I will start my 25^th year of elected public service to the City of Sacramento. The charter change issue is not personal to me; I just want to do what is best for our city. I know that’s what you want too.
The charter revision is called the Mayoral Accountability and Community Equity Act for good reason. As the only city-wide elected official, the mayor is held most accountable by the people for police reform, for investing in our neighborhoods, for building affordable housing and shelter for people experiencing homelessness. My colleagues on the City Council and on the city staff are great partners and public servants, but nothing moves very fast, and accountability is diffuse at best.
This charter change would give the mayor greater ability to set an agenda and follow through. The mayor would propose the budget, and the mayor would supervise the city manager.
It would by no means give the mayor unchecked power. The City Council would have sole purview over land use issues not involving ordinances, as well as the Housing Authority. They could reject, by a simple majority, the mayor’s choice for city manager and override a mayor’s attempt to remove the manager by a two-thirds vote. Adding a ninth Council district would improve representation for the community. And the Council could override any mayoral veto by a two-thirds vote. The Council would elect its own president and vice president. The mayor would no longer have a vote, or the ability to introduce an ordinance without finding a Council sponsor.
Mayors would be limited to two terms in office. In the event voters decide they are not satisfied with the new structure, the charter revision will contain a provision to be reauthorized in 10 years.
Some people say we should wait, but the moment demands that we act now. This charter revision would respond to the demands for change by requiring that every major decision we make as a city analyze the impact on people of color, on women, on LGBTQ residents, and on any other disadvantaged population. It would require that we analyze the effect of our decisions on small businesses. It would introduce participatory budgeting to our city in a real way.
The charter change also fulfills the promise of Measure U by requiring that the city spend $40 million a year on inclusive economic development and youth. It makes permanent our Sunshine Ordinance and Ethics Commission, and ensures that it is staffed.
Some have suggested that the equity and participatory budget reforms be separated from the changes to our government structure. But these pieces go together. An elected chief executive who frames the agenda has a greater ability to follow through on the agenda.
If you agree with me, please make your voice heard leading up to next Tuesday’s City Council meeting on Aug. 4, when we will be voting on whether to put the Mayoral Accountability and Community Equity Act on the ballot.
You can call directly into the City Council by calling: (916) 808-7213 and dialing 1 to comment on item 1. In the meantime, you can reach out directly to your City Council member by calling or emailing:
Our mailing address is:
Steinberg 4 Sacramento
1100 O St
Sacramento, CA 95814
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