Read on for Jay's May monthly message on how he wants to help continue transform the City!
We all love our neighborhood and our City for a variety of reasons. From the community events, to our beautiful tree canopy, to our small neighborhood shops, there is a lot to appreciate. However, none of these things have happened by chance. Over the decades, our neighborhoods have been home to neighborhood and community leaders who have worked countless hours to protect, preserve and enhance our neighborhood and our city as a whole.
As a councilmember, I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of pervious Council District Five representatives such as Joe Serna, Debra Ortiz and Lauren Hammond. They left big shoes to fill and I hope I’m doing my part. However, elected office is not the only way of giving back to our community. Each of our neighborhoods are home to a dedicated group of individuals who work countless hours to make their communities a better place to live work and play.
This month, I wanted to give a shout-out to a few of these community leaders for all their hard work. Michael Blair of South Oak Park for his advocacy and action, building up the SOPAC neighborhood association; Brian Ebbert and Chuck Hughes of South Land Park who are working to create the Del Rio Trail. Eric Johnson of SCNA who is shepherding Curtis Park through a major development project. Joany Titherington and Katie Valenzuela Garcia of Oak Park for all of their work creating and managing the Oak Park Farmer’s Market and neighborhood association, Martin Rosenberg for working to revive the Lawrence Park Neighborhood Association; Gloria Abernethy of Golf Course Terrace for her decades of service. Rose Cabral, Mark Harrington and Rosette Nguyen of Colonial Heights, and John, Dylan and Karla of Hollywood Park. I and our collective neighborhoods owe you a huge thank-you. Your dedication and devotion to our neighborhoods and our City, is a big part of what make this city great.
I am leaving many, many names out. To name every dedicated community leader would would take pages and pages. As a councilmember, I am thankful for the partnership I have with each of you. Together, we get things done and make our neighborhoods and city, a better place to live. To my neighbors who love our neighborhoods, but maybe have not engaged or volunteered, please don’t be shy. Dig in. This is your community too, and it takes a village.
A Light That Shall Remain….
I generally try to keep these messages about local issues, but…
As a nation we are beginning an internal political debate with consequences and a seriousness that we have not experienced since perhaps the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. Our core values as a country are being questioned, but not being debated in an intelligent, deliberate and informed manner. It is up to us as individuals to make sure the values central to our idea of America, remain long after the debate is over. For me, a big part of that is ensuring we are a welcoming and compassionate nation.
New Year’s is always a time for reflection and renewal. Understanding where you’ve been and where you are going. I continue to be privileged and honored to represent you on the City Council. As I take a few moments to think about the past year, I am proud of what we have accomplished and reminded of the work that stands before us.
The Sacramento City Council has taken the position that strict regulations to control every element of the industry is the best and most responsible way to protect public health, deal with illegal activity, mitigate potential negative impacts, employ thousands of Sacramentans and increase city tax revenues.
There will be many, many post-mortems written about the just concluded election and the future of our nation under the Presidency of Donald Trump. Clearly, there is much work to do in protecting the gains that have been made under President Obama and resisting any backward sliding. This will be no easy task, but I maintain confidence in the American people and the values we hold so dear. I hope that each of us will make our voices heard in this effort.
City must invest in youth to prevent future problems
A series of tragic deaths from police use of force brought a discussion of race to the forefront nationally this year. What is the relationship between a police department and a community? What type of policing does a community want? And, what are the proper mechanisms for accountability?
I have a Golden Retriever named Louie. Every day, morning and evening, my wife or I take Louie for a walk in the park. Goldens are generally gentle dogs who love nothing more than a little attention. Louie is no exception, and in the 10 years I have had him, I have never heard him growl or seen him defensive. When I take Louie on a walk, he is always on a leash. Not because I think he will run but because it is the law and because other people who may have a fear of dogs don’t know he’s a sweetheart.
Six years into being a member of the Sacramento City Council, I have decided to run for a third term representing District 5. For me, my desire and the continuing ability to improve the lives of Sacramentans through my work at City Hall for four more years is an exciting prospect, particularly with my long-time friend Darrell Steinberg coming in as Mayor of our great city.
For the past six years, I have worked on and led efforts on difficult City issues including homelessness and minimum wage. For the past 20 months, I have chaired the Board of Regional Transit and helped to lead what I believe is, and will continue to be a renaissance of that organization. I am proud of my work helping the City make it through the end of the recession and excited about the prospects that lie ahead. I have participated in the council’s work on governance reform, rebuilding the City’s aging infrastructure, and increasing our resources for public safety. And I continue to lead the fight to provide more resources for our City’s young people, including starting our Summer at City Hall Program (now being replicated in 5 other cities!).
At the district level, we have rebuilt parks and playgrounds, supported old and new neighborhood and business associations, solved thousands of constituent issue, and more. Additionally, I am very proud of our WayUp Sacramento initiative working to improve the education, health, nutrition, housing and employment issues in the Oak Park neighborhood.
With all this said, we are at a pivotal moment in our City’s history. We must continue to move forward, building on the momentum of the revitalization of the City’s core. We must solve the challenges of homelessness and public safety, continue to rebuild our aging water infrastructure, support economic development in our neighborhood corridors, ensure a structurally balanced budget, and create a city that supports the success of Sacramento youth.
I look forward to working with you to make these and other positive changes happen in our great City.
In addition to his council duties, Jay works as an independent consultant and policy advisor on education reform and youth policy and strategies.