Mayor Darrell Steinberg: Sacramento poised for 'breakthroughs' in 2019
Here at City Hall, we’ve worked hard over the last 12 months to lay the foundation for a more vibrant and inclusive Sacramento. We’ve made progress, but we have a long way to go to achieve our vision of the City as a place where economic growth extends to all neighborhoods, where young people are well prepared for the jobs of the future and where homeless people receive the help they need to stabilize their lives and get off the streets.
In 2018, we passed important new policies and launched ambitious initiatives. We attracted tens of millions of dollars in new state and private funding and voted to extend Measure U, which will bolster our City budget by $100 million a year.
These achievements have put us in a good position to make 2019 a year of breakthroughs that will put our city on a more sustainable, exciting and equitable path.
Some highlights from 2018:
Health care giant to bring thousands of new jobs
The biggest jobs news in 2018 was that healthcare company Centene would build a West Coast headquarters in North Natomas with at least 5,000 quality jobs. Construction has now begun on the campus. You can read about Centene here. To browse through all our stories on economic development click here.
Measure U expands opportunity
One of our signature accomplishments in 2018 was the passage of Measure U, which extended an existing half-cent city sales tax that was set to expire and raised it by a half cent.
The first half cent will continue to fund vital services like police and fire, but the second half cent will create an ongoing revenue stream of about $50 million a year that we can use to build community assets, train our youth, create jobs and build affordable housing. Read more about Measure U here.
Triage Shelter gets hundreds off the streets
Private sector health plans stepped up in a big way in 2018 to help keep the City’s Triage Shelter open. Originally scheduled to close in May 2018, the Triage Shelter on Railroad Drive will now remain open until at least April 30, 2019 and perhaps longer. Donors Sutter, Mercy, Dignity, UC Davis, and the family of Helene and David S. Taylor gave more than $5 million to help finance the City’s homeless efforts. With wraparound services and a policy of accepting people with their pets, partners and possessions, the low-barrier shelter is quickly proving to be a crucial bridge to get people who have been homeless for years off the streets and the riverbank and into permanent housing.
In addition to the health plan dollars, we were able to secure $20 million in new funding from the state for the City and County of Sacramento to respond to the crisis of homelessness. This money — $7.7 million of which will be administered by the City — is part of $500 million that Gov. Jerry Brown included in his last budget at the urging of California’s Big City Mayors group. We will use our portion of the money to expand our low-barrier shelter capacity to new locations. The County is using its share to add to its inventory of scattered site shelters, which are also showing promise.
2018 was also the year we launched our $64-million Pathways program, which combines aggressive outreach and health services to stabilize the most vulnerable members of our homeless population and get them into permanent housing.
With millions of dollars in funding newly available to assist our efforts, members of the City Council are working to help find sites to build at least 100 shelter beds in each one of our eight Council districts. By scaling up our shelter capacity this way we can get thousands of people off the streets. Read more about our efforts on housing and homelessness here.
Preparing young people to work — and to create
Hundreds of high school students from some of Sacramento’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods received 40 hours of work skills training and the chance to interview for paid internships through the City’s Thousand Strong program. More than $500,000 in City funds was made available to community partners like Greater Sacramento Urban League, Roberts Family Development Center and La Familia for training and coaching Thousand Strong students. Since the summer of 2018, Thousand Strong students have earned over $200,000 in wages.
My office also joined with the Sacramento County Office of Education to launch the Sacramento Arts Education Consortium, an effort to restore meaningful arts education in the schools. Success came quickly in the form of a $1 million state grant to train teachers in arts instruction.
Hundreds of Sacramentans participating in the development of the City’s new Creative Edge Cultural Plan identified arts education as a top priority. Read additional stories about our youth efforts here.
Here are some other highlights from 2018. For more information, click on the links:
Arrival of Jump bike share, with 900-electric assist bikes available for rent
Creation of 24 blocks of parking-protected bike lanes
Launched Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change with West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
Won $23 million in state cap and trade funds for a new light rail station and other improvements in River District
Funded the FUEL Network, which provides free legal help and training for immigrants fearful of or facing deportation.