The City of Sacramento is looking towards its artistic future, and asking young people to address their own needs.
City of Sacramento
On November 27th, 29th, and December 4th of 2017, town hall meetings were held concerning the city budget of Sacramento. One of the city budget meetings was held in the Luther Burbank High School Auditorium on November 29th and the main discussion there focused around the effects of Measure U, a ballot measure that passed in November of 2012 with overwhelming voter support.
Measure U is a one-half cent sales tax that maintains and improves city services such as public safety, public health and wellness programs, city youth programs, and street paving. Measure U was designed to restore these city services that were cut between 2008 and 2013. The City of Sacramento estimated $30 million of revenue per year would result from Measure U’s passage and the sales tax took effect on April 1st, 2013 and will expire on March 31st, 2019.
The Sacramento City Council drafted a list of principles that limits where the resources of Measure U would invest in:
“Resources will be allocated to the protection and restoration of City programs/services specifically enumerated in the Measure U ballot question as follows:
1. Essential public safety services including, 9-1-1 response, police officers, gang/youth violence prevention, fire protection/emergency medical response.
2. Other essential services including park maintenance, youth/senior services and libraries.”
$4.9 million per year has been invested in parks and recreation services. There are now around 91 park employees in the field maintaining over 200 parks. Prior to Measure U, there were around 65 park employees. The frequency of restroom cleaning, trash pickup, weeding, edging and blowing in parks has increased and the response time for irrigation repairs has improved.
$12.6 million per year has been invested in police services. In the fiscal year of 2012 – 2013, there were around 653 sworn officers; now the Sacramento Police Department has around 708 police officers. 60 police officer are retained in their positions where they were previously funded by federal grants, which were expiring.
$11.7 million per year has been invested in fire services. A “Senior Fire Prevention Officer” position has been restored to provide more oversight and more business inspections with an associated higher level of revenue. The “Fire Internal Investigations” has been restored to give the community a place to lodge complaints; provide a thorough and impartial misconduct investigations; prevent future complaints through identification of misconduct trends; recommend training or policy changes.
$227,000 per year has been invested in animal care service. Two “Animal Control Officer” positions were added to the Animal enforcement and field services program to respond to service calls; administer the rabies program; pick up stray, injured, and abandoned animals; and to investigate cases of animal cruelty or neglect and nuisance complaints.
$506,000 per year has been invested in the Sacramento Public Library. Some library services will be restored.
“I support Measure U because we need investments in parks and recreation and in libraries as well,” said Sean Hanners, a concerned citizen of the Sacramento area.
For more information concerning the budget expense and park improvements of Measure U, visit the following URLs:
Why should you care about empty parking lots or large grass field? They could be a hotspot for crime since there are no security there. Instead of being vacant it could be repurpose to a housing area or buiness infrastructure.
Sacramento is the capital of California, but for some reason the city of trees gets overlooked by larger cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. That may all change, as the state’s capital will be opening a brand new arena, the Golden 1 Center, this October for the Sacramento Kings upcoming season.
After moving from Kansas City to Sacramento in 1985, the franchise played three seasons in a smaller arena was being built. Beginning in 1988, every game thereafter was played at their former arena, Sleep Train Arena. While the team has faltered over the years, the new arena is a sign of hope and not just for the team. The city of Sacramento and its people deserve something to help make the city thrive in many ways.
“From the beginning, we’ve said that this is a once in a generation project that is bigger than basketball. Golden 1 Center is becoming an engine for regional economic growth, a spotlight for the best of the region, and a place for Sacramento to celebrate,” said Kings President Chris Granger.
Businesses around the area are expected to boom and the arena hopes to attract more people to the city on a regular basis to show off the great aspects of Sacramento.
According to Golden 1 Center’s website, a third-party study estimated the arena will attract over one and a half million visitors to downtown. The study also estimated that these visitors will help boost the economy over the next 35 years, contributing $11.5 billion over that time.
Nonetheless, this amazing attraction comes at a steep price, costing $507 million with the city itself contributing $233 million. Although taxes will not increase to help pay for the arena, since the city began construction the cost of living has increased.
Renters in downtown and midtown have seen their rent steadily increase. Rents in Sacramento rose 10 percent from 2015, which tied San Francisco for the second highest rent increase. Those in the surrounding area could continue to feel the pressure to move elsewhere.
Not only is rent an issue, but many people are also worried about parking. However, the Kings are working hard to find parking for all their guests and working with different organizations to make it as simple as possible for everyone.
“The downtown corridor currently handles over 100,000 commuters for work daily,” Granger said. “And we’re working with our partners – The City of Sacramento, Sacramento Police Department, Regional Transit, SABA, nearby neighbors and businesses, and community leaders – to implement a plan that gives fans numerous options to get to Golden 1 Center in a safe, efficient manner.”
Despite the fact that rent has increased and parking could be an issue, the arena will benefit Sacramento in a huge way. Alas, the city has something to be excited for and the arena is a little over half a mile away from the state capital. And of course, basketball games are not the only events that will take place at the arena.
“We’re excited to celebrate with the city and bring over 200 events a year to Golden 1 Center.” Granger says.
Golden 1 Center should make the city of Sacramento an even more vibrant place than before. And for anybody who wants to be at the venue’s first event, Sir Paul McCartney is scheduled to open the new arena with performances on October 4th and 5th.
In a time in our country’s history where social justice is seemingly sought after everyday, the issues of inequalities appear not only in interactions with the police and citizenry, but also through urban design. According to a recent report by the Sacramento Auditor, these issues may be due to the ethnic makeup of those who work on design projects and the fact that it those that do not reflect the actual makeup of the city of Sacramento.
On July 19th, the Budget and Audit committee headed by Mayor Kevin Johnson received a report at old city hall in regards to employee demographics in Sacramento. The report compared the city’s residents demographics to its workforce.
This report showed that many ethnicities are underrepresented in several departments, including the Community Development Department.
“The Community Development Department plans for the future growth, development, and prosperity of Sacramento,” says the report.
This department is in charge of building and construction oversight throughout the city. The majority of the department is made up of caucasians and a majority of those with management positions are white. The numbers provided show a lack of diversity in those who want to have a hand in Sacramento’s future growth, which in itself is becoming much more diverse.
“I think it’s clear to all of us that this report is really important. I think it’s eye opening,” Johnson said after the report was presented. “And now that we have this information we need to make sure we take action to address it in a real way.”
Throughout American history, there has been racism and inequality through legislation such as the Housing Act of 1949 and Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 which put freeways through predominantly black neighborhoods.There are also issues with public transportation and that some places are not getting to use public transportation, which should be more of a right than a privilege.
In a recent article, Justin Moore, an architecture professor at Columbia University presented some of today’s modern design problems.
“In 2016, it remains the case that the majority of the people who plan, design, and build our communities and cities lack the diversity of those same communities and cities,” Moore said. “It is a big problem that is not being addressed or taken seriously at the broad scale and scope necessary to make a meaningful impact.”
Armed with the information that was released from this report, many believe that the community of Sacramento should look towards a resolution of creating a more diverse city work force. In order to combat design inequalities, those with a hand in the city’s future should have an ethnic makeup similar to the city’s resident demographics.
Greetings and salutations!
My name is Jezer Serafica and I am one of the newest editions to Accesslocal.Tv’s staff and crew. I am very pleased to be a part of this team and am looking forward to assisting in any way possible in order to bring you the latest and greatest in local and neighborhood news.
A little background information on myself; I am a 22 year old student currently attending California State University Sacramento and am pursuing a Bachelor’s in Communications with a concentration in Digital Video. I have about 2 years experience as an editor and videographer, as well as some experience working in television back when I was still a student at Cosumnes River College. At the time the class was the Advanced Television course and we were in charge of creating CRC TV which aired on the local educational block. With these experiences in hand, I am quite anxious to see what I can bring to the table this time around being a part of Accesslocal.tv and being able to add more valuable experience and knowledge to my repertoire.
In my downtime I practice a ton on video editing and crafting opinion pieces or editorial review videos on video games. If I’m not doing any of that, you’ll find me competing in my local Street Fighter tournaments across Sacramento as part of the local Fighting Game Community.
My future goals include becoming a well-respected and highly skillful video editor, as well as getting into the field of video game journalism somewhere down the line, as it has always been my passion to rave about video games on the Internet and have young strangers share their opinion with me. That is pretty much me in a nutshell and I hope you enjoyed reading this and getting to know me.
At the speed technology is advancing, it can be hard to keep up, especially for older citizens who weren’t born into a world with laptops and smartphones. To help them, an initiative by the City of Sacramento called TechConnections is giving participants the chance to gain computer literacy and navigate the ever-expanding cyber world.
TechConnections, launched by the city last year, is geared towards people over 50 years old who want to become more tech-savvy for a variety of reasons. From Facebook to Macbooks, from Windows 8 to Word, there is a class for many basic computer and internet programs.
“TechConnections classes make a difference in people’s lives in many ways,” says Christopher Godsey, volunteer for TechConnections. “I believe that all of the classes offered help to improve technological skills and abilities.”
This program is challenging the idea that older adults have little desire to go online or learn new technologies. The Pew Research Center provides studies that debunk that myth. Their research found that in 2012, 77% of seniors in the US had a cell phone, and over half were using the internet. Of those older internet users, over 70% go online almost every day. Today those numbers are likely higher.
There are, however, real hurdles that older adults face in keeping up with newer and newer technologies. Less than one in five seniors felt like they would be able to learn a new technology on their own, and over half felt like they would need help signing up on a social networking site.
“At 83 years old I found myself losing intellectual language skills,” says TechConnections student Mario Gonzalez. “…The three classes I took with TechConnections have helped me to challenge my language skills and to discipline myself in a way that made my life more interesting and satisfying in my daily activities.”
One class offered by the program addresses this issue by educating participants on the use of networks like Facebook and Twitter, focusing on things like privacy, finding friends, and creating timelines. Classes also offered include internet use, Microsoft Word and Excel, and Apple’s Macintosh operating system.
“I feel I am a stranger in this world where most of the people around and in everyday life, talk about computer use,” says, Sundus Al Rubaye. “So I decided that late is better than never and I began to look for a place where I can benefit, and here I am…”
Sacramento seniors who don’t want to be left behind in the Computer Age are encouraged to check out the city’s TechConnections program and sign up for a class or two. It’s never too late to learn.
Featured image from Flickr under Creative Commons.
“Think it doesn’t happen in America?” That is the tagline for a national issue that the City of Sacramento wants to shed some light on. Human trafficking is a bigger problem in the US than many realize, and state capital is no exception.
According to a CBS Sacramento report, the city had one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the country just a couple years ago, and the problem as hardly improved. But the Sacramento Neighborhood Services Division is working to change those statistics by promoting its Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign, as well as local organizations that help the cause.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery,” says the Neighborhood Services Division. “…It is the process of controlling a person with the intent to exploit them.”
This awareness campaign is designed to inform the people of Sacramento that human trafficking is not a third world problem.
“They are women. They are men. They are children. Modern day slaves can be found all over the world, including in every state in the U.S. In fact, it is also estimated that there are up to 300,000 children at risk of being trafficked in the United States alone.”
Victims of human trafficking are often used for forced labor or sexual exploitation. Many are even born into the multi-billion dollar a year industry. Sacramento leadership not only wants to inform the public, but empower it with the resources necessary to kick human trafficking out of the city for good.
Citizens may not know about the variety of resources of available to them, but hopefully this campaign can change that. Groups like WEAVE, Bridget’s Dream, and My Sister’s House all specialize in different parts of the campaign, but share the same goal.
To learn more about the campaign, click here.
To reach out to a local anti-human trafficking group, click here.
(Featured image from Flickr under Creative Commons, desaturated from original)
Sage Lauwerys "Sac Swim Is In!", City of Sacramento, District 5, Free Swimming Lessons, Mangan Pool, McClatchy Pool, NNC Stories, Sim Pool, South Side Pool, Swim Safe Program, Swim Safe Sacramento 0 Comment
According to a report on Drowning Prevention by Niko S. King, drowning rates in Sacramento are almost 4 times greater than the United States national average. An average of more than 30 deaths by drowning occur in Sacramento each year, giving Sacramento “the highest drowning rate per capita in Northern California.” (8)
Over-confidence in swimming skills, as well as lack of familiarity with strong river currents, can be fatal to any age, race, or gender.
Initiatives such as the City of Sacramento’s Swim Safe Program, which provides free swim lessons, free swim team, and free Junior Lifeguard Programs, may reduce drowning rates by providing the opportunity to strengthen swimming skills.
“My first reaction to the classes were that they were a great idea because it’s a[n] important [skill] to learn and it would keep youth from drowning,” says local resident Yeshahyah Yisrael. “These classes will benefit the community because it saves parents from having to go through the horrendous tribulation of losing a child or loved one, and it will give youth a skill to help them survive.”
Free swimming classes are available to the public at Sim Pool, McClatchy Pool, South Side Pool, and Mangan Pool. For more information see here, call (916) 808.2306, or email email@example.com.
Featured image courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons.
According to icleiusa.org, “sustainability” is defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” With this idea in mind, the citizens of Sacramento may need to ask themselves whether they believe that the possibility of Sacramento facing a $40,000,000 budget deficit by 2019, as well as owing over $1,000,000,000 in “unfunded liabilities,” is sustainable.
A recent article by the Sacramento Bee outlined city plans that include a $2,000,000 surplus in Sacramento’s budget during the 2014-2015 fiscal year—the first surplus Sacramento has seen in almost a decade. However, this so-called surplus is merely a temporary time saver. Without the extension of what were meant to be temporary taxes (Measure U), a stable budget will be feasible, as City Manager John Shirey claimed, only “if there is a miraculous increase in our revenue.” (Sacramento Bee)
In a thinly veiled attempt to justify the extension of Measure U, which temporarily increased taxes by one half of a percentage point in 2013, the recent article by the Sacramento Bee reminded readers that Sacramento will be in danger of returning to precarious levels of deficit in the next decade.
If Sacramento’s current budget plan will lead to the millions of dollars in deficit by 2020, why do spending plans for the 2014-2015 fiscal year include a $392,000 budget increase for prominent city officials?
Plans for future spending appear to be reliant on Measure U, a tax that will not be extended without voter approval.
Sacramento, then, plans to sustain its future budget by depending on funds that only exist temporarily, overextending the true breadth of what the city can afford. If Sacramento residents refuse to enable an increase in millions of dollars of local government spending, the local government will be left penniless due to a lack of planning for any fiscal safety net.
By planning for a deficit, officials are subtly pressuring local residents to vote for another “temporary” increase in taxes so that public pools can stay open, firemen and policemen can keep their jobs, and, of course, council-members can continue to see increases in their budget allotments.
Rather than subtly pushing local residents to vote for an increase in taxes, officials need to plan for a return to their original budget.
Rather than overextending spending, officials need to utilize what they have.
The $2,000,000 surplus that is expected for the 2014-2015 fiscal year should not be spent, but rather, saved and left untouched if the local government truly predicts a $40 million deficit by 2019. Cuts to petty spending and the removal of monetary increases for city officials are vital if this city plans to remain financially stable.
In the face of a potential $40 million deficit, local officials should be straining themselves to prevent financial disaster. Rather than flaunting the city budget’s current prosperity, they need to alter their budget plan to create a local government that can utilize minimal funds in the process of maintaining and strengthening the city’s infrastructure. Rather than emphasizing current strengths, officials need to plan for future weaknesses.
A little sustainability is all we ask.