This year’s California primary lands on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. What this means is that ballots have begun to arrive to registered voter’s homes already. It also means you can go to the Voter Registrars’ Office and vote. Why the big push to vote? Unfortunately, Latinos typically doesn’t turn out to vote in big numbers, which affects our ability to get public policies that benefit our community. Only you can fix this! Don’t let the many sacrifices our historical leaders went through go to waste by not voting.
Latinos are the most populous group in the state at nearly 40 percent of the population. In the Sacramento region, we are nearly 30 percent, or close to one out of three residents. Our children make up the majority of students in the school districts, making voting for school trustees especially important. What we have done is reviewed public information on candidates and public referendums to assess those we believe would be in the Latino community’s best interest. Here are our recommendations. Not all local races or referendums are included.
City Council Races: Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8
District 2 has four candidates running for City Council and they include: incumbent Alan Wayne Warren, who has been in this seat since 2012; newcomer Sean Loloee, who is owner of the Viva Markets; Ramona Landeros, who is currently a Trustee for Twin Rivers School District; and, Lamar Jefferson, a small business owner. Of the four candidates, only Warren has the inside experience in city government, and is a life-long resident of North Sacramento. Since being elected, Warren has learned how to maneuver city hall to make District 2 issues a priority, which has resulted in major street and walkway safety, increase in jobs, and more investment for housing developments. A friend of the Latino community, which is now almost 40 percent of the population, Warren has overseen the most improvement in North Sacramento in nearly 50 years. The other three candidates are nowhere near ready to lead North Sacramento. VOTE FOR ALLEN WARREN, SACRAMENTO CITY COUNCIL.
District 4 has the fastest growing economy, comprised of midtown and downtown. There are two candidates running for the Council seat, incumbent Steve Hansen and Katie Valenzuela. Hansen has been doing an incredible job of bringing investors for housing development, pushing RT to cut fares and promoting less use of cars. Valenzuela is criticizing the construction of the Golden 1 Center and the new professional soccer stadium and is taking a novice’s approach at city government. VOTE FOR STEVE HANSEN, SACRAMENTO CITY COUNCIL.
District 6 is going through a major transformation behind the energy of incumbent City Council Member Eric Guerra, who is being challenged by newcomers Kevin Rooney, a plumbing contractor, and Waverly Hampton III, a college student. Guerra has kept a humble yet straight forward approach in improving business districts and develop housing. Moreover, he has made strong alliances among fellow city council members, an essential ingredient to get good public policy passed. His opponents should sit back and take notes. VOTE FOR ERIC GUERRA, SACRAMENTO CITY COUNCIL.
District 8 is the most interesting of the city council races. Larry Carr a long time public servant and friend of the Latino community, is not seeking reelection creating an opportunity rarely seen in City Council races. The candidates are: Mai Vang, a college scholarship director and teacher at Sacramento State University and University of California, Davis; Les Simmons, a Pastor and known leader from South Sacramento; Ronald Bell, a retired Pastor; Daphne Harris, a real estate broker, and, Santiago Morales, a program analyst. Of the candidates, only Vang brings elected office experience having been a Trustee in the Sacramento Unified School District. This alone makes her the strongest candidate, but she also brings more diversity to a male dominated City Council. VOTE FOR MAI VANG, SACRAMENTO CITY COUNCIL.
Mayor, City of Sacramento
Sacramento has three individuals running for mayor. They include incumbent Mayor Darrell Steinberg; challenger Mac Arteaga; and newcomer Jrmar Jefferson. Darrell Steinberg was elected mayor in 2016 and has done a number of really good things to improve living in the city of Sacramento. More recently his push to develop the Rail Yards will not only bring business to the area, but much needed jobs and housing. Steinberg has also taken a strong leadership role in addressing the growing homeless crisis. The other two candidates have absolutely no relevant experience. VOTE FOR DARRELL STEINBERG, MAYOR, CITY OF SACRAMENTO.
Trustee For Twin Rivers School Board
Twin Rivers School District is geographically the largest school district in the Sacramento region, and based on news clippings and attending School Board meetings, it is extremely disjointed. Those Trustees representing suburban and rural Areas rarely support the needs of the schools in the Sacramento city limits. And, the Trustees representing the Areas within the Sacramento city limits are weak or disconnected with the schools and school children they represent.
Area 3 - This year, Area 3 will have a new Trustee, Christine Jefferson, who is running unopposed. Her activities and commitment to especially Grant High School, which has a 52% Latino student body, will be a breath of fresh air over the outgoing trustee, whose troubled legacy included not living in the Area.
Area 7 - There are currently three candidates running to represent Area 7, they include incumbent Linda Fowler; Planner and consultant Daniel Savala; and community activist Sasha White Vogt. Linda Fowler was initially elected in 1971 and she doesn’t appear to know or understand that the neighborhoods she has been representing have changed. In addition, she has been under investigation for numerous questionable activities including paying herself for helping launch a private school. More recently, Fowler was not vocal about the school closures nor the parents concerns in this Area, which will still face some challenging proposals being considered by the Board of Trustees. What Area 7 needs is a fresh new Trustee who sees the needs of the children and understands the demographic and economic changes that have occurred since 1971. Daniel Savala and Sasha White Vogt bring those perspectives as well as advocacy experience on behalf of the disenfranchised. Of these two, Savala brings the additional experience of creating alliances, a much-needed tool to bridge the District’s division between city versus rural and suburban. VOTE FOR DANIEL SAVALA, TRUSTEE TWIN RIVERS SCHOOL BOARD.
Measure E is one of those essential Bond issues that are critical for the economic development of our region. Without proper classrooms or learning environments for students to grow, the Sacramento region will be unable to produce the workforce that is essential to attract big businesses or stimulate entrepreneurship. The best thing about Measure E is that it will not increase property taxes, a concern expressed by many homeowners and renters early on and by tax groups. As a result we recommend: VOTE YES ON MEASURE E.
Measure G is an interesting idea but very ill conceived. To believe that taxpayers would rather have their money spent on raising someone else’s child versus protecting their home or their neighborhood leads me to believe that the framers of Measure G gave no thought to ask taxpayers if this even made sense. Nonprofits are established by individuals who have a vision of improving things in the different aspects of our busy lives. The state and federal laws allow nonprofits to exist by giving them rights to raise nontaxable money through contributions, activities, or events. This Measure takes taxpayer monies to accomplish the mission of those nonprofits, which essentially equates to raising a child. Taxpayers already flip the bill for schools, workforce development, youth employment, gang prevention, parks and recreation, libraries, etc., but this Measure implies City government is failing in these areas, therefore nonprofits should be paid to duplicate these functions. Moreover, in addition to the City funding existing programs, a total of 2.5% of the City’s budget will be committed to fund these nonprofits. Why not have the nonprofits petition to work with the existing City programs and add value to them versus functioning independently? Measure G appears more like a money grab than a legitimate effort to address the City’s future. VOTE NO ON MEASURE G.