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City of Sacramento Focuses on Economic Development Strategy

Mayor Steinberg and Council Hope for November ‘Yes’ on Measure U

By Sean Brown, October 4, 2018 12:15 pm

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and members of the Sacramento City Council have unanimously agreed upon setting up preliminary framework for guiding future city investments relating to economic development. The council’s goal is to create jobs that benefit all of Sacramento’s neighborhoods and residents, not just specific areas.

The Council voted to establish a “Measure U Community Advisory Committee” which will delegate more members and more power to the existing committee that oversees spending from the Measure U sales tax. This committee will make recommendations to the City Council on Measure U spending. Next week, the Council plans to take up a resolution with specific steps on how to improve the efficiency of city operations.

Mayor Steinberg said the City Council’s actions will provide important assurances to voters this November when they consider the proposal to extend the Measure U sales tax and raise it from a half-cent to a full cent.

“Tonight is not the end point, it’s the beginning of developing accountability measures so if we gain these additional resources voters can be sure we will follow through on our promise to growth a modern, inclusive economy,” Mayor Steinberg said. He also added via twitter, this “is an important first step in making sure that a third-grader from south Sacramento has the same chance in life as a third-grader from East Sacramento.”

Spent on everything from police, fire and parks, Measure U currently generates roughly $50 million per year for the city of Sacramento. If the Mayor and City Council colleagues choose to do so, Measure U would continue to go to such vital city services, however, the additional half cent would be used to focus on fields such as job creation, affordable housing and programs to get youth ready for the workforce.

The framework approved by the Council to manage the half-cent raise designated for spending will be used as a guide to draft a specific strategy for economic development. City staff plans to work with community, business, housing and education interests to develop this strategy.

Councilmember Jay Schenirer said the new framework is the first step toward building “a different infrastructure in the city for how we spend our money.” Councilmember Jeff Harris agreed, stating: “It’s bold, it’s noble, and I think it’s overdue.”

Last July the Sacramento City Council approved the measure pertaining to the transaction and use tax (Measure U) to be placed on the November 6, 2018 ballot. And while the city has already started planning for its implementation, in the end, voters will decide if they agree with the proposal.

Sean Brown

Before becoming a writer for the California Globe, Sean served as a Legislative Director in the New York City Council and is an NYU alumnus.
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