1 The Honorable Mayor Kevin M. Johnson January 29, 2015 Sacramento Strong Prepared for Delivery INTRODUCTION Thank you! Thank you Sacramento! This is one of my favorite nights of the year because it s a time when our city comes together and the energy is just PALPABLE! Last week, I was in Washington DC and had the opportunity to give the first ever State of the Cities address in my capacity as President of the US Conference of Mayors the day after the President s State of the Union address. In that speech I said, The state of our union is strong because the state of our cities is STRONG! Nowhere is that more evident than in OUR city today. We re on a roll The state of our city is STRONG. And that s the theme of my address today Sacramento Strong! There s simply no other way to describe the utter explosion that is happening in our community. Before I get started, I MUST recognize the elected officials from throughout the region who are here today as well as our City Council members, our City Manager and City employees. Please help me in thanking them for their public service! You are all doing great work in your respective districts. And collectively we re finally getting the moratorium lifted and our levees fixed. I want to thank the generosity of our corporate sponsors. Their support has been critical to this event! I would also like to thank David Galasso from Wells Fargo for chairing the event and Gary Maisel from Western Health Advantage, our presenting sponsor. LEGACY AWARD One of the reasons our city is so strong and why we re able to accomplish so much is because of the amazing people we have as residents and leaders. As you know, two years ago we started presenting the Legacy Award in honor of the late, great Mort Friedman to recognize a member of the community who embodies the spirit, sensibilities and soul of Sacramento. We honor his legacy with this award each year, Marcy can you please join me on stage to present this year s award? It gives me great pleasure to announce that the 2015 winner of the Mort Friedman Legacy Award is Dr. William Lee, Publisher of the Sacramento Observer Newspaper, an African American newspaper. In honor of Dr. Lee, we have students from PS7 elementary school handing out newspapers to the audience tonight! William Lee is a man who started small and built an empire that operated throughout California and Nevada and has been recognized throughout the nation. Dr. Lee has been a trailblazer in this community for over six decades. And through his paper, he told stories and created a history that would have not otherwise been told or captured today. Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for Dr. William Lee!
2 SACRAMENTO 3.0 Dr. Lee is one of the many great Sacramentans who is invested in and deeply committed to the bright, new future in our city. And let me assure you, our future is very bright. Sacramento is moving into a new and vibrant era. An era I ll call Sacramento 3.0. See, Sacramento 1.0 was a community built around the gold rush and agriculture. The second generation, or Sacramento 2.0, came much later and saw our city develop as a government town that completely revolved around the state capital. Today, we take a bold step, together, as we enter the era of Sacramento 3.0. In this era, the city is a hub of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology. It s paperless, wireless and cashless. In version 3.0 of our city we have more cell phones than landlines, more tablets than desktops, more smart devices than toothbrushes. In Sacramento 3.0, the world s largest music company has no records (Apple). The world s largest bookseller has no bookstores (Amazon). The world s largest taxi company has no cars (Uber). It s only a matter of time before the world s largest hotel chain will have no hotel rooms (AirBnB). And very soon, the world s largest university will have no campus. When you think about the potential of Sacramento 3.0 it s hard not to get excited. So the question is how do we get there? I d say that our path forward will be dependent on our ability to focus on three incredibly important areas: Innovation, Infrastructure, and Inclusion. INNOVATION In order to move away from the Sacramento 2.0 model of being a government town, we have to create a new economy that creates new jobs. To become Sacramento 3.0, we HAVE to innovate. Or as Steve Jobs said, it s time for us to think different. To do that, we ve had to stop thinking of Sacramento and our economy as confined within our city limits. The global economy has no boundaries, so neither should ours. To that end, we ve formed a new organization called the Greater Sacramento Economic Area Council or GSAC to create, attract, grow and retain sustainable businesses throughout the surrounding 6 counties resulting in real jobs and new careers that benefit our entire region. Powered by our region s leading CEOs and elected officials, GSAC, under the leadership of newly hired CEO Barry Broome will work to ensure the Sacramento area is the easiest place to do business in California. This means new ventures and startups. It means empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs from the ground up. In that same vein, we re also updating and innovating the notion of what it means to be an agricultural hub of the world. One important thing to understand is that when it comes to agriculture and water, Sac is the number one market in the world in the biggest industry in the world! Believe it or not, water and agriculture are producing more new technology than any industry in America right now. More than the digital space and more than bio-tech. So think about the opportunities for Sacramento! It s not just about growing produce anymore. As the top-ranked university in the world for agriculture, UC Davis will be opening a World Food Center, likely in the downtown Sacramento Railyards, to tackle one of the most critical issues facing society today how to feed and nourish a growing planet in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. For UC Davis, the institute is being seen as a Silicon Valley-like center where startups and innovative research will be created within the food realm. These initiatives will allow us to own the agriculture and food space. January 29, 2015 page 2
3 It can put us on the map and differentiate us from other cities. They will also be a big part of our new economy that s creating different kinds of jobs. INFRASTRUCTURE After innovation, it s critical that our city focus on infrastructure that will support a healthy economy and growing population. In Sacramento 2.0, infrastructure was things like roads and bridges. But we now must provide services on new platforms redefine infrastructure to include citywide wifi networks and turnkey operations for start-up companies, from office space to high-speed communication lines. And infrastructure also includes civic amenities that improve our quality of life by providing a cultural center and bringing a sense of community. Investing in our infrastructure not only creates jobs in the short term it lays the foundation for sustained economic growth in the long term. A big step that you ve heard about before is the construction of a downtown Entertainment and Sports Center, which will be completed in That was an example of us creating our own economic stimulus instead of waiting on the federal government. And boy did it work! Just look at all the folks around the country taking notice. We re making some news here ESPN Films has a 30 for 30 in the works about Sacramento s fight to save our team. It's an incredibly prestigious honor to be a part of the award-winning 30 for 30 series. Viewers will get a first-hand look at the dramatic battle that ensued behind the scenes and how the Kings nearly left the city that s loved them for three decades. How cool is that? Now THAT s Sacramento Strong!! But make no mistake, we re just getting started. In the last 6 months, I ve convened a commission to study and plan for a new, state of the art Performing Arts Center that will be able to house the Philharmonic, Opera, Ballet, CA Music Theater and other ethnic troupes and programs because the arts are just as important as our sports teams. We ve also begun significant work on developing the Railyards. This project, which is the largest infill project in the nation, will double the size of our downtown core in one fell swoop. It will be home to a stadium for our soon-to-be MLS franchise. Investing in infrastructure and amenities downtown increases quality of life. It attracts more people to LIVE downtown and share in the community we re building here. To that end, there needs to be a significant emphasis on downtown housing. Downtown Sacramento is at the epicenter of an exciting economic renaissance in our region. With the business development in our downtown core that is now happening, housing is the missing component we must address. We must attract funding and leverage investments to support housing along streetcar, bus, and light-rail routes. This will make Sacramento a leader in transit-oriented development AND allow us to become a modern, interconnected city of the 21 st century. As I said earlier, Sacramento has crazy momentum and energy right now. Yet, in order to truly live up to our promise, we must focus on the third priority area which is INCLUSION. INCLUSION Six years ago I ran for Mayor with the campaign slogan A City That Works for Everyone and I truly believe in that ideal for our city. We re well known for, and take pride in the fact, that we re one of the most diverse cities in America. But we can t tout that with integrity unless we re a community that cares for, respects, and values each and every member. So how can we make that happen? January 29, 2015 page 3
4 First, we will convene a taskforce in the city to study income inequality, including the possibility of raising the minimum wage so that working adults can earn enough to support their families and make their way into the middle class. Every Sacramentan should feel that if they work hard and play by the rules, they can succeed. Also, we ve recently become the first city in the country to partner with Starbucks Coffee in a brand new initiative to create jobs for veterans and our disadvantaged youth called Solutions City. As part of Solutions City, we have partnered with community colleges and workforce developers to engage and train these job-seekers and make sure the employers know where to find these skilled workers. And I m setting a goal tonight within a year, we ll create at least 1,000 jobs for veterans and young people in Sacramento. Next, we want to engage with the federal department of education on their efforts to expand preschool and community college access to every family. And finally, to ensure that we are effectively tackling the issue of the day, we re undertaking significant work with our public safety departments to improve community relations. As you know, there is a growing gulf of mistrust between communities of color and law enforcement in cities across the country and we re not immune to it. I m proud of the steps our police and fire departments and unions have taken with the faith-based and civil rights leadership in Sacramento to begin real and meaningful conversations about the impact of race and diversity on public safety. These are not easy conversations, and they aren t quick ones But I think we can all agree they are NECESSARY ones. Because Sacramento 3.0 is an inclusive city where diversity is embraced, and every resident has the opportunity to succeed. ACTION STEPS Having a focus on Innovation, Infrastructure and Inclusion as a city will be hard and sometimes daunting work. It will require significant and sustained investment of time, effort and resources to achieve our goals. To that end, I ve committed to leading several action steps. The first is a renewed level of cooperation with my City Council colleagues. I believe that our city council has the potential to go down in history as one of the best. Together we will oversee some of the longestlasting and most impactful changes in our city. I m committed to working with each and every one of them to make this a reality. Second, nothing can be a priority unless it comes with a budget. As part of that, we will hold forums throughout the city that will allow the PUBLIC to weigh in on the city budget. Based on that, I, as Mayor, will be presenting budget priorities to the City Council. With their input, the Council and I will be presenting priorities to the city manager, so that our priorities will drive the budget, instead of the other way around. This will be the first time that the budget will be developed in this way and I believe for the first time it will reflect what the community believes is most important. Next, in order to take decisive action on public safety and community relations we will be implementing a new Officer Next Door program that will look to: begin a body camera pilot, implement sensitivity training for all officers, set diversity goals for recruitment and hire additional police officers. January 29, 2015 page 4
5 Fourth, I am proposing a new housing initiative to add 10,000 units in the downtown core over the next 10 years. I will be convening a Strong Housing Working Group that will work to accomplish this goal by: seeking state and federal dollars to provide housing incentives; implementing transit oriented development strategies that will link housing, transportation, and jobs; addressing the number of vacant and blighted buildings downtown by implementing a housing conversion program that will make it easier to develop residential units; and finally, in terms of homelessness, searching for solutions like permanent supportive housing. And last, we will officially dub the Railyards an Innovation District that will have leading-edge anchor institutions and companies. It will house start-ups, business incubators and accelerators. The District will be transit accessible and technically wired and offer mixed-use housing, office and retail. In our innovation district, everyone will be connected by transit, powered by clean energy, wired for digital technology and connected in the tight geographic space of the railyard! Most importantly, this will allow us to raise revenue for our city, increase economic activity, and create jobs. Each of these actions will make Sacramento a better city for residents today, and a true 3.0 city for the residents of tomorrow. 49ers Now this vision of Sacramento is bold no doubt. What I have outlined is serious. But if you know me, you know that while I can be serious I also like to have FUN too! So are you ready for something FUN? Last but not least, Sacramento will build off of the momentum of keeping our beloved Kings in the city by continuing our efforts to bring Major League Soccer to our city! Thanks to community leaders like Kevin Nagle, Warren Smith, Larry Kelley, Mark Friedman and what we heard last night about Vivek, we ve put together a strong case for Sacramento. But we re about to make it even stronger! Now, in an effort to ensure that our proposal was too good to be true in the eyes of the MLS commissioner and Board of Governors, we sought to bring in a partner to this endeavor who could give the project the experience of a premier franchise. We searched high and low and talked to organizations across the nation, looking for another whale! Ladies and gentleman I am PUMPED beyond belief to announce today that, in the spirit of regionalism, the newest investor in the Sac Republic who will join our efforts to secure a Major League Soccer Franchise is none other than The San Francisco 49ers owners! Please join me in giving a Sacramento Strong welcome to the owner of the San Francisco 49ers Jed York. Jed, on behalf of our city welcome to Sacramento! I know you have to run out right after this to head down to the Super Bowl. Thank you SO much for taking a detour to help us celebrate this announcement. Before you leave can you just, on behalf of Sac just make sure that the balls for the game are inflated to the correct level? CONCLUSION This is what you can expect in our city in 2015 and beyond. Last year during my state of the city address, I talked about how we had turned a corner and the recovery had begun. Now I can say that we re in full gear! We ve got massive momentum due to the indomitable spirit of this city and its residents. But we re not done yet. We still need to keep our sleeves rolled up and keep working toward a better future for Sacramento. Let us seize the day. Let s make this city into everything that YOU deserve. We are Sacramento Strong!! January 29, 2015 page 5
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