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Johnson Calls For Inclusion, Development, And More Strong Mayor

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The mayor set out a list of goals, revived a strong mayor concept and broke some news.

Johnson began his speech with three things he says the city needs to improve: innovation, infrastructure, and inclusion.  

"We'll convene a task force in the city to study income equality 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," Johnson said.

He set a goal of using a new collaboration with Starbucks called Solution City to create 1,000 jobs for veterans and at-risk youth.

Also among his goals are more affordable housing and more development downtown along a proposed street car line. 

"We must attract funding and leverage investments to support housing along streetcar whether it's West Sacramento and coming into Sacramento and going up by the capitol. We need a streetcar, busing and light rail routes. That is what's going to make Sacramento unique," Johnson said.

Mike Wiley with Regional Transit says he was "excited" to hear how much of the mayor's vision for the city involved mass transit.  

"The real key now is how do we deliver. but, getting everybody on the same page was a huge, significant step. We can figure out the details and make it happen."

To help fund the street car project, property owners must first approve a tax. If they do that, voters along the line must also approve the project.     

The mayor also called for 10,000 new housing units downtown- ideas that were well-received by many people in the audience including Mykal Brown.

"The options we have are scarce. They're like either expensive or their like slum. So, it would be nice to have middle options," Brown said.

Johnson also renewed the idea of a strong mayor. He said he will hold city budget workshops  and  propose a budget to the council, which he hopes will then work to propose a collaborative budget to the city manager.   

"This will be the first time that the budget will be developed in a way that I believe for the first time it will reflect what the community believes is most important in Sacramento," Johnson said.

One of Johnson's complaints throughout his six years in office has been a city charter that requires a city manager to propose a budget to council. The city manager has no legal requirement to use a budget proposed by the mayor and council.

The mayor closed out the speech by introducing San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York as the newest minority owner in the Sacramento Republic FC soccer team. The club plans to build a soccer stadium at the Railyards and is vying to become a Major League Soccer expansion franchise.

This was Johnson's seventh state of the city address. 

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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