False Pride

False Pride

Every few years, Sacramento’s insecurities sneak up and deliver a punch to civic pride. A recent example is the storyline that Bay Area residents can’t wait to move to Sacramento.

Here’s the thing about Bay Area residents, gleaned from personal experience: Unless they come from Sacramento, Bay Area people are clueless about the capital city. They believe it’s the boondocks, a place to bypass on the way to Tahoe. Their ignorance is deep, their indifference generational. They don’t care about Sacramento. They never will.

Words Matter

Words Matter

A life in politics turned Mayor Darrell Steinberg into a wordsmith. Commanding center stage at City Hall or running a remote City Council meeting, the mayor builds his arguments like a master of semantics. His sentences launch and soar and land without a stumble.

But sometimes even a wordsmith slips. This can happen when Steinberg navigates the swamps and hedgerows that impede the city’s response to the homeless crisis. Earlier this year, the mayor was reduced to one word, repeated four times: “Where, where, where, where,” he said.

None Better

None Better

Mayor Darrell Steinberg calls Daniel Hahn the “best police chief” in the United States. The praise comes with a hyperbole warning. The U.S. has about 12,300 police departments, which means maybe Steinberg overlooked someone better than Hahn.

Or not. This time, the mayor could be right.

It’s not easy to win support from a mayor who tries to withhold funds from your police department. But that’s Steinberg. He wants it both ways. The mayor can gush about his favorite police chief while arguing against requests for police hiring, training and internal affairs.

Wrong Way

Wrong Way

Like a truck speeding downhill with imbalanced brakes, the plan by Mayor Darrell Steinberg to cure homelessness by giving a roof to every unsheltered person is poised to jackknife and skid out of control. The rubber is already starting to burn.

The Steinberg plan, revealed in January, rests on three cornerstones. First, the proposal requires all eight City Council districts to identify and prepare shelter sites for homeless people. This expectation spreads the pain and creates a veneer of egalitarian sacrifice.

Second, the proposal is designed to limit neighborhood objection. Sure, City Hall is conducting outreach. But Steinberg envisions one decisive City Council vote in June to launch his $100 million housing balloon. It’s all or nothing.

Dynamic Duo

Dynamic Duo

A unique alliance between the police chief and his boss is changing how Sacramento Police operate. For Chief Daniel Hahn and City Manager Howard Chan, the partnership is essential to systemic, progressive improvements in the city’s law enforcement.

Chan and Hahn say police reforms, which include reimagining the way officers are recruited and trained and respond to everything from gun violence to traffic stops, are made possible by the relationship. Reforms won’t succeed without it.

Share The Pain

Share The Pain

Darrell Steinberg is a smart, sophisticated guy. He has a law degree from UC Davis and decades of legislative experience. Sacramento voters figured they were getting a pro when they elected him mayor in 2016. He won a second term without serious opposition last year.

So it’s a mystery why Steinberg has been unable to muster nothing beyond the most elementary, simplistic response to the deepest challenge of his mayoral tenure—the homeless crisis.