The counter-intuitive correlation between money and homelessness continues to confuse Mayor Darrell Steinberg and city leaders. The correlation goes like this: The city raises money to house homeless people, yet the number of people living on the streets grows larger. More money equals more homelessness.
Steinberg recently said Sacramento would receive about $28 million in state funds to combat homelessness. The dollars would become part of a $62 million campaign to convert old motels, manufactured homes and other sites into supportive units for unsheltered people.
Misjudgment is scattered across Darrell Steinberg’s campaign for strong mayor. His strategic mistakes would be alarming if committed by a rookie politician. Coming from Steinberg, whose political career stretches back three decades, the breakdowns are astonishing.
It’s as if the mayor wants his Nov. 3 power grab to fail.
Susan Peters has represented District 3 on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors since 2004. Stepping down this year, she helped recruit a Highway Patrol chief, Rich Desmond, to run for her seat. On the Nov. 3 ballot, Desmond and SMUD board member Gregg Fishman are in a runoff.
While the campaign has become a largely virtual affair in the pandemic, Desmond and Fishman have worked hard to distinguish their views, many of which are similar.
There’s a big company in Sacramento that provides services everyone needs but tries to avoid. The pandemic wrecked the company’s business plans but made it more essential than ever. And the company is in trouble with the state attorney general.
Katie Valenzuela won’t join the City Council until December. But she is already learning how she won’t fit in. Steve Hansen, the two-term councilmember Valenzuela defeated in March, won’t speak to her. Other members smile and offer congratulations, but the words carry little weight.
At first, this bothered Valenzuela. “I was pretty depressed when the pandemic started,” she says. Sheltered in her Boulevard Park home with her two rescue terriers, socially distanced from work and friends, months from being sworn into office, Valenzuela felt disconnected from the motivations that propelled her run for office.