Contenders for the 2024 mayor’s race are quietly jockeying for position, but it’s all talk until December. That’s when candidates must file paperwork for the March 5 primary election.
Between now and then, it’s a waiting game to see who might want to replace Darrell Steinberg.
Knowing candidates have seven months to make up their minds, we decided to look at who might—or should—solicit endorsements, raise money and get the required documents into the city clerk’s hands by Dec. 8.
When I joined the City Council in 2015, our public meetings were relatively benign. There was some tension over subsidizing Golden 1 Center. The city’s contribution to the Jeff Koons art piece “Piglet” caused a stir. Relatively easy stuff to work through.
Then in 2018, with the Sacramento Police shooting death of Stephon Clark and the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, things got serious. Protests led to real anger at City Hall. Obscenities became common at our meetings. Several sessions ended early because they could not be calmed.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s life was threatened at the dais. Councilmembers were called racists, murderers and executioners. At one point City Hall was vandalized. Councilmembers left the building for safety reasons.
Nobody should have to step into a traffic lane to get around a homeless encampment. That’s why I proposed a sidewalk ordinance during my final year on City Council.
Our children need safe routes to school. We must comply with federal accessibility laws so people with disabilities can stay mobile. My goal with the sidewalk ordinance was to create a safe, 4-foot passage on our sidewalks, even where homeless encampments are set up.
The sidewalk ordinance became law last September. I expected the new rule would make it safe to be a pedestrian again. I’m sad to say that hasn’t happened.
Sacramento owes something to Gov. Gavin Newsom, but I’m not sure what. Kings season tickets? A lifetime pass to the State Fair? Dinner at The French Laundry?
It’s not easy to quantify the gift Newsom gave when he lined up Mayor Darrell Steinberg for a seat on the state appellate court. From one perspective, the judicial appointment simply hastens the end of a miserable City Hall performance that would have closed next year anyway.
Then again, maybe not. Despite his public antipathy toward a third term, Steinberg has made stealthy preparations to run again. Given his influence over local unions and Democratic Party minions, plus his skill at raising money, it’s a good bet he could chase off legitimate candidates and coast to another four years.