Inside City Politics

People Power

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.

Off The Streets

Salvador Bradford takes pride in keeping his studio apartment tidy. His converted hotel room has around 250 square feet for a bathroom, stove and mini-fridge.

There is space for the trappings of a home: a shelf of Star Wars and Star Trek DVDs, and a small shrine to Jesus Christ, to whom Bradford credits his past five years of sobriety.

Economy Recovery With DoCo Or Else

To see how Sacramento is managing the economic crisis, visit Fifth and K streets. That’s the heart of the Downtown Commons entertainment center. It’s a six-block stage where the city’s recovery will play out in miniature.

Until March, DoCo represented everything grand and hopeful about Sacramento. The whale was Golden 1 Center, drawing audiences from valley to foothills. Profitable symbiotic relationships formed with multiple restaurant groups, including Yard House, Polanco Cantina, Sauced BBQ, Punch Bowl Social and Echo & Rig, plus a handful of retailers and the Sawyer Hotel.

Technical Foul

For almost 40 years, the Kings have feasted on a narrative that portrays the basketball team as a public treasure rather than a business. The story is fantasy. The Kings are a business. Their goal is to make money for their owners. It’s been this way since 1983, when a Sacramento group bought the team. And it’s true today.

When the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the NBA season and shuttered Golden 1 Center, the Kings, like any business, faced a crisis. Their cash-flow generator was gone overnight. But the Kings found a side hustle. They became hospital landlords.

Cuts Needed, But Where?

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Adapt Or Else

Adapt or Else Kings, NBA need creative recovery after virus By R.E. Graswich June 2020 In my fourth or fifth year covering the Kings, loss after loss, I thought about ways to make the NBA season more interesting. One obvious trick was to shorten it. I...

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