In late January, I participated, along with tens of thousands of Sacramentans, in two events – the Women’s March on Saturday and the “MLK March for the Dream” March on Monday. Both of these community events once again demonstrate who we are as a community and city and our support for each other. Between the two marches, well over 60,000 of our neighbors came together not only to create community, but also to make a strong statement that we simply must do better – to achieve equity and opportunity for every person in this city – regardless of race, gender or income.
A great sight at the Women’s March was when nearly 20 women elected leaders from the Sacramento region stood on stage, many recently elected in November. We know that we need better gender equity throughout our elected positions, boards and commissions. Similar to the national political scene, this wave of elected women is happening, and we will be a better community for it.
The MLK March once again reminds us how far we have to go to ensure that all Sacramentans have the opportunity and resources for success in school, career and life. With the passage of Measure U, the city has the ability to make a significant difference in the lives of our neighbors who have the greatest need. My colleagues and I have talked at length about “inclusive, neighborhood economic development.” If done right, this translates into meaningful dollars being invested in our neediest neighborhoods to create jobs for adults and increased support for Sacramento’s young people.
These marches bring folks together and build community. It is now our collective responsibility to turn our words and enthusiasm into actions. We will soon be making funding decisions to implement the policies to uplift neighborhoods, with input from community advisors and technical experts. I invite your thoughts on these critical issues as we move forward.
Photo: 2012 MLK365 March / MLK365 Facebook Page