Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, is responding to the Monday editorial "Mayor Johnson needs to offer a clear agenda," which stated, "If he wants the June 5 election to be more than a popularity contest if he wants to claim a mandate for action he needs to tell voters specifically what his to-do list is. A campaign is about more than just winning; it's about laying the groundwork for governing."
Earlier this week, I visited a cavernous warehouse at McClellan Park and met with the owners of a small business that has developed a new generation of energy-efficient air conditioners.
The production of those air conditioners means jobs for 40 Sacramento workers and more efficient use of energy and water. The manufacturers have partnered with SMUD to offer rebates to Sacramento homeowners, potentially saving local families hundreds of dollars.
My visit wasn't the kind of story that makes banner headlines. But the work being done in that warehouse illustrates the serious task of being mayor.
The mayor's job puts the only person who represents all residents of Sacramento squarely at the intersection of ideas, venture capital and a skilled workforce ready to roll up its sleeves and build something.
That "something" doesn't have to be a big-ticket item that grabs media attention, like an arena. It can be as mundane as an air conditioner.
Lost amid the headlines of the entertainment and sports complex has been the hard work done by countless citizens on homelessness, job creation, education, arts, volunteerism and the green economy.
Many Sacramento citizens may not know about the 2,500 homes created as transitional housing for our neediest residents over the past two years an unprecedented accomplishment and direct result of the mayor's office collectively tackling homelessness instead of trying to sweep it under the rug.
They may not know about the Greenwise Joint Venture that's designed to diversify the Sacramento economy and create a sustainable Emerald Valley, breaking our economic reliance on government work and real estate.
Greenwise has attracted millions of dollars of new investment and is putting 1,500 people to work.
They may not be aware of the thousands of Sacramentans who volunteer service time and energy at animal shelters and parks and adult day care centers and a hundred other places across our region as a result of the volunteer initiative kick-started by the mayor's office.
And they may not be familiar with the work being done by Sacramento Reads, an initiative to combat a terrifying reality in Sacramento the fact that only slightly more than one-third of the city's third-graders can read at the appropriate grade level.
When I ran for mayor four years ago, I pledged to make Sacramento a city that works for everyone. To focus on creating jobs, cutting crime and making our neighborhoods strong.
Those boxes can be checked off. But there is still more work to do.
We must make our city government work better, squeeze the most out of our tax dollars and ensure our streets are safe and our schools are not just good, but great in every neighborhood.
It's called back-to-basics government, and it's ripe for these lean economic times. And it's what I believe our citizens want not hollow lists of campaign promises that can't be fulfilled.
Moving Sacramento forward is my agenda: one job, one investment, one school, one warehouse at a time.