Second-term Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, a relative newcomer to city politics, formally announced her candidacy for mayor Wednesday morning.
Ashby, 40, who got her start in politics as a North Natomas activist, said she had learned from Mayor Kevin Johnson, but “it is time to take the city to the next level.”
In a brief speech and question-and-answer period, backed by two dozen supporters, she said she wants to build a city where families know that they are safe, where there are employment and education opportunities, and where the quality of life encourages people to live here.
She said she made her decision to run for mayor before Johnson announced he would not seek a third term. Ashby has been one of Johnson’s most solid allies on the council.
“I didn’t know the mayor’s timeline,” she said. “I don’t make a decision based on who is in” or not.
She said her decision also was not based on troubles the mayor has had with allegations of inappropriate contact with women. She said she is grateful for the mayor’s partnership in her time on the council, but said she and the mayor are quite different.
“We are different individuals. For one thing, I am a woman.”
She emphasized her ability to bring people together. “A good council collaborates. I have built many relationships.”
In her opening comments, she also highlighted homelessness, saying “it is not an issue we can skirt anymore. We have to take it head-on.”
Ashby made the announcement at the Folsom Boulevard offices of a key support group, Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522.
Ashby is a mother of three children. She has a law degree from McGeorge School of Law, a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UC Davis and is a graduate of Sacramento High School. She put herself through UC Davis and McGeorge School of Law as a single mother.
She was first elected to City Council in 2010 for the Natomas area, unseating incumbent Ray Tretheway.
She has worked on enhanced flood protection for Natomas, advocated for libraries in Sacramento and helped Natomas Unified School District pass a facilities bond to keep up with a growing student population.
Ashby said she had wanted to announce her candidacy for weeks, but was waiting for Johnson to make an announcement about his intentions.
She estimates she will need to raise at least $1 million to run a competitive race for mayor. She said she has spent the past several weeks meeting with advisers and potential donors.
Ashby said she feels that Sacramento hasn’t done enough to combat homelessness and needs to engage the issue more directly. She said she wants to establish a business-friendly environment and that the city needs to double down its efforts to combat a spiking crime rate.