With more than 200 supporters on hand, Darrell Steinberg said Wednesday he is running for Sacramento mayor to continue the city’s forward trajectory and tackle its biggest challenges.
“We will lead with our hearts and with our heads,” Steinberg said repeatedly during his address at the Mill at Broadway development as construction crews worked on new homes in the background.
Steinberg, the former state Senate leader and city councilman, touched often on his background as an advocate for mental health support and youth services. He said he wants to build housing for the homeless using millions of dollars from a 2004 state proposition he co-authored that increased taxes on millionaires to pay for mental health services. And he said after-school programs are vital to combating the city’s rising crime rate.
The Mill, south of Broadway near downtown, represents “our city’s future,” Steinberg said.
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“This project, and many like it, represent the kind of millennial energy we must foster in our city,” he said.
Steinberg will face Councilwoman Angelique Ashby in June 2016. Ashby is a two-term councilwoman who represents North Natomas.
Moments after Steinberg’s speech ended, Ashby’s campaign sent an email to supporters saying she had been prepared to take on Mayor Kevin Johnson in next year’s election. Johnson announced last week that he would not seek a third term after his current term ends in 2016.
Ashby’s campaign released an internal poll showing she could have beaten Johnson in a head-to-head race. And her campaign sought to capitalize on anti-Johnson sentiment in the city by writing in the email that established politicians refused to take Johnson on “even in the face of growing distractions that increasingly risked our city’s progress.”
That was an apparent reference to recent coverage of molestation charges made against Johnson nearly 20 years ago, including a police video of the teenage girl who made the accusations that was posted by the sports website Deadspin. The allegations, which Johnson denied and never led to criminal charges, were covered extensively in the Sacramento media when Johnson won his first term as mayor in 2008.