Editorials

City should keep eyes on the prize

Mariah Carey poses during a ceremony honoring her with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Aug. 5. Boosters want a similar “Walk of Fame” in Sacramento.
Mariah Carey poses during a ceremony honoring her with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Aug. 5. Boosters want a similar “Walk of Fame” in Sacramento. The Associated Press

Sacramento boosters want the City Council’s blessing Tuesday night to create a “Walk of Stars” – like the one in Hollywood – to honor people who have made a difference or become famous.

Mayor Kevin Johnson announced on Twitter on Sunday that he’s starting a new tradition to hand out keys to the city to anyone who turns 100, or who already has.

These are two perfectly fine ideas. But these feel-good frills should not distract too much from the fundamentals that will determine Sacramento’s future.

For instance, Johnson and others are focusing on the challenge to finally make bicycling easier and safer. Also on Tuesday night, the council will take up a plan to build 10,000 more housing units downtown by 2025.

With projects already on the drawing board, the goal of 6,000 market-rate units will be easier to reach than the 2,500 affordable units and 1,500 units for the homeless. Those will require sustained attention, not to mention public and private cash.

This isn’t to rain on the parade of the nonprofit leading the charge for the “Walk of Stars,” particularly since it doesn’t have its hand out for any city money.

The nonprofit, led by Lucy Eidam Crocker, plans to start its official fundraising drive on Wednesday, pending council approval. She says that about $17,500 of the estimated $70,000 needed for the first year is in hand, and the cost would decrease in subsequent years.

The group’s founders – who include the heads of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, Midtown Business Association and Convention and Visitors Bureau – would recommend three to five honorees a year to the city manager for approval. They could be artists, athletes, business leaders, entertainers, philanthropists, even journalists.

The bronze and terrazzo stars would go along the route for the proposed streetcar line – a major project that is stuck in neutral. The goal is to encourage community pride and to increase sales at nearby businesses.

And if it helps boost bigger plans for the central city, even better.

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