The outcome of the Nov. 6 vote on Measure U will determine how much we can do to move our city forward.
In 2012, after several years of historic budget cuts due to the recession, Sacramento voters approved the first Measure U to restore critical city services.
The city used those funds wisely to fund 61 new police officers, eight detectives, six forensic investigators and four dispatchers; to reopen police station public counters; to restore 48 firefighter positions, end rotating fire station closures, add two ambulance units and a new fire truck company and replace critical life-saving equipment; to reopen 12 swimming pools, extend library hours, fund 53 parks employees and add kids camps, gang prevention programs and homework help.
What does all of that mean for Sacramento?
It means response times to 911 calls are vastly improved, and ambulances get to patients faster. It means our police department can begin to focus on community-oriented policing and that libraries, pools and parks are open for our families and students. It means more people have jobs in our city and that young people have more opportunities for positive activities in safe environments with caring adults. It means that the people of our city have more resources to improve our collective quality of life.
A “yes” vote on Measure U means we get to keep going. We won’t go backwards. We won’t make cuts. Instead we will keep what we have and continue to invest in our shared future.
Measure U means additional ambulances, well trained and properly equipped emergency responders, help for the animal shelter, more hours and programs at libraries, more vocational programs and better maintained parks. It means we can increase funding for affordable housing and address homelessness. It means we can invest in neighborhoods and grow our economy by supporting local businesses. We can build on the momentum in our economic corridors and work to extend that investment into neighborhoods throughout our city.
A “yes” vote on Measure U also means more enforcement against illegal dumping, more homework help and swim lessons, clean and safe parks and more police officers with the resources they need to focus on community engagement. Measure U represents an opportunity for Sacramento to invest in our city, in our people, in our communities and in our youth.
As it should be, this decision is yours, Sacramento. We hope you will come to the same conclusion we have -- that our city will thrive with this investment and that our future is bright when we place value on our collective opportunities.
Angelique Ashby represents District 1 on the Sacramento City Council and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rick Jennings represents District 7 on the Sacramento City Council and can be contacted at email@example.com.