A new era

This week, Darrell Steinberg was sworn in as Sacramento’s new mayor in a ceremony at the California State Railroad Museum—a somewhat staid spot if you consider the last mayor’s taste for glitzy block parties and galas.

But let’s not mistake “staid” for “boring” or “unambitious”—because Steinberg is nothing if not ambitious and, as he takes his seat at city council meetings, we can expect other key differences as well.

Steinberg has made it clear his plans for Sacramento are myriad and far-reaching: Helping to end the homelessness crisis; improving social services, particularly for the mentally ill; preserving Sacramento as a sanctuary city for immigrants; better community policing; bolstering the local arts community; and promoting smart growth and development, just to name a few areas of focus.

This city’s previous mayor famously had problems with this newspaper (among other people and institutions), but I’ll go on the record as saying that Kevin Johnson did bring some notable, even welcomed, changes during his tenure.

Despite what one thinks of the new arena, I’m glad the Sacramento Kings are still here. No, really.

And, although I’m dismayed by the perils of gentrification and the threat of the city becoming unaffordable for many groups, I can also recognize that there have been some improvements.

Still, I’m glad we’ve finally said goodbye to Johnson’s penchant for scandal and power grabs—not to mention his troubling lack of transparency.

It’s time to welcome a new era—one that’s guided by ambitious vision, but governed with a steady hand.