Gang speak

Kevin Johnson hit Mayor Heather Fargo pretty hard on crime last campaign season—he basically succeeded at making her look clueless and indifferent about the fact that Sacramento’s violent-crime rate has increased by roughly half since 2001.

Now that we’re heading into a November runoff, plenty of people say Fargo is striking back with her support of an anti-gang initiative—a quarter-cent sales-tax increase. When County Supervisor Roger Dickinson’s gang-tax idea didn’t going anywhere at the county level, he punted to Fargo, who inherited a quick and easy opportunity to show off her crime-fighting ways.

At least, that’s one way to look at the recent spike in public (and private) discourse on the awful problem of gang violence.

Another approach, the one we prefer, is simply to thank Dickinson for putting the ball in play. At long last, city leaders are considering options about how best to stem the violence and keep local kids out of gangs. A proposal on the table, even a flawed one, makes everybody pay attention. And often—one way or the other—that leads to change.