Let Carr drive the county

Before making endorsements, SN&R looks for a few key qualities in local political candidates: experience, progressive thinking, sympathy for the little guy and the ability to pay rapt attention through hour upon hour of public meetings. But when two candidates blessed with these characteristics pursue the same seat, as in the race for county supervisor, we look for that elusive and all-important final ingredient: vision.

Larry Carr wooed us right off when he insisted that this election was not about flood control or budgeting or reining in an unpopular sheriff’s department. Carr and his major opponent, former city Councilman Jimmie Yee, generally agree on these issues. According to Carr, the campaign for Illa Collin’s District 2 seat is about one major muddle: future land use—and how to make policy with another million people threatening to overwhelm Sacramento within 20 years.

Carr and Yee both embrace smart-growth strategies, but Carr clearly articulates just how much the county’s future health is tied up in the land-use decisions we make today. He gets the big picture—and prescribes an aggressive campaign of infill, quality affordable housing and denser development along major transportation corridors to limit traffic congestion and sprawl.

We endorse Carr because when he looks forward, he sees the Sacramento he wants to help shape. And it looks a lot like the one we want to live in.

And give Hammond the wheel in the city

Lauren Hammond is heavily favored in her race to maintain her city-council seat, and we’re happy to recommend she continue her good work in District 5. But L.R. Roberts really could have given Hammond a run for her money—had Roberts had any to spend.

Hammond already advocates aggressively for her district. She’s electrified languishing Oak Park commercial corridors and has improved neighborhoods with streetlights and sidewalks. We admire her knowledge of flood-control needs in South Sacramento, and we appreciate her broaching the subject of rent control with the council. We also love that she sponsored progressive legislation supporting a withdrawal from Iraq and the dismantling of the mysterious and powerful USA Patriot Act.

But Roberts has closely followed city politics for years, and she can rattle off a list of priorities that sound surprisingly, well, high priority: developing extremely low-cost housing, subsidizing small businesses instead of the pet corporations like IMAX Theatre on K Street, and redistricting so that neighborhoods aren’t split in two and handed to different city representatives. And while she’s at it, Roberts would like to make gross housing speculation illegal.

Though we’re throwing our support behind Hammond, we wish Roberts had waged a loud, raucous campaign. She has things to say about gentrification and looking out for working people that our city leaders need to hear loud and clear right now. If Councilwoman Hammond is looking for a new adviser, we’d endorse Roberts for that job.