One less voice

On Sunday, April 24—just one day after he took part in a televised mayoral debate—Russell Rawlings dropped out of the race and announced his support behind former rival candidate Darrell Steinberg. (See “A homeless win-lose situation” by Raheem F. Hosseini, page 8).

Too bad. Rawlings’ departure means one less voice for Sacramento’s underserved.

That’s not because Rawlings necessarily stood a Bernie’s chance in hell. Rather, it’s because his scrappy campaign elevated the political conversation to new, more humane heights.

In a Facebook message posted Sunday, Rawlings touted what he’d gained as part of the political process.

“I … have been able to champion the issues I didn’t feel were being adequately addressed by our city—homelessness, affordable housing, public transportation and empowering our neighborhoods.”

Now, he says, he’s looking to Steinberg to carry on the cause. “The most important thing to me is ensuring these issues have a true champion and leader who will not only work on them but who can also shift the culture of City Hall,” he wrote. “I believe Darrell Steinberg is that leader.”

Here’s hoping—but although the former city councilman voted against the anti-camping ordinance in 1995, Steinberg avoided saying he’d actually seek to repeal it. Meanwhile, his two remaining rivals, Tony Lopez and Angelique Ashby, have both publicly stated their support for it.

Don’t let Rawlings’ exit from the race signal the turning point in which the city’s disenfranchised find themselves down one less empowered supporter. With Rawlings’ endorsement, it’s time for Steinberg to take a stronger, more compassionate stand.