Spotlight on Meadowview

‘The newcomers’ ‘Foot patrol’ ‘The Man of Meadowview’ ‘Healing the neighborhood’ ‘Welcome to Margaritaville’ ‘Stepping up to the dais’

The police killing of Stephon Clark in March 2018 put a new spotlight on Meadowview, and refocused City Hall on issues of economic justice for long-neglected neighborhoods.

Meadowview has lived through tough times, white flight and the crack epidemic. It still struggles with poverty and lower education levels than the rest of Sacramento.

But for many, this inner-ring suburb is an affordable and safe home. Residents have found ways to thrive. They’ve named Little League fields after beloved cops, new immigrants are realizing their dreams and activists are enriching the lives of young people.

Capital Public Radio spent a year looking at Meadowview’s complicated history and talking to leaders who are remaking the neighborhood for the next generation.

Now, Capital Public Radio is bringing stories and wisdom from Meadowview through a seven-part podcast called “Making Meadowview” that launches Thursday, Oct. 10, and ends with an episode responding to listener feedback. You can listen wherever you find your podcasts, and learn more at

The following episodes will debut week-by-week through mid-November:

The Newcomers

A large community of Pacific Islanders lives in Meadowview, attending Christian churches and public schools. When members of the Tongan community were becoming active in criminal gangs, elders brought them back to their roots by teaching them Polynesian dance.

Foot patrol

Meadowview residents still talk about how much they loved Officer Dan Ware, one of Sacramento’s first black police officers. He often patrolled by foot, and as a baseball coach he was a role model for young neighborhood boys. But he also had personal battles with his employers at the Sacramento Police Department.

The man of Meadowview

Sixteen-year old Lamajhe Miles wants to be a professional football player. And he has the talent. But without a bed to sleep on, poor grades and bad influences all around, all he has is his will.

Healing the neighborhood

RoLanda Wilkins grew up in Meadowview and lived through its crack epidemic in the 1980s. Now, she dedicates her life to empowering neighborhood girls, some of whom may be working through residual effects of the crack epidemic’s “lost generation.”

Welcome to Margaritaville

Margarita Chavez has the best house on the block. At least, that’s how she describes it to all who visit her in Detroit Park. She wants her neighbors to feel that same pride in their home. So Chavez patrols nearby streets to report neighborhood ills, trash, stray dogs and overgrown lawns. She’s a familiar voice to the city’s 311 operators—a squeaky wheel who knows how to get things done, for herself and her neighbors.

Stepping up to the dais

Mai Vang has always been a trailblazer. She is a first-generation Hmong American and the eldest of 16 children. As a young adult, she helped start a nonprofit to give political voice to her South Asian community. Now, she’s a school board member and aspiring City Council member for Meadowview. Is it a thirst for power, a sense of altruism or something else that drives her to work tirelessly for the public?