Tech expectations

Sacramento should embrace a future in the tech industry

With the recent presidential-election craziness, it can be easy to forget there are important issues at the local level, too.

There’s the mayor’s race, of course—and with it questions about the region’s outlook. SN&R addresses that with this week’s feature “Make Sacramento great again” on page 12. In addition to interviews with candidates Tony Lopez and Russell Rawlings, it includes a to-do list of 10 things the next city leader needs to take on, including better services for the homeless and improved public transit, among other mandates.

I’ll add a No. 11 to the list: Better tech opportunities for all.

With close proximity to Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, Sacramento should be poised to emerge as not just a hub for tech jobs, but a place that fosters great ideas and the resources to follow through at every level—from grade school to college and beyond. Right now, we’re still too far off the map. Last April, Sacramento ranked at No. 69 on NerdWallet’s 100 “Best Places for a Tech Job.” In February, a report from SmartAsset put us at No. 43 on its list of best places for women in the industry.

Those rankings (both based in part on opportunities and salary) aren’t good enough. Change, however, doesn’t just start at the hiring level.

Whether it’s bringing free high-speed Wi-Fi to the city via Google Fiber, implementing additional computer literacy programs in schools or funding improved access to digital devices in underserved communities, Sacramento’s next leader must push the region beyond the status quo and into the future.