College Democrats engage Kevin Johnson on Measure L

State Hornet Staff

Sac State College Democrats proved being on the same political party does not mean agreeing on every single topic of interest.

When Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson followed up his Monday night town hall meeting by giving the College Democrats a more private hearing about Measure L yesterday, he was asked questions that challenged the effectiveness of increasing mayoral authority.

Before Johnson arrived, speaker Alexandra Reagan started by saying she represented the “No on L” campaign.

“It [Measure L] takes power from the people, from neighborhoods and gives more of it to the mayor,” Reagan said. “We need the people to have a voice.”

Reagan said she does not understand claims of the mayor’s position being ceremonial when he was able to acquire $250,000 out of subsidies for the building of the arena that was proposed. She also went on to state the redundancy of creating neighborhood and ethnic councils when there are already similar associations.

“It’s not that we don’t like the mayor, it has nothing to do with that,” Reagan said. “This is about democracy and making sure that we have enough power distributed.”

When Johnson walked in, he gave a very similar, but condensed version of his speech at the American Riverfront Center. Afterwards, he addressed his need for the city council manager even if Measure L is passed and how other large cities follow a strong mayor governance structure.

“I can propose a budget. I can say these are city priorities,” Johnson said. “I can even allocate dollars towards activities the community feels is really important. I can not do that today.”

Many of the questions from the democrats attending circled around a lack of representation if the city council lost power. Johnson replied by insisting he will remain accessible to the public.

“My commitment is to do what I’m doing now and to be at farmer’s markets or out at activities and all these events while interacting with the public,” Johnson said. “I gotta go to the people. I don’t want them to feel like they have to come to city hall.”