Sac State electrical engineering major Waverly Hampton III stands on the Guy West Bridge at Sac State on Friday, Feb. 7. Hampton is running on a platform of homelessness reform and solar initiatives. (Rahul Lal)
Sac State electrical engineering major Waverly Hampton III stands on the Guy West Bridge at Sac State on Friday, Feb. 7. Hampton is running on a platform of homelessness reform and solar initiatives.

Rahul Lal

Sac State student running for Sacramento City Council targets homeless crisis

Waverly Hampton III says family history of service inspired his run

February 17, 2020

Waverly Hampton III said that after moving to Sacramento, the amount of homelessness and litter and his car being broken into made him feel like he couldn’t start a family in the city.

So he decided to do something about it. 

Hampton, 24, is an electrical engineering major at Sacramento State running for Sacramento City Council District 6, which borders Sac State on the east and south side. Running against incumbent Vice Mayor Eric Guerra, 41, Hampton promises a “new wave” that will involve more people of color and the LGBTQ+ community.

Story continues below photo.

Rahul Lal
Waverly Hampton III poses in the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex at Sac State on Friday, Feb. 7. The 24-year-old electrical engineering major is running for the Sacramento City Council District 6.

“If you look at our generation, we’re a little more social, more liberal, than the older generation,” Hampton said. “You need youth representation to tell the council members what kind of environment they want in the city because they’re the ones that are going to be growing up in this city.”

Hampton’s positions include: designating public land to be used as homeless camps; increasing public transit options to reduce carbon emissions from cars, and hiring more staff in the Sacramento City Unified School District, according to his campaign website.

Marilyn Velasco, a Sac State social work masters student, said a person’s age doesn’t always reflect maturity level and shouldn’t bar a person from running for city council.

“It would depend on the person’s reliability and history and just overall work experience,” Velasco said.

Story continues below photo.

Rahul Lal
Waverly Hampton III stands in front of the Sacramento mural at Sac State on Friday, Feb. 7. Hampton is running for the Sacramento City Council District 6.

Hampton said his family’s tradition of service inspired his decision to run for office. He was born to a mother who served in the Navy and Army Corps of Engineers with a stepfather who served in the Air Force and worked for 30 years as a civil rights attorney.

Before attending Sac State, Hampton attended the Marion Military Institute in Alabama. He said his family’s tradition and his time at Marion taught him a philosophical approach to leadership.

“You have to rise to the occasion if you need it,” Hampton said. “It was the fact that there was someone in charge who wasn’t doing their job and that people were telling me that they weren’t being responsive.”

Film studies major Ali Mesgaran said that as more of the current generation runs for office, more opportunities will be available in the future.

“They should try their best, maybe it’s worth a shot,” Mesgaran said. “Why not.”

Hampton said that he hopes to raise awareness about issues regarding the environment, homelessness and public transportation and to see Guerra have a change of heart. Hampton said Guerra has yet to change his positions. 

Guerra, however, said Hampton hasn’t been in the district long enough to understand the issues.

“He’s only been here for a year and isn’t aware of all the programs we’ve instituted right next to campus,” Guerra said.

Guerra said he understands the struggle of being homeless in Sacramento, having slept in his car when he started to attend Sac State in the early 2000s.

RELATED: Sac State student speaks out about experience with homelessness

Guerra pointed at his efforts to convert motels in District 6 into temporary housing shelters and remodeling houses used to illegally grow marijuana into family homes. Guerra said that they moved one family into a home in December of last year and will be ready to move another family in soon.

Velasco said she doesn’t see the city council as being shut off from the city.

“I think that our council today has a pretty open mind about those issues,” Velasco said, emphasizing their work on homelessness.

Guerra recently received endorsements from the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento News and Review in the city council race. However, both papers also commended Hampton for his plan to combat the homeless crisis.

Hampton said he hopes to push the election to a November run-off and that endorsements don’t matter compared to how people will vote.

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  • EmilyFeb 19, 2020 at 12:57 am

    I would so appreciate if he rose to power of some kind within Sacramento. We need more of the new generation like him speaking out on issues, his views really represent the views that I’ve seen expressed at Sac State. Homelessness really needs a fresh take, we have been focusing on it as a “housing crisis” when a lot of it is also addiction and mental illness, personal issues that desperately need attention and resources that just aren’t there. If you honestly think homeless people have sufficient resources to overcome addiction and get mental health care, ask your local cops and social workers what resources there are and if they feel like there is enough. I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a woman who said she was a social worker for over 20 years in Sacramento county, and she lamented about how they barely had resources for people who weren’t homeless, and that their hands were tied with lack of funding, staffing, and facilities. Similarly, cops will talk about how they see the same people on the streets addicted or ill, homeless until they die on the streets and have to be investigated, and that there isn’t anywhere homeless people who are doubly marginalized in these ways can go to get help.

  • VoterFeb 18, 2020 at 5:19 am

    “In addition to the proposals above, I would be an advocate, as councilman, for securing the funds, through sales tax increase, to fix and repair our existing transit system first, and to introduce and increase greener transit options to our roads such as electric buses, electric cars, and electric bikes that would be available for rent by the public.”

    How many sales tax increases do you people want from us? I’m certain we’ve heard these fairly tale grand plans before. “All we need is YOUR money, and everything will be great!” It’s amazing how liberals are always looking for a revenue stream to fund their crock pot ideas, as if MY MONEY is going to solve the world’s problems.

    I read your whole “policies and positions” section on your campaign site…

    Pander to all the minority groups with promises of handouts, “inclusiveness” and elevated living standards? CHECK
    Eco-Friendly “ideas” that no one really wants to use? CHECK
    More taxes on the citizens that are being hampered by high taxes already? CHECK

    Pack your bags, you’re done.