Making Democracy Work

Issues of Emphasis 2017-2018

Issues for Education and Advocacy for 2017-2018:

City Good Governance Framework: Independent Redistricting Commission, Transparency Ordinance and Ethics Commission

Civic Engagement: Increase voter turnout by broadening Voter Service outreach in the communities with low voter turnout.

Homelessness and Affordable Housing: Study homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in Sacramento County.

Climate Change: Educate ourselves on what measures can be used to mitigate the effects of climate change in the Sacramento area, i.e. preparing for adequate drinking and agricultural water and protecting our region from sea water flooding.

Here are updates on some of our current issues:

Sacramento Integrity Project Update - A primary focus over the past year has been the Sacramento Integrity Project that includes Independent Redistricting, Transparency, and Ethics at the city governance level. This is a community-led effort convened by the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County and California Common Cause, the purpose of which is to bring common sense redistricting, transparency and ethics reform to Sacramento.

In 2015, the League, partnering with other groups, held ten public forums across the city to solicit public feedback on these reforms.Based on this feedback, the League and Common Cause proposed that the Sacramento City Council enact three key reforms:

(1) Establish an Independent Citizen's Redistricting Commission with the power to draw district lines;

(2) Adopt a Sunshine Ordinance to increase transparency in City Hall; and

(3) Create an Ethics Code to establish standards of ethics conduct by elected officials and city staff, and an independent Ethics Commission to educate the public and officials about these needed reforms.

You will be hearing more about this project as we move forward into the year ahead.

Update on Sacramento Homelessness - The League of Sacramento County remains committed to working with our community partners to address this vital issue that affects so many in our city. According to the report from nonprofit Sacramento Steps Forward, titled "Homelessness in Sacramento County: Results from the 2017 Point-in-Time Count," the total number of people experiencing homelessness has increased by 30 percent to 3,665 since 2015.

Among people who are unsheltered, a subset of the total population who are living outdoors on the street, in tents, cars, or RVs, the number has increased by 85 percent to 2,052. Approximately 31% of people who are unsheltered are chronically homeless, meaning they have experienced prolonged bouts of homelessness and are disabled.

Sacramento Steps Forward, a non-profit working to end homelessness in the Sacramento region, commissioned this report as a part of its biennial point-in-time count, which is a 400 volunteer led county-wide census of people experiencing homelessness. Read the whole report here.