Sacramento News & Review
The downtown Entertainment and Sports Center has been described regularly by Mayor Kevin Johnson as a project that is bigger than basketball. It is unfortunate that the new Sacramento First Community Advisory Council is ignoring the voices of residents interested in seeing permanent change result from their more than $300 million investment in a new sports center. With so much potential for change, I find it hard to believe that Johnson and the city feel that a 13-person council can offer adequate representation without an open forum or greater community involvement. The Community Advisory Council is a business coalition.
This project has been labeled since its beginning as a chance for revitalization. Who is to benefit from this revitalization? Community-benefits agreements have done great things for their communities, like L.A. Live in Los Angeles. When closed-door agreements are made, they become embarrassments, like Yankee Stadium.
A new sports complex was not intended to be a legacy for the mayor. It was to take us all into a future where Sacramento can be more prosperous and dynamic. As the capital of California, we should be an example of what our great state can do when citizens are involved in decisions and treated as partners in government.