From the Office of Councilmember Jay Schenirer
“Unprecedented” is generally the word that folks use to describe our current situation – as a community, city, country and world. My hope, our hope, is that we are through the worst, are adjusting to this new world, and will come out of this stronger than when it began. Without a doubt, we have a very long way to go. As we emerge, however, I think it is important that we stop to take stock, see what we’ve learned, and have a thoughtful discussion about what we want to hold on to as we figure out the new normal.
Here are some thoughts to begin the conversation.
First, the challenge of COVID 19 has confirmed, over and over again, what a wonderful community we live in. I have always said that when challenged, Sacramentans always step up. This time has been no different. Our Donate4Sacramento response fund has to date generated nearly $1.3 million dollars from over 1,300 donors. Organizations have shown tremendous leadership in helping support individuals and their families who are in need. Time and again, we hear stories of individuals and organizations going above and beyond to pitch in and help.
Second, our city, under the leadership of Mayor Steinberg and City Manager Howard Chan, is working hard to meet the challenges before us. At the City, our employees, across the board, have also stepped up to continue vital city services. Despite over 1,700 of our employees working remotely, the City continues to move forward with our budget challenges and making decisions about the federal stimulus money we received. I know that our management team will work collaboratively with the council to coninue working towards our goals of investing in our most at-risk neighborhoods, finding solutions for our unsheltered population, supporting our youth, and meeting many, many needs of those we represent. I also want to acknowledge and thank all of our front-line folks – those who protect us and keep our city running.
Third, we will be different. Sacramento has always been a model community, on the forefront of social and economic issues. By the time this is over, every one of us will be impacted. I don’t believe we yet have a concept of the depth of the damage to our way of life, both socially and economically. But I do hope that we find some silver lining. More folks are out of their cars and in our parks. Our relationships with each other, while mostly on zoom, have hopefully been enhanced. Our empathy for those who have suffered the most has increased. What I fervently hope is that our caring for one another will continue to grow, and we will base our future decisions on the collective good, whether it is around the environment, transportation, the unsheltered, or our young people. Let’s keep looking forward to making our community and city exactly the place where we want to raise our children and grandchildren. Be safe, be healthy and look out for one another. -Jay