After six long years, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s quest for more power (Strong Mayor) is over.
Measure L, would have given the mayor executive authority over department heads and the city manager and the power to veto council decisions.
Supporters for Measure L, raised over a million dollars vs an estimated 240 thousand for those against the Strong Mayor measure.
Most of the money and much of the support for Measure L originated outside of Sacramento. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated nearly $100,000, and large donations from Laurene Powell Jobs (widow of Steve Jobs), developer Angelo K. Tsakopoulos, and Kevin Nagle ,Sacramento Republic FC lead investor.
The Measure did not have the support of any city’s Democratic organizations, with the Feminist, Young, Green, Latino, Stonewall, Veterans,Women, and Wellstone Democratic Clubs campaigning against the Measure.
The Power of the Neighborhood Associations
Historically, the mayors office and council members have worked closely with Sacramento’s Neighborhood/Community associations. Many of the city’s Neighborhood/Community Associations have long felt neglected by the mayors office.
In 2012, Mayor Johnson’s campaign manager told the media. The would not attend a mayoral forum because the mayor faces “no viable candidates” in the race even though his opponent Jonathan Rewers ,was endorsed by former Sacramento mayors Anne Rudin and Heather Fargo.
In many communities with strong associations (South Natomas, Greenhaven, Land Park, Southside, Curtis Park, Woodlake and East Sacramento)the measure lost by as much as 30 points. .
Angelique Ashby ,delivered in North Natomas. Citizens in South Sacramento and Meadowview overwhelmingly supported the measure. However, many of the mayors strong holds in Del Paso Heights, areas along Norwood, and Bell, and North Sac the measure passed but by smaller numbers. Citizens in his boyhood neighborhood of Oak Park voted against the measure.
Whats Next for Mayor Johnson?
Kevin Johnson initial mayoral run in 2008 changed politics forever in Sacramento. His celebrity raised the stakes, his ability to raise money changed politics forever in this mid size city.
In 2012, he had nearly 10 times the cash on hand than his opponent. The mayor is well connected outside of Sacramento and without term limits(as of today) could easily win in 2016.
The question is with Strong Mayor, dead and buried will he want to run?