Frontrunners in Sacramento’s mayoral race took center stage Wednesday night at a forum sponsored by the Sacramento Metro Chamber.
Council member Angelique Ashby and former state senator Darrell Steinberg spoke on topics ranging from job growth to affordable housing.
Absent from the forum were candidates Russell Rawlings and Tony Lopez.
The forum was moderated by KCRA 3 political analyst Kevin Riggs, lasting 1.5 hours. Overall, the discussions stayed cordial.
With their eyes set on the mayoral seat, Steinberg and Ashby touted their resumes among the audience of business leaders and stakeholders at the Crocker Art Museum.
“I don’t think there’s any comparison in terms of experience, reach and consistently achieving big results — not just for the state, but for the city,” Steinberg said.
“If you’re looking for someone to pass big statewide legislation for you, then I’m not your girl,” Ashby said. “But, if you want to reduce your crime rate, like we have done in Natomas by 48 percent in my first term, then you should vote for me.”
With the rising cost of housing and rentals in the city, Ashby and Steinberg offered suggestions on protecting residents from being priced out.
“I think as the supply increases — my hope is that under the basic laws of supply and demand — is that it’s going to bring some price moderation,” Steinberg said.
“We need to have a conversation, and we need to work together — the business, the housing advocates, our partners in the community, and the region — to look at how we’re going to ensure a full spectrum of housing in our downtown,” Ashby said.
Both candidates see the need to move forward and use the momentum of the Golden 1 Center but said that should just be the beginning.
“What Sacramento needs is to recruit business, is to do a better job of telling our story,” Ashby said. “We have to sell ourselves better.”
“We need to develop the riverfront in Sacramento,” Steinberg said. “It is a wasted opportunity, with the confluence of two rivers. The river street should be our main street.”
Two other candidates vying to become Sacramento’s next mayor were not part of the discussions. Sacramento Metro Chamber said Lopez and Rawlings didn’t seek the group’s endorsement, but the two did appear before the forum, outside the Crocker Art Museum.
“I need the endorsement of the people,” Lopez said. “I don’t need the endorsement of some chamber.”
“I am here to find out where my opponents heads are at, and it’s a real great opportunity to see that first hand,” Rawlings said.
The Sacramento Metro Chamber represents more than 1,700 member companies. The group’s political action committee financially supports the candidate that members endorse.