Policy Update | 2017 Brings New Leadership and New Policies

The beginning of any new year brings with it changes in both policy and our local elected representatives. 2017 is no different, although this year many of the members of the Sacramento City Council and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors remain the same, with some notable exceptions.

Beginning with the City, the major change is of course the beginning of Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s first term in office. Elected to the office in June, but not sworn in until December, Mayor Steinberg has taken the interim months to prepare for his new role and responsibilities. Of course, leadership is nothing new for Mayor Steinberg, having most recently served as President Pro Tempore in the California State Senate from 2008 to 2014. With experience at both the state and city level, Mayor Steinberg is well positioned to move forward a comprehensive policy agenda that will focus on issues including economic development, homelessness, riverfront activation and youth education & engagement. Outside of the new Mayor, the remainder of the Sacramento city council remains unchanged, with Councilmembers Steve Hansen, Allen Warren, Eric Guerra, and Larry Carr continuing in new terms.

Looking at the County level of government, District 4 welcomed newly elected Supervisor Sue Frost. Frost, a Citrus Heights local, attended college in Napa and returned to Citrus Heights to serve on its city council as Mayor, Vice Mayor and a councilmember for several years prior to her election to County Supervisor. With experience as an elected official plus her 29+ year career in mortgage lending, Frost brings years of knowledge about District 4, which encompasses parts of Antelope, Orangevale, Rancho Murieta, Citrus Heights and Rio Linda / Elverta, to her new role as Supervisor. In addition to her work as an elected, Frost has also served on multiple boards including Stem Cells for Cures, Roseville Parkinson’s Support Group, Tentmakers, Inc. and Frost Enterprises. She has also been involved with the Sacramento Association of Realtors for several years and is a member of Citrus Heights Rotary. During her campaign, Frost ran on a platform of public safety, responsible budgets, new jobs, fixed roads and empowerment of non-profits.

In addition to welcoming new elected officials to the Sacramento area, we also saw a number of new laws and policies come into effect with the new year. Just to highlight a few, minimum wage has increased by 50 cents in 2017, granny flat restrictions have been eased to assist in providing additional housing options due to significant demand, a passerby may now break a car window if they believe a pet is in imminent danger, and drivers may not hold their cell phones and must utilize hands-free modes. For a more comprehensive list of policy changes in 2017, take a look at this article from the Sacramento Business Journal.

We can expect even more policy news in the coming months, as the State legislature is now back in session and the City and County are set to have the first in a series of joint meeting on January 31st. This is the first meeting of its type in nearly 15 years and the issue area covered during the initial meeting will be homelessness. Join us next month as we continue to learn more about what 2017 holds on the policy front.