My campaign is featured on the cover of the today’s issue of The Sacramento Bee. The article highlights how hard we are working to get our message to voters in all neighborhoods throughout the city and some of the challenges we are facing along the way.
At debates and public forums, she says she would be a “Day One mayor” because she is already immersed in city issues, while Steinberg – also a former city councilman – moved on long ago to state government.
“You couldn’t be more prepared to be mayor than I am right now,” she said. “I have a depth of knowledge in what’s happening right now.”
North Natomas had some of the longest emergency response times in the city because many homes had been built far from a fire station. Ashby served as a community representative with city officials to develop a financing plan for a new $9.6 million station on El Centro Road.
The City Council voted to spend the money for the new station in 2009. By that time, Ashby was in the early stages of a campaign against Tretheway, who had represented the area since 2001. Despite Tretheway’s massive fundraising advantage and longer list of endorsements, Ashby won the race in the June primary.
It was the first time in nearly 20 years an incumbent council member had been unseated.
Ashby’s colleagues selected her to serve as vice mayor twice and mayor pro tem two other times. She led council meetings during the mayor’s frequent absences and was asked to help out with events around the city, reading to schoolchildren at south Sacramento’s Phoenix Park and helping to organize a candlelight vigil after a Grant High School football player was shot to death last year.
Ashby also played a central role in lobbying federal officials for money to fund levee improvements in Natomas, work that resulted in last year’s lifting of a building moratorium in place in the region since 2008. She served on City Council committees that led to the formation of a police oversight commission and ethics reforms at City Hall. When the city’s library system was threatening to close facilities, Ashby led the successful campaign to pass a parcel tax on the June 2014 ballot that has provided millions of dollars for library hours, staffing and technology.
Ashby argues, her résumé is more valuable for the job she is seeking.
She said the evidence of her knowledge – and her plans for the future – are included in a 66-page report her campaign released last month called One Sacramento. In it, Ashby calls for bringing back police units that do community-based patrols and are not tied to 911 response; increasing funding for traffic control and anti-DUI efforts; expanding the city auditor’s office; starting a city office to help small businesses navigate red tape; and launching a homelessness commission of activists, residents and service providers.
As she walked last month along an East Sacramento street lined with brick Tudors and sycamore trees, Ashby was able to quickly adapt her message to whoever answered the door. Of the several voters she spoke with, only one said he was definitely voting for Steinberg – and that’s because he worked in the Capitol when Steinberg was a lawmaker.
Ashby’s first stop was a home where the front yard was filled with balls and bicycles. The playful yelling of two young children and a barking dog echoed from inside. “This is basically my house,” she said as she approached the front door.
Almost immediately, it was clear what the home’s residents wanted to talk about. Neil Ferrera, a prosecutor in the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, wanted to know about public safety.
For the next few minutes, Ashby talked about her experience as a neighborhood crime watch leader in North Natomas and the support she has from the city’s public safety unions. She said she wants the Police Department to reinvest in community-oriented policing – not reactionary policing – and promoted reading and after-school programs she helped develop in her City Council district.
“You’ve won me over,” Ferrera said, agreeing to place an Ashby campaign sign in his front yard. “Crime issues are what drive my local voting.”
A few houses later, Joann Brian answered the door. Ashby opened by mentioning she is “the only woman on the City Council” and she described herself as the underdog “against a machine.” The message resonated with Brian.
“It’s time for a woman to be in there,” Brian said. “We need a change.”
Check out the full article.