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Sacramento Homeless Union launches recall campaign against Mayor Steinberg

The campaign comes after the group says the mayor didn't do enough to open warming centers on the worst night of storms. Six unhoused people died the storms.
Credit: AP/AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File
FILE - In this April 10, 2018, file photo, Sacramento, Calif., Mayor Darrell Steinberg asks question during a meeting of the city council in Sacramento, Calif. Mayors in several of California's major cities steered away from calls to defund police budgets Wednesday, June 10, 2020, and instead promised to work for reforms that would examine how police are deployed and go about their jobs in their communities. Steinberg said a moment has arrived to fundamentally examine "what do we actually expect our police officers to do, and what do we want them not to do?" (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Advocates of the unhoused have officially launched a recall campaign against Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg following deadly storms that hit Sacramento the last week of January.

The campaign comes as homeless advocates say Steinberg didn’t do enough to open warming centers for the city's homeless population. It's believed six people died outdoors the night of the storms, although the county coroner has not confirmed the cause of deaths for those who died during the storms. 

The Sacramento Homeless Union initially gave the mayor 72 hours to step down before launching their campaign. A warming center was open the Monday night before the storms and the Wednesday night after the worst day of the storm, but advocates say it was on the mayor to take action Tuesday night.

Sacramento County guidelines say warming centers only open up when forecasts predict more than three days of freezing temperatures.

“We have been informed by the county and our own legal research shows that those are guidelines, it is the mayor who has the authority, the city council who has the authority to take those actions,” Sacramento Homeless Union’s Attorney Anthony D. Price said. “That shelter, that warming shelter should have been opened.”

The Sacramento Homeless Union needs 28,000 valid signatures for the Sacramento County Clerk to approve the recall petition.

ABC10 reached out to the Mayor Steinberg’s office Thursday morning for a comment about the recall campaign, but has not heard back. Steinberg did release a statement to ABC10 on Sunday after the Sacramento Homeless Union set the deadline for him to step down where he said he's "done more than any public official in Sacramento history to address the issue of people experiencing homelessness. I will continue my fight to get people indoors through whatever means necessary."

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