SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg delivered his State of the City address on Wednesday morning.
During his State of the City address, Mayor Steinberg emphasized the importance of investing in Sacramento's youth.
“I believe when economic and budget times get bad, there is not a lot of balance,” Steinberg said. “Youth programs get cut the deepest as government focus is on preserving essential services."
According to Steinberg, during the last recession, the budget for youth summer camps, sports programs and employment was slashed by 67%.
“That is not balance,” Steinberg said. “Youth balance must be seen as essential too."
Steinberg said the price for youth to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities has increased immensely, making these programs less feasible for youth.
“These programs and activities our youth are passionate about are the key to a good childhood and preparation for adult life where children learn life lessons,” Steinberg said.
While some children are able to participate in these activities, Steinberg said those who would benefit the most from them have the least opportunity to do so.
According to Steinberg, to combat this, the city council would vote to put an initiative on the ballot to include $10-12 million a year for Sacramento's youth.
"This money would move us closer to a city-wide policy that says no child will be denied participation in any program or activity based on too few slots or an inability to pay," Steinberg said.
During the State of the City address, Steinberg announced plans to build a regional sports center.
He said this regional sports center would be built on the 120-acre vacant lot in South Sacramento that the city recently purchased from the federal government.
“Thousands of Sacramento families who’s children participate in competitive athletics travel every weekend to Manteca, Lodi, Roseville, Stockton, Santa Clara, San Jose, Los Angeles and elsewhere to compete because we have no regional sports facilities that makes us competitive to host regional, state or national tournaments," Steinberg said.
According to Steinberg, this regional sports center is an integral part in the city and region's tourism strategy because it will give the city an opportunity to attract families throughout the country.
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