Less than a month before California's primary election, the Sacramento mayoral candidates made their pitches to an audience at Sacramento State University.
They agreed on the need to create affordable housing and to attract businesses to Sacramento.
“I go down in our neighborhoods and I see a lot of empty spaces down there,” Tony Lopez, former boxer and current Sacramento mayoral candidate, said. “To me that’s not just an empty space, that’s an opportunity to bring businesses to that spot.”
But Councilmember Angelique Ashby and Former Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg took jabs at each other.
Steinberg said the current city government, that Ashby is a part of, is not responsive to the needs of the neighborhoods.
“The city's governance is disconnected,” he said.
Ashby blamed Steinberg for a loss of local funds for redevelopment.
“While I don't doubt your work, and you’ve done fine, it’s just not okay to say both things,” Ashby said. “You couldn’t protect us from $65 million and you also now say you can draw down more money. You were the Senator at that time.”
“I sure was,” Steinberg responded. “I will put my public record as Pro Tem of the Senate before the people of Sacramento very happily.”
The exchanges continued, giving way to a heated debate.
“It's getting a little chippy here,” Steinberg said.
Behind Ashby are the police and fire department unions. Supporting Steinberg are current Sacramento councilmembers and Gov. Jerry Brown. Counting himself as an outsider, Lopez said he hopes to get the support of the voters.
“I want a real voice, real people, real solutions to Sacramento,” Lopez said.
The candidates talked about their plans to create educational programs.
“So that our creation of jobs is connected with education and workforce development,” Steinberg said.
And help working families keep up with the cost of living.
“We need everyone in Sacramento to be making more money,” Ashby said.
Platforms they hope the people of Sacramento will take into account when casting their vote on June 7.