Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, who serves as vice mayor, is not seeking re-election after holding the position for 12 years. Instead, Ashby is joining the race for California State Senate.
In the Greater Sacramento region, District 1 continues to grow in population, jumping from 55,141 in 2010 to 69,450 in 2020. That's a 25.9% change, making District 1 the fastest growing area. District 1 does not only represent Natomas. It's also welcoming more communities, including neighborhoods west of Robla, due to the slight shift in redistricting.
The four candidates vying for votes in District 1 include:
- Robert Alvis
- Lisa Kaplan
- Alyssa Lozano
- Nate Pelczar
Who is Lisa Kaplan?
Lisa Kaplan is a PTA mom, small business owner, education attorney, Girl Scout leader, "Walk to School" volunteer and 20-year board member of the Natomas Unified School District. She's been living in Sacramento for 25 years.
For Kaplan, the main issues include housing, homelessness, public safety, and economic recovery. If elected, Kaplan wants to fight "to keep our city and schools thriving, strengthen community policing, invest in small businesses, partner with schools to increase extracurricular opportunities, expand housing affordability and work with all levels of government and community partners to address homelessness."
"I'm running for Sacramento City Council, District 1, because I love our city," said Kaplan. "I love Natomas and Robla. But, Sacramento hasn't had it easy lately, from COVID to distance learning, struggling businesses and the unaffordability of housing. The real big thing we all have to do is address the unhoused. It is heartbreaking, but I think we need more help from the state. I love bringing people together to solve complex problems."
Who is Nate Pelczar?
Nate Pelczar is a government accountability and finance expert. He's provided strategic advising and auditing services to governmental and private organizations. Pelczar also has experience in project management and budgeting. He currently helps run an environmental nonprofit, California Product Stewardship Council, and leads several other nonprofits throughout the Greater Sacramento region.
Pelczar has been living in Natomas since 2009. He wants the open seat at city council to "invest in our parks, schools, and libraries, ensure we complete our levees, and champion an employment corridor along I-5." For Pelczar, the three main priorities include building housing and helping the unhoused, safety and security and continuing Ashby's "legacy."
"The thing I love the most about District 1 is the diversity," Pelczar said. "It's a wonderful tight-knit community. Sacramento has some very serious issues and each impacts Districts 1. The biggest issue is public safety. There's a need to have a stronger police presence, more community policing and more communication between the neighborhood watch groups and the police department."
Who is Alyssa Lozano?
Alyssa Lozano is a mom, small business owner, president of the Natomas Chamber of Commerce and a local realtor with more than 20 years experience. She was born and raised in Natomas, being part of the community for more than 40 years. Lozano says she learned the value of hard work and giving back to communities from her parents. Her mom owned 8th Street Taco House, and her father was a police officer for 30 years.
Lozano is running for Sacramento City Council, District 1, with the campaign slogan "From Natomas. For Natomas." If elected, Lozano plans to address increased homelessness, crime, affordable housing for new families and job creation.
"I'm not a politician," Lozano said. "This is not a political stepping stone for me. I want to do what is right for our communities. I know, firsthand, what the needs are for our communities, being from the area. Homeownership is so important. We also need to have smart growth. We need to have a comprehensive audit on our budget. We need to find out, where are the funds being allocated. It's, truly, about looking at the picture as a whole."
Who is Robert Alvis?
Robert Alvis is a small business owner and general manager of the historic Crest Theatre in downtown Sacramento. He was born and raised in Sacramento. Before living in Natomas for a year, Alvis lived in the midtown area. He attended California State University, Sacramento, majoring in journalism. Before becoming a small business owner, Alvis worked at the Sacramento Bee, an exotic animal rescue organization, a before and after school program and Harlow's in midtown for 15 years.
Even though Alvis does not have experience in politics, Alvis wants "to become a public servant who will always look out for the taxpayers first." Outside of housing, homelessness and safety, he says the number one issue is "the reason people do not come downtown."
"If people are happy with what's happening in the city, I'm probably not their candidate," Alvis said. "I see a lot of problems that are not being addressed by city council in the way they should be. We have a lot of empty storefronts, still. We have lot of, unfortunately, open lawlessness on the streets. We have to clean up the streets. We have to make people feel safe when they come downtown, and we have to open more places."
What comes next?
In primary elections, the top two candidates will move on to the general election in November, unless one candidate wins more than 50% of the vote.