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Johnson Goes For Two

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Johnson says he won't shy away from controversy just to get re-elected. 

JOHNSON:"I will stand on principal and fight for what I believe in even if a few feathers get ruffled.  I will propose bold and innovative ideas even if some people think they're too big or too risky."

He announced he was running for re-election at the Capitol Academy Charter School in Midtown. 

After the speech, Johnson said he expected the composition of the city council to change, which would enable city government to act more quickly.

JOHNSON: "I think that there's a groundswell of people out in the community that aren't satisfied with status quo candidates.  I think there's many people in the community who don't want professional politicians that obstruct progress."

Johnson was in the minority when it came to his strong mayor proposal, and when it came to redistricting.  He says he will hold several so-called "listening sessions" during the next two months before he unveils a detailed platform of what a second term might hold.  The primary is June 5th.



Full text of speech AS PREPARED: 

Being here today with the amazing energy of this crowd makes me proud to be a Sacramentan and proud (pause) to be the Mayor of this great city. 

 It also reminds me of a similar time in my life, a little over three years ago. Back then, I was still a private citizen, serving as CEO of St. HOPE. It was an exciting time for the organization.

 We were beginning to see students in our charter schools achieve at levels rarely seen in inner-city communities. Our efforts to stimulate economic and cultural development were helping Oak Park enter into a new urban renaissance.

 At last, years and years of hard work were starting to pay off.

 And yet, I didn't feel like it was enough.

 Standing on Broadway Avenue, peering past Oak Park to the tree-lined neighborhoods and glowing skyscrapers beyond, I saw a city that hadn't yet lived up to its potential. Year after year, election and election, we had missed critical opportunities to move Sacramento forward.

 We had become a city against everything and for nothing.  There was a frustration with government and the slow pace of progress. Residents everywhere wanted change: something different, something better, something bigger and bolder. So I did what my grandfather taught me to do long ago: I got off the sidelines, and into the game

 I rolled my sleeves up, and with your support, I ran for mayor. With good fortune, and LOTS of hard work, we rallied together and won the election. 

 In the three years that have followed, I've had the honor of serving as your mayor. Three years! It's hard to believe that much time has passed At least, until you think about how much we've accomplished together.

 In the last three years, working together, we've moved this city forward. We've developed a "Greenwise" plan to turn Sacramento into the "Emerald Valley", the hotspot for green collar jobs and businesses. Through this initiative, we will focus on our number one priority… putting people back to work!  I am committed to not rest until every Sacramentan who wants work has the opportunity to find it!

 And that's not all…  We opened the world-class Crocker Art Museum, closed down the homeless encampment by the American River and created 2,000 new permanent beds through an initiative called Sacramento Steps Forward.  We won a grant to place surveillance cameras in high crime neighborhoods and held a gang summit to curb youth violence.

 We have started a third grade reading initiative to make Sacramento the first city in the country to have all third graders reading at grade level proficiency and brought cars back onto K Street, revitalizing the once flagging downtown with new businesses like Pizza Rock and District 30. AND… we made the first important step in saving our only professional sports team, the KINGS to keep them where they belong… RIGHT HERE in Sacramento.

 Because of all of those things and more, the last 3 years have been tremendous ones for me but they've also been some of the most challenging. While we've accomplished a great deal, we've also had many disappointments.  All of these factors weighed heavily on my mind as I considered my future, the future of this city and what would be in the best interests of Sacramento.

 See… that's the only reason why I do what I do. It's not because I love politics. It's not because I enjoy the spotlight.  It's not because of what this position brings me.  I do what I do because I love this city.  And I want nothing more than to see it live up to it's potential.

 And as I reflected on my first term and looked toward the future I realized how much we still have before us.  Sacramento has come a long way, but it still has not met its potential as a city.

 Therefore, I am thrilled to be able to announce that after much deliberation, prayer and conversations and discussions with people like you that I have decided to run for another term for Mayor of Sacramento.

 So as we look ahead, I want to share with you how I plan to approach my campaign for re-election. It will look a lot like how I've approached governing our city. I'll work harder and longer than anyone else to earn your vote, even when some think I may not need to. I won't shy away from the tough issues, even if I have to confront some brutal facts.

 I'll stand on principle and fight for what I believe is best for the city, even if I ruffle a few feathers I'll propose bold and innovative ideas, even if some think they're too big or too risky.

 And above all, I'll welcome the input and perspectives of all voices in our community, even from those who disagree. You see, among the many lessons I've learned as Mayor, one stands out: I can't do this alone.

 Our challenges and opportunities are far greater than one person. So today's announcement is not just about me - it's about you. Over the next few months I will be holding "listening sessions" all across the city.  

 I want to hear from citizens what you're concerned with, how you think we can improve our city and what you want to see from me. After I do this, I'll compile all of the information and in January or February introduce my 2nd term plan that will serve as a roadmap for the next 4 years.  

 I hope that you'll join me so that your voice is heard and reflected in our city's future.  And let me be clear: I'm going to approach the race as an incumbent in 2012 with the same energy and urgency I had as a challenger in 2008. You'll see me going door to door in neighborhoods, holding living room meetings in constituents homes and out at community events. The energy that this campaign will exude is the exact energy that will bring this city to greater heights.

 I'm going to end with a quick story that I think embodies what I'm talking about…A few weeks ago a friend of mine was driving through his neighborhood and saw a lemonade stand.  He decided to stop to help out the two young entrepreneurs in their venture, so bought a glass of lemonade.

 As he paid, he asked the kids, "What are you going to do with the money you make?" The boys replied, "We're making money to help build the new arena!  The Kings have to stay in Sacramento and we're going to play our part!"

 How amazing is that?  That's why I love kids.  They have the sense of possibility and willingness to act that we, as adults, have often lost.  Those two boys teach us all a lesson.  This is our THIRD time trying to build an arena.  The city and its residents had lost hope that it would ever happen.  But today, we're THIS CLOSE to making it a reality.

 That story and those kids personify the spirit of Sacramento and the attitude that befits the growth of our city.

 Sacramento….ARE YOU READY?? 

 This is not a time to rest on our laurels, or get complacent.

 It's time to come together, create a shared vision and plan for our city, and make all the dreams we have for Sacramento finally come to life.

 This CAN and WILL be a city that works for everyone, if we're up to the task. 

 Let's get started today!

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