City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

September 18, 2012
Mayors urge investment in transit, infrastructure to aid recovery

Flanked by his counterparts from West Sacramento and Fresno, Mayor Kevin Johnson today promoted investment in infrastructure as a path to guiding cities into economic recovery.

Johnson pointed to a series of projects in the city that he sees as economic priorities, including work on a new downtown transit hub, expanding light rail to the airport and building additional bridges across the Sacramento River.

"We have aging infrastructure and (investing in those projects) is something that we have to do," he said, referencing a July report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors that calls for increased investment in transportation and other infrastructure projects. "We have to make that a priority."

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon promoted work he said is needed on the Port of West Sacramento to help export agricultural goods abroad.

"The Sacramento region is a major economic player," he said, adding that speeding up investment in public projects often comes down to a matter of "cutting red tape" at the federal level to allow money to flow.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin said her city is undergoing a revitalization of its downtown, anchored by plans that call for the city to act as a hub for the state's high-speed rail system.

"These are important and significant investments that show progress," she said.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors report also showed that while the Sacramento region's economy was one of the worst performing in the nation over the past decade, the economy is forecast to grow by 1.9 percent this year. It also predicts that the region will add 121,000 jobs between 2010 and 2020.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


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