Why We Support Steve Hansen for City Council

by Janna Marlies Maron on November 1, 2012

We went to the debate between District 4 City Council candidates this past Tuesday at the Cosmopolitian Cabaret hosted by Sacramento Press, and we were duly impressed. No only by the candidates themselves, but by the event and the turn out. We love to see people rally around local politics and get passionate about making Sacramento a better place to live and work — that’s why we started ThinkHouse, after all.

Both Joe Yee and Steve Hansen were well-spoken, and they answered a myriad of pre-selected audience questions on topics ranging from park maintenence and Second Saturday to revitalizing K Street and fostering the city’s innovation.

Afterward a small crowd lingered for food and drinks at K Bar and Steve Hansen made the rounds. Maybe Joe did, too, but we didn’t see him.

I was supposed to be one of the question-askers, but didn’t get called before the debate ended. My question was, given that a lot of missed opportunities occur because of gridlock on the council, do you support the strong mayor initiative and why or why not?

So when Steve ended up at our end of the bar, I asked him. He had a diplomatic answer ready about working together, fostering cooperation among council members.

“How do we do that?” I asked.

“By electing me,” he said.

“But you’re just one guy,” I said.

“True,” he said and added, “but this is the third election of change.” Meaning that if he’s elected, he will be the third council member to replace the “old guard,” and things are moving toward change.

That’s all well and good. But then he added something else that really stuck with me.

“I’m a pragmatist,” he said, “And people don’t want it.”

Now, why people don’t want the strong mayor is beyond me — it’s likely because they don’t understand it — but the thing that’s important here is: Steve knows his constituants. And that’s only one good reason to vote for him. Here’s are several more:

1. He’s hands-on.
We only spoke to Steve for maybe 5 minutes, but during the debate he had a specific example to answer almost every question. And by specific, I mean he talked about people by name, he mentioned businesses by name and he shared stories about his personal interaction with city residents from all walks of life.

2. He gives everyone his cell phone number.
And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. When I didn’t get to ask my question, I sent a tweet saying “Bust. Didn’t get to ask my question. Want to know candidates’ take on strong mayor initiative. #D4SP #sacramento.”

Instantly, I got a reply back:


3. He wears cool socks.
Now before you criticize this point, let me say that I’m not using the socks as a reason to vote for him, per se. The reason to vote for him is that people are forever commenting about his socks on Twitter and what does Steve do? He retweets those comments! You gotta love a guy who doesn’t take him self too seriously as a politician.

4. He chooses to live in Sacramento and contribute to improving the city.
One question that Jeremy and I ask people when we first meet them is, “How did you end up in Sacramento?” We ask this question because we find the answers fascinating; we find that most people end up here by accident — they don’t plan to stick around, but they fall in love with the city and then, and here’s the key, they choose to stay.

Steve told us on Tuesday night that he came to Sacramento after college for a job and then chose to stay. He got tired of looking for a better place to live, he said, and decided to participate in making Sacramento a better place to live. We know this story. This is our story. So why wouldn’t we vote for someone who’s also making those same choices? It’s like having personal representation on the city council. He loves Sacramento. He’s one of us.

ThinkHouse will be supporting Steve Hansen on November 6. We hope you will too.

Anyone else attend the debate on Tuesday? What did you take away from it? Did it help you decide who to vote for?

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