Phil Matier: Does Sacramento’s Mayor Have Wider Political Ambitions?
SACRAMETNO (KCBS)— Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has a new title after being named President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Wednesday, but does it mean he wants to be thrust into the national spotlight?
You’re probably asking yourself, what exactly does the mayor’s conference do? They do a lot of overseas talks and maybe even throw in a convention. It really tries to use the platform to elevate the city and give it exposure to prestige.
Johnson of course was a former NBA player who became a political star of sorts who was supposed to help resurrect the city. Sacramento’s redevelopment projects have been put on hold.
He has been successful in the fight for the city to keep their NBA team, the Kings. What many may not know is that Johnson has done plenty to help with mental illness. President Obama himself may even stop by and congratulate him for his efforts.
The mayors in the conference tend to take on different issues whether it is health, economic or transportation. Johnson said he would try to get the president to visit, but anytime he visits California it tends to be the Bay Area for a fundraiser. I’m not sure Johnson will have luck getting Mr. Obama out to his neck of the woods.
In a city like San Francisco, when you become mayor, you’re automatically thrust into the national spotlight. For Johnson in Sacramento it’s going to be a tougher pitch, but his latest move could be a sign of larger political aspirations. However, if he’s going to be national, he’s got his work cut out for himself.