Election ’14: Meet the District 3 City Council Candidates

Map of City Council District 3 / Source: City of Sacramento

Map of City Council District 3 / Source: City of Sacramento

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Publisher’s note: There are seven candidates vying for the District Three seat on the Sacramento City Council in the upcoming June election. District Three boundaries reach from Interstate 80 south, east of Interstate 5 and along the East Levee Canal, encompassing the Gardenland/Northgate corridor and most south Natomas neighborhoods as well as East Sacramento. All candidates were asked to answer the same questions and their answers are printed here, as they were submitted to THE NATOMAS BUZZ, in alphabetic order of the candidates’ last names.

ellencochraneEllen Cochrane, 52, is a teacher who currently resides in East Sacramento and “save a few years abroad” has lived in Sacramento her whole life.

Why are you running for city council?
There are three chief issues that compelled me to run: excellent neighborhood planning and development, government transparency, and the intelligent development and preservation of an already world class city.

What is the most important issue to you this election?
I believe that transparency in government is critical. My first act as councilwoman will be to initiate an ordinance called the Clean Vote Act. It’s a simple idea. It would require council members to recuse themselves from voting on any matter that directly benefits a contributor that has donated more than $1000 to the council member. This would apply to the whole four-year term. No exceptions!

Why should voters elect you?
Political office has never been my ambition. I have a job I love. But our neighborhoods must have a councilperson who will tell developers, city staff and colleagues that quality of life in neighborhoods is the most important concern. If I am elected, I will be that person.


deaneDeane Dana, no age provided, is a business owner who has lived in the McKinley Park neighborhood for 30 years.

Why are you running for city council?
With the challenges facing our city, District 3 neighborhoods need a full-time councilmember with proven, senior-level management skills in public service and business who is committed to helping people now and in the future, not special interests.

What is the most important issue to you this election?
The most important issue to me is addressing the essential needs of all neighborhoods. City spending priorities must begin to serve the unmet needs of our communities.  

Why should voters elect you?
I will address any issue that threatens the well-being of our communities. As the only candidate who has implemented state and federal public programs, negotiated union contracts and managed billion dollar budgets, I am a proven community advocate. My personal commitment is to be our full-time councilmember and  provide the effective voice our neighborhoods need. 


efrenguttierrezEfren Gutierrez, 58, is a real estate broker who resides in South Natomas and has lived in District 3 for more than 27 years.

Why are you running for city council?
Tired of all the un-kept promise…  I feel that my life long experiences have prepared me too represent our community in  good way.

What is the most important issue to you this election?
Economic Redevelopment of Northgate Blvd, Improve Public Transportation, more buses and get the DNA line done. Re-open Neighborhood Police Facility, Push for more Apprenticeship Projects for our youth and after school programs for them to enjoy…

Why should voters elect you?
I believe that my commitment  to enhancing the life of the disenfranchised  and giving them a voice has been shown and, displayed over the years. This new District will have many challenges and needs a City Councilperson, that’s committed to fairness and equality for everyone in this ever changing District.  


jeffharrisJeff Harris, 60, is a general contractor who owns a home in River Park and resided in District 3 for 26 years.

Why are you running for city council?
For years I have been engaged with my neighborhood and the larger community in civic improvements and finding solutions to local and citywide issues. I enjoy this work, and at this stage of my life I feel a call to serve. I am running for City Council because I believe that I would maintain a strong, effective connection and collaboration between communities and city government. 

What is the most important issue to you this election?
We need to grow our economy so that we can reliably provide to citizens the basic quality of life necessities- parks, public safety, and libraries as well as educational, vocational and recreational opportunities. I helped craft Measure U to restore our city services, and I want to go farther and restore them to pre-recession levels.

Why should voters elect you?
Due to 30 years as a business owner and homebuilder, I have a strong work ethic as well as project management and problem solving skills; I’ve learned to make decisions that lead to successful outcomes. With my experience as a parks commissioner and neighborhood association president, I understand budgets, city operations and how to get things done at the local level. I will empower neighborhood leaders to advocate for and facilitate changes to strengthen the community.


adamsartainAdam Sartain, 31, is a low-income housing analyst who moved to South Natomas in 2009 but has lived in Sacramento all his life.

Why are you running for city council?
Small businesses are struggling under cumbersome rules and our city lacks a small-business friendly reputation. Tie that into concern with public safety matters and the impacts in particular on small, community businesses and residents of the district. I want to see a better cohesion regarding the communities that comprise this district.

What is the most important issue to you this election?
It relates to the last answer. Making Sacramento more small-business friendly is something I believe to be of paramount importance to restoring funding levels through higher sales tax revenue (more businesses = better incomes) and increasing the number of jobs in our community.

Why should voters elect you?
I am deeply involved in the community. I believe we have a lot to look forward to. This run for office isn’t about a hidden agenda or single subject. Through all I’ve expressed in the campaign, I want people to know I would like to dedicate my energies at City Hall to help our community grow and strengthen through intelligent, thoughtful public policy.


cyrilshahCyril Shah, 39, is a financial adviser who resides in East Sacramento and lived in District 3 for more than 14 years.

Why are you running for city council?
I will work to make Sacramento a safe and healthy city with a diverse cross-section of high paying jobs. 

What is the most important issue to you this election?
I will continue to strengthen our levees, improve police response times, and create jobs in every part of the City. 

Why should voters elect you?
As an American River Flood Control Trustee, I worked to strengthen our levees.  As Chair of the Housing and Redevelopment Commission, I revitalized neighborhoods and improved public safety.  As a father and financial planner, I will improve Sacramento’s financial health for future generations.  


don@DonNahhas.comRosalyn Van Buren, 41, is a children’s services director, who lives in East Sacramento and in District 3 for more than 20 years.

Why are you running for city council?
To me, “quality of life” means that everyone can enjoy an abundance of safety and opportunity that a thoughtfully-managed community brings. This is what Sacramento has offered my family and it is what I’d like to provide for yours.

What is the most important issue to you this election?
I believe it is important to support infill  mixed use development, projects that generate well payed jobs and work with all members of our council to achieve positive economic growth for Sacramento. We must also work on our homeless issue. Providing mental health, proper shelter and rehabilitation.

Why should voters elect you?
My firm belief is that City Council plays an essential role in delivering effective services to families and everyone. I have a lifetime of experience improving my community through service. Most recent of these is my management of a local non-profit that provides educational, recreational and nutritional services to children. I know what mitigating challenges takes and I will be the best representative of all who live in this district.

-COMPILED BY TRINA DROTAR for THE NATOMAS BUZZ


THE NATOMAS BUZZ will be running a series of Q&A posts leading up to election day in June 2014. Submit your questions for candidates to [email protected].