City Council approves funding for youth and downtown clean and safe programs with federal COVID-19 relief dollars

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved $3.25 million for three American Rescue Plan funded programs including Youth PopUp programming, downtown Sacramento clean and safe activities and Old Sacramento Waterfront improvements.

“I’m proud that we have consistently put our federal COVID relief dollars out to work on behalf of our community,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “The dollars we approved Tuesday will support our small businesses in downtown and Old Sacramento by creating a cleaner and safer environment for visitors. They will also keep young people in our neighborhoods safe by giving them productive and entertaining ways to spend their evenings.”

Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, who represents downtown and Old Sacramento, said: “With these kinds of investments, we’re creating a path to recovery for many of our businesses downtown that have been impacted by the pandemic. I’m also excited that we approved $1.3 million to extend PopUp programs aimed at engaging youth in the area. These programs are a fantastic example of a preventative and pragmatic approach to issues concerning youth, and I’m very happy to see our city continuing to support them.”

The funding is from the $112 million from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP). The City Council approved the spending framework for how to spend the ARP dollars in August.

The items approved at Council include $800,000 for the Sacramento Downtown Partnership to hire two nighttime security guards to assist in crime prevention, install decorative lighting and put bollards on L Street and Second Street to allow more of the area to be cordoned off for public events.

The City approved last October another $4.2 million directly to install more lighting and security cameras in the Old Sacramento district.

Another $1.15 million will go to the downtown partnership to increase the schedule for pressure washing and trash cleanup, hire two nighttime security guards and enhance the lighting in the J, K and L street corridors between Seventh and 13th streets. Lighting improvements will include sound-activated lights that would create an interactive experience for visitors to K Street.

The funding will continue the youth PopUp events staged on weekend nights by two dozen non-profit organizations in Sacramento’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. The Sacramento Youth PopUp program was launched in 2019 by Sierra Health Foundation with support from Mayor Steinberg’s Office, the City and Comcast.

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