Three new City Council members took the oath of office Dec. 13 to represent three redrawn districts encompassing communities such as North Natomas, Oak Park and South Natomas.
Other neighborhoods “deferred” under the redistricting process now will have Mayor Darrell Steinberg as their direct City Council representative for the next two years.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have just seated a majority woman City Council in Sacramento,” Steinberg said during the swearing-in ceremony. “Progress is possible, and it’s demonstrated here tonight.”
Councilmembers Lisa Kaplan, Karina Talamantes and Caity Maple now represent Districts 1, 3, and 5 respectively.
Kaplan, a 20-year member of the Natomas Unified School Board, succeeds newly elected state Senator Angelique Ashby in North Natomas.
Ashby’s former chief of staff, Talamantes, will take over for former Councilmember Jeff Harris in District 3. The new District 3 encompasses South Natomas, River Gardens, Gardenland and Northgate.
Maple, a former lobbyist who now runs her own business, will have responsibility over District 5, which includes Oak Park and Hollywood Park.
Rick Jennings also was sworn in Dec. 13 after winning his reelection for District 7, which now includes Land Park and Curtis Park along with the Pocket, Little Pocket and Greenhaven.
Kaplan, Talamantes, and Maple will join Councilmembers Mai Vang and Katie Valenzuela to create a female majority of representatives on the City Council.
“This is what we need in Sacramento: bold, fresh new voices,” Vang said in welcoming her new colleagues.
“I’m honored to have a seat on this dais, and thank you to everyone who helped me get here,” Talamantes said.
Maple noted that the city faces significant challenges, including the lack of affordable housing and growth of unsheltered homelessness. “I firmly believe we can face all of these challenges working together,” she said.
Kaplan echoed the other new Councilmembers in her opening remarks saying, “I know that we will lead this city, we will work together, and I am honored to be up here with you all.“
Residents in some “deferred” neighborhoods of the city were moved into new districts but will not vote for their new representative until 2024. Until that time, they will not officially be represented by the council person for the new district. These neighborhoods include East Sacramento and the River District, which moved from District 3 to District 4, along with Valley Hi and Delta Shores and other parts of south Sacramento.
Steinberg’s office will represent the deferred areas for the next two years and has so far added two experienced staff members, Miesha Ross and Jocelyn Navarro, to accommodate the additional work.
Steinberg’s office will be working closely with the office of Valenzuela, who now represents District 4, to hold events and address community concerns.
“Mayor Steinberg has put a great team together, and we’re looking forward to working with his office for the next two years to ensure that residents in the deferred areas receive the same attention and great service they would have with a Councilmember,” Valenzuela said.
Every 10 years, in conjunction with the U.S. Census, Sacramento’s Independent Redistricting Commission is assigned the task of redrawing the City’s eight electoral districts. Districts are drawn with the objective of encompassing a balanced population in accordance with local, state, and federal laws; they also account for the physical, cultural and geographic characteristics of neighborhoods, especially cohesiveness, continuity, and compactness.
The City of Sacramento has created this online tool to help people identify their Council district and Council member. The Mayor’s Office can be reached at 916-808-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.