From Hopelessness to Expectation: An Interview with Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor of West Sacramento

Monika Jansen

Abstract


Christopher Cabaldon is the mayor of West Sacramento, a small town just over the river from California’s capital city, Sacramento. Mayor Cabaldon received his Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) in 1994 as part of the inaugural class of the program at California State University, Sacramento. He first became mayor of West Sacramento in 1998, and he was the first mayor directly elected by the citizens of West Sacramento in 2004.

West Sacramento is growing rapidly. Since 2000, the population has increased by over 50 percent, nearly reaching 50,000 at the time of the 2010 US Census. Changes in West Sacramento have come from the development of Southport, a new master-planned residential neighborhood on the south side of the city, as well as infill development in the center of town and in established neighborhoods. Retail has also moved into West Sacramento where there previously had been very little, anchored by Ikea and Target. In 2000, the River Cats, a minor league baseball team, came to town and moved into a new stadium in West Sacramento.

On March 13, Mayor Cabaldon spoke with Monika Jansen of Policy Perspectives over the phone to discuss his MPPA, executive leadership and democracy at the city level, his TEDx Talk from 2014, and his vision for West Sacramento.


Keywords


West Sacramento; urban policy; local government; direct democracy; mayor; transitioning city; economic development; gentrification; interview

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4079/pp.v22i0.15117