Kevin McCarty on the Issues


Our city’s epidemic of homelessness is a crisis. We see it around us every day. This affects public safety, affordability, and public health. In the Assembly, I’ve been working on reforms that are beginning to show results. New ideas like working with regional District Attorneys on a new law to provide drug treatment program opportunities for those incarcerated. Sacramento’s District Attorney aims to begin this program later this year.

As Mayor I will set a clear policy for our homeless situation. We need to end urban camping in our neighborhoods, but those on the street need to be directed to safe places – not just moved around. We will need to continue to find safe camping sites without creating more problems for our neighbors. These sites have to be in cooperation with the county – who has the resources for the badly needed services.

Regional Approach – The recent Grand Jury report highlighted the lack of cooperation amongst the cities of Sacramento and the County. We cannot fix the issues around homelessness unless we are alI working together. I am proposing legislation that would create a joint powers authority that brings Sacramento County and city governments together. Finding common ground and working together to secure more funding from the state and the federal government should be our top priority, but we also need to be clear in our solutions. These must include more treatment options, shelter, services and a path to permanent supportive housing.

American River Parkway – I wrote the law to create the Lower American River Conservancy to create and maintain this amazing 5,000 acre natural resource. We cannot sustain this treasure if we don’t address dumping, camping and public safety. This is why I worked on a new law to ban illegal camping, while also fighting for $25 million for the county to provide services for those in need. As Mayor I’ll fight to ensure that those resources are spent strategically to help this community.

Untreated Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders- I have supported new laws that will require more of those who are dealing with untreated mental illness to get the care they need.  In addition I supported putting Prop1 on the ballot. We will be voting on this initiative in March. It will help increase the number of badly needed treatment facilities and beds for those dealing with severe substance abuse issues and untreated mental illness. Cycling people through jail to the streets and back isn’t working. By addressing underlying issues like poverty, PTSD, drug abuse, and mental illness, we can break the cycle.

Giving Those in Need Support and a Hand Up – I am proud of my work with programs like Women’s Empowerment.  This important program helps those struggling with homelessness to get back on their feet. I have worked with this program to find jobs for these women. I encourage everyone to help organizations like this that are results driven!


Keeping Our Neighborhoods Safe

The residents of Sacramento are looking to address our rising crime rates, but they want to make sure the city makes smart reforms that will actually make a difference. I’ve made a career out of enacting smart solutions to public safety. We need to think differently about how our police deal with issues like those who are having a mental health crisis. I worked on a new law that allows our city to use trained professionals to handle these calls. But we need to ensure that our police are fully staffed and able to do their job. I will not cut police funding as Mayor.

As a City Councilmember and State Assemblymember, I wrote several significant common sense gun safety laws, like requiring background safety checks for ammunition purchases, tightening gun show loopholes and cracking down on illegal gun traffickers.

As Mayor I will make it a priority to remove firearms from the homes of domestic abusers and ensure that we have enough police officers to safeguard the city.

I was recently appointed as the new chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee by the Speaker to help find legislative solutions to the statewide increases in retail theft. As Mayor of Sacramento, cracking down on retail theft will be a public safety priority. 


Affordable Housing

Sacramento needs more affordable housing. The region’s cost of living is rapidly increasing, pricing many working families out of this great city. I will tackle this issue on day one as Mayor because I already have a record of enacting meaningful reforms that are helping increase our housing stock. 

In the Assembly I authored the adaptive reuse law that is currently helping to convert underutilized state office buildings into much needed housing. Right now these vacant state office buildings create a hole in our central city. By turning these buildings into quality affordable housing we can jump start parts of our downtown core. 

The city also needs to be more nimble and lower barriers including reforming the permitting process to build more housing. Sacramento needs to be a city where it is easy to build the type of housing that will ease our communities affordability crisis. 

As Mayor, I will work to enact other innovative solutions to solve our housing shortage. 


Our Youth are Our Future

After school programs and youth sports helped me as a child growing up here.  School wasn’t my priority, but these programs gave me a safe place to grow and learn. 

In the Assembly I saw historic investments in education, especially for our youngest learners. Knowing that early education breaks the cycle of poverty and sets children up for success in life, 

I wrote the law to create free, universal preschool for all Californians. I also started a college saving account program for local students that has helped hundreds of local families. We expanded this program into a statewide model to help thousands more start on the path to college.

I helped working families by making after school and free lunch programs universal, and available to all California students. 

As a Sacramento City Councilmember I created model youth initiatives and local sports programs to keep kids safe and off the streets. I started the Junior Giants Little League which has given over 10,000 kids the chance to play baseball free of charge. No child is ever turned away because of cost. Also, on the City Council I created Operation College which is a model school counseling program designed to help students reduce financial barriers to college. 

As Mayor, I will continue to make Sacramento’s youth a priority. It is important that our city maintain investments in their future. 


Helping those In Need

Growing up I saw the struggles my mom faced as a single mother raising four kids. She went back to school to finish college and was encouraged to attend law school. She thrived and helped us succeed. 

I have created a scholarship fund in her name using my per diem. This scholarship has allowed me to pay it forward and help women like my mom. We have helped dozens of single mothers go on to American River College, Sac State and Lincoln Law school.