California: Next Step

Even though right now California’s economy is thriving, caution must be employed.  According to Governor Jerry Brown, there is likely to be “an inevitable downturn” of which his Sacramento successor must be aware.  At the recent Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research forum held last week, he warned:

“Don’t be too exuberant. Get everybody ready. The economy is a cycle, and right now we’re at the peak. But you can’t be at the peak forever.”

There has been much change in California in Brown’s time of serving (he served twice in the 1970s and 80s and twice in this decade), with a population expansion today reaching 40 million.  That of course will heavily impact the region, most particularly in housing and environment.

In other words with more people comes a change in the way we live, Brown said at the forum entitled What’s Next for California.

Sales Tax

In a recent attempt to increase sales tax in Sacramento, Measure U (which renews a half-cent sales tax and adds another half-cent tax, while rendering the total amount, concretizing the total) was passed.  Over half of voters (55.6%) in the city said yes to the hike in tax to 8.75 percent.

Of this, Mayor Darrell Steinberg said:

“We’ll do it right. We’ll do it in a thorough way and we’ll do it in a way that will make people say ‘Wow, they really meant what they said.’…Measure U is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest real resources in building a modern economy in Sacramento that includes everyone.”

The change in law will come into affect on April 1 and the extra money will be used to basic necessary services such as fire, police, funding for affordable housing and neighborhood projects.

Sacramento: Investing in its Environmental Future

Sacramento has become an integral part of positive environmental endeavors within California.  According to a recent Forbes article:

“While businesses have a crucial role to play, leadership in the halls of our state government remains essential. When Sacramento sets firm targets for emissions, clean energy, and efficiency standards, it gives businesses the market certainty they need to invest confidently in climate solutions.”

An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report has determined that there is only one way to eliminate the worst impacts of climate change.  That is to substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions so that global warming is held at 1.5° C.

As such, climate leadership in California is more crucial than ever which was why a bill was recently passed there (nowhere else has this been done throughout the nation) that commits the region to “emissions-free electricity by 2045.”  Other states will be observing the progress of this.

Asian Brothers Brew Beers for Sacramentans

Restaurateur Michael Khoa Le has had a dream of producing beer with his friends.  Now that dream is coming true in Sacramento at his Vietnamese Anh Hong restaurant. With their brewing company, they specialize in Asian craft beers, making them the “the first Asian Craft Beer Company in Sacramento [brewing] the first Hmong Beer in the history of Hmong people.”

Approximately 2,800 gallons of the stuff was just delivered to the restaurant, really fulfilling Le’s dream.  Over the years he has created recipes for five beers and now has a contract with Paso Robles’ Santa Maria Brewing company to handle the brewing and bottling.

According to a recent news article:

“People of Asian descent account for about 14 percent of California’s population. Le and his investment group — which includes people of Hmong, Lao, Mien, Cambodian and Vietnamese descent — see an opportunity to become the house beer for California’s Asian community. The craft beer world is riddled with stories of friends who drink a few beers late one night and decide to start a brewery. What we have not seen is California’s sizable Asian community stand up and make a beer marketed at themselves.”

Sacramento’s Job Additions

Sacramento has had a good track record this last month for the creation of new jobs.  Here, we take a look at some of the industries that were ahead of the game.

In September, Sacramento hired the most physics professors out of the entire country.  Other top recruitment opportunities included research assistant professors and corporate sales reps.

Sacramento fared better than Cincinnati which was the only city “with the second-most new positions for physics professors last month.”  Still, the article found Sacramento to be:

“most competitive in hiring for corporate sales reps, placing fifth among U.S. cities in per-capita openings for that skill set. The city ranked seventh in new jobs for research assistant professors, and 12th for physics professors, again relative to the local population.”

In addition, eClerx – a firm that offers outsourcing services to financial institutions – is “expanding its delivery service in North Carolina and has plans to add 150 new full-time jobs.”


Commercial 5G Network

On 1stOctober, in an unprecedented move, Verizon ignited “the world’s first commercial 5G network.”  And it happened in Sacramento.  According to Verizon’s Pacific Market president, Jonathan LeCompte:

“We were able to make Sacramento one of our first 5G cities because Mayor Darrell Steinberg and city leaders embraced innovation and developed a strategic vision for how 5G could be a platform for the larger Sacramento technology ecosystem. We believe this vision will pay off big for the city, attracting new investment, businesses and next generation services for residents.”

Other areas benefitting from this advancement are sections of: Houston, Indianapolis and LA.

Phantom Auto Comes to Sacramento

A car was filmed driving across Sacramento’s Tower Bridge, but it appears driverless.  In actual fact it was being driven by a human being but that human was not sitting in the driver’s seat or indeed anywhere in the car. They were driving it from the company’s headquarters at Phantom Auto’s Mountain View – more than 100 miles away!

This system is called teleoperation; which is the step before safe driving can be conducted autonomously on highways and city streets within all driving conditions.  So until that time – which experts purport is decades away – remote monitors and operators will be used by human beings and the wheel can be grabbed if the computer attached to the car gets stumped.  According to Elliot Katz, co-founder of Phantom Auto and Chief Strategy Officer:

“We believe you will always need a human in the loop. There are so many oddball scenarios multiple times a day.”

Until then, Phantom Auto will be showcasing what it has in Sacramento and locals will seecompany reps “geo-mapping” the roads from downtown to Sacramento State.

Global Local Festival

Keeping it local; going global. That seems to summarize the theme of Sacramento’s Global Local Festival.  Established by Estella Sanchez a few years ago, the event is organized by the non-profit entity she co-founded – Sol Collective.  This was set up to promote “the arts, culture, activism and healthy living.”

The idea of the event – which this year is happening on September 22 – is to bring the community together before the summer is truly over to “enjoy the last bits of sunshine.” There, people will enjoy local musicians who produce “unique sounds [and] socially conscious content.”

This year, live performances include: DJ Nadi, Gingee, and The Philharmonik.

Helping Families in Need

First 5 California and Supply Bank are making sure families are covered no matter what the need. The First 5 Diaper Kit Pilot Program which provides 100 diapers and 200 baby wipes to families to help relieve some of the financial stress they may be dealing with.

Working together and having a sense of collaboration $50-70 in the store could be pennies on the dollar. Instead of 25 cents for a diaper, it’s a dime. The kits are being provided to families for free or reduced prices to homes based on needs.