Christopher Cabaldon

Mayor

West Sacramento, CA

For two decades, Christopher Cabaldon has been the mayor of what was the forgotten old-industrial small town on the other side of the tracks (in this case, the tracks are the Sacramento River), transformed under his leadership into the fast-growing, dynamic, entrepreneurial city at the forefront an emerging American metro. A small city punching way above its weight, West Sacramento has been named Most Livable City in America by the US Conference of Mayors, and as a leading LRNG digital badge city, Startups in Residence incubator, and 2015 Code for America city. Mayor Cabaldon’s innovations promoting progressive economic growth have been featured at the world expo, Federal Reserve, SXSW, White House, Governing, and other national and international forums. He is Jobs, Education & the Workforce chairman for the US Conference of Mayors. He might also be the country’s leading heretic on the topic of civic engagement.

Cabaldon served as vice chancellor of California’s 113-campus community college system and director of the state legislature’s higher education committee, and led high-impact statewide education startup organizations. He has been appointed to state government posts by four California governors from both political parties.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

Since its incorporation in 1987, West Sacramento has been a regional leader for infill housing and economic development. The city’s workforce development activities however, have yet to mature with the changing economic landscape. Once a blue collar city across the river from Sacramento, West Sacramento has developed tremendously in the past 28 years into a hub of research and development, advanced manufacturing, food processing, and logistics. The education system has yet to fully respond to the altered business environment, and the area has one of the highest unemployment rates in the region.

Solution

The Kids’ Home Run is an educational and jobs initiative that combines new and existing programs in the lives of children ages four to eighteen. The initiative supports improved alignment of the education system and workforce needs, providing classroom instruction and on the job training for entry level careers while ensuring high school youth enroll and complete community college, all through partnerships between the city, school district, community college, and local nonprofits.  The initiative is composed of four programs: Universal Preschool for every four year old, a guaranteed $50 college savings account for kindergartners, guaranteed internships for high school students and a college promise program for one year of fee free community college. Voters approved funding the initiative in November through a sales tax initiative, and our business community, school district and community college district have all come together to support it.