Wednesday, August 12, 2015

KJ-Marcos Breton Bromance Counselling UPDATE:: The trouble with Kevin Johnson? Himself | The Sacramento Bee

Marcos Breton: The trouble with Kevin Johnson? Himself | The Sacramento Bee:

Marcos Breton: The trouble with Kevin Johnson? Himself

The definition of good government is transparency, but how can you be transparent if you meet in secret?
This question and many others elicit silence at City Hall in what has been a peculiar summer.
At this point, Mayor Kevin Johnson and members of the City Council should be basking in the city’s resurgence. On Tuesday, The New York Times took note of Sacramento’s new energy, publishing a complimentary story on how the downtown arena has spurred a flurry of development in long-dormant buildings.
It’s a true story. It’s a great story. But it’s also a complicated story.
Johnson is the driver behind the city’s new vigor – the key player in the good and the bad. The good in Sacramento is as exciting as the bad is disappointing. The good could not have happened without Johnson; the bad didn’t have to happen at all.
He’s a man you want to root for, but who trips over the same flaws that have dogged him for years. Without Kevin Johnson, the Kings would be gone. Sleep Train Arena would be a dump surrounded by land controlled by rich people who cared nothing about Sacramento. The downtown would still be anchored by a dying mall flanked by abandoned buildings.
More than anyone else, Johnson has promoted the idea of Sacramento as a place where good things are happening – and he has helped make that idea a reality. He’s been the right person at the right time for Sacramento.
But a part of Johnson always shrouds his moves in unnecessary secrecy. A part of him always demands absolute loyalty from those closest to him. It’s a culture that has grown more pervasive at City Hall as Johnson has grown more powerful.
It’s why Johnson’s answer for critics who call for ethics reforms at City Hall is an ad hoc committee that meets in secret. Good government debated in secret. It would be funny if it wasn’t sad, and if a majority of the council favorable to Johnson hadn’t gone along despite the glaring irony.
It’s one thing for city officials to negotiate with the Kings, or any other private business, behind closed doors before the details are debated in public. Even if you took the Kings out of the equation, no company seeking to do business with Sacramento would want to conduct its initial dealings out in public. You let city negotiators hammer out the details in private and then you present them to the public for a debate and a vote. Every city in America does it this way.
But an ethics committee has nothing to do with private business. It’s the work of the people. It’s an extension of the public trust. You close it to the public and you create questions instead of providing answers. You create a perception problem when one doesn’t need to exist.
The other perception problem the mayor created was his use of city staff to help him wrest control of a national group of African American mayors. Again, Johnson could have defused this situation if he had come forward himself and spoken plainly about this – instead of letting spokesmen do the talking for him.
It would have been much more powerful if Johnson, an African American leader, had spoken directly about his desire to take over National Conference of Black Mayors, a civil-rights-era group that had fallen on hard times. What’s the worst anyone could have said about this? That he shouldn’t have used staffers for this work?
Such a critique made mostly by a bunch of white people in Sacramento would have sounded small if Johnson had faced this issue head-on instead of seeming like he was sneaking around.
I never will understand this side of a hugely successful native son of Sacramento – the best prep athlete this city has ever seen and a child of poverty who used his athletic skills to build a life of achievement.
Johnson has been quiet since he was accused of sexual harassment a few months ago. The case was found to have no merit by the city, but questions remained about whether JohnsonMarcos Breton: The trouble with Kevin Johnson? Himself | The Sacramento Bee:

Jake Mossawir has been named CEO of St. Hope, a community organization founded by Mayor Kevin Johnson.
St. Hope, a community organization founded by Kevin Johnson, has named its first CEO since Johnson stepped down in 2008 to run for mayor.
Jake Mossawir, 33, currently is executive director of the nonprofit City Year program in Sacramento.
St. Hope, also a nonprofit, runs several Sacramento charter schools and a development business. Its mission is to direct revenues from that work into the schools and other arts and social programs in the Oak Park neighborhood, said Mossawir.
At St. Hope, he will work alongside three other full time executive staff members. His start date is Oct. 1.
Mossawir said he hopes to improve operations and possibly expand the organization outside of Oak Park. “My role is to make us as efficient as possible,” he said. “The more we can operate efficiently and effectively, the more folks we can serve.”
Johnson started St. Hope in 1989 as an after-school program serving Sacramento High School. He expanded the program into a charter school that took over Sacramento High in 2002. St. Hope now includes four separate nonprofit entities, each one with its own board and CEO.
In addition to operating five schools, the organization owns the Guild Theater and Underground Books, both located in Oak Park, and manages other residential properties. It employs about 300 people, mostly teachers and staff in its charter schools.
Mossawir was a Sacramento Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree in 2012. He comes from City Year, a nonprofit tutoring company that is affiliated with the AmeriCorps program.Kevin Johnson's St. Hope nonprofit names its first CEO since ... Kevin Johnson

Jake Mossawir
A former appointee of the Governor of California, Mossawir has over a decade of experience in the public affairs sector representing a wide variety of clients. Mossawir now serves as Executive Director of City Year Sacramento, prior to which he spent numerous years as Communications Director at Moroch in Sacramento, where he oversaw McDonald's public relations strategies and execution for Northern California and Northern Nevada. Mossawir spearheaded efforts primarily in the areas of nutrition education, food quality and sustainability. Mossawir also served on McDonald’s National Public Relations Roundtable and Western Government Relations Board. Prior to Moroch, Mossawir managed multiple public affairs campaigns at Randle Communications for a variety of trade associations, corporations and individuals throughout California. In addition to his professional role, Jake dedicates countless hours to the community serving on multiple boards including Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Historic California Governor's Mansion Foundation, Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce, MLK365 and is the past CEO of the California Winter Games Committee. Named one of Northern California’s 40 under 40 by the Business Journal, Mossawir is a graduate of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose and attended UC Davis for his undergraduate degrees. While at Davis, he earned degrees in both Political Science and African American Studies and was named an Academic All-American while serving as captain of the UC Davis football team. He is currently pursuing his MBA at Drexel University.

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