Darrell Steinberg Hits the Streets on First Official Day as Mayor

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SACRAMENTO -- Just hours into his new role as the mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg is already hitting the streets.

"It's new to me, and I certainly don't have all the answers, and that's part of why I come out here to listen and learn," Steinberg said.

His first stop was Oak Park, the neighborhood where Mayor Kevin Johnson was born.

"Mayor Johnson has done a awesome job, no one can deny that. He has brought a lot of energy to the city. But what I see in Darrell Steinberg is that he is right behind that. And he is going to build into high levels," South Oak Park Community Association President Michael Blair said.

Steinberg said he deliberately chose to start his walking tours at Oak Park because he knows there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

"This is a neighborhood that is changing for the better. And you see it here in the boutique stores and the coffee houses and the theater, and yet there's still a lot of challenges," Steinberg said.

Those challenges include public safety.

Many citizens told the mayor about the need for new signals to slow drivers down on Broadway.

"It's a serious hazard zone!" one woman said.

Steinberg asked his staff if there was a way to start bits and pieces of necessary projects even before there is a master plan. Many of them said that was possible.

"Let's move fast. I want us to be deliberately impatient," Steinberg said.

One of the first things Steinberg said he wanted to tackle in the city of Sacramento was homelessness --  especially in Oak Park.

Aimee Phelps creates Art-through-Pods: handmade mini shelters for the homeless.

One of her friends died in the cold Tuesday night after failing to get government housing. After listening to him speak to Oak Park business owners, Phelps is hopeful Steinberg's Sacramento will put homelessness on the forefront.

"I'm begging the city, Darrell Steinberg, step up. Help me, help them," Phelps said.

Steinberg outlined some of his plans to combat this issue.

"Intensive outreach, case management services, and we must increase our inventory of permanent housing. So we've got to get at that, and we will," Steinberg said.

Steinberg continued his walking tour in the afternoon in Natomas. He has two more scheduled for Thursday along Franklin Boulevard and Stockton Boulevard.