Highlights from Johnson’s State of the City Address

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State of the City: What Else Besides the Kings?Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson delivered his annual State of the City address Thursday inside downtown’s Memorial Auditorium.

For the first time ever, the event was open to the public.

Johnson covered a number of topics and announced new initiatives. Below are highlights.

Johnson announced a new gun buyback program in an effort to curb gun violence in Sacramento.

The mayor also spoke at length about the city’s green initiatives and technology. Johnson took some time to talk about the region’s agriculture and said that 2013 is Sacramento’s “Year of Food.”

A new reality competition show, set in Sacramento, was announced by Johnson. The mayor’s office says “The Change Game” will feature teams of teens vying to create “positive change in food access in a city.” The show will air on KVIE.

On the topic of schools, Johnson admitted that the city still has work to do. He announced a new initiative, sponsored by philanthropist Austin Beutner, called “Vision to Learn,” which will help third graders with poor vision get the help they need.

Finally, Johnson addressed the effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento. He recapped everything that led up to the Maloofs’ decision to sell the team.

Johnson made some big announcements to the crowd of roughly 3,500. He revealed that Mark Mastrov, former owner of 24-Hour Fitness, will submit a bid to buy the team on March 1, and business magnate Ron Burkle will lead the effort to build a new downtown arena.

The planned arena will be where the Downtown Plaza currently sits.

The new ownership group also plans to resurrect the Sacramento Monarchs WNBA franchise.

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