Commentary: Mayor Kevin Johnson has one priority right

This editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee.

When Kevin Johnson takes office as mayor Tuesday, he will bring with him a broad and ambitious agenda. Given the limited powers of his office in Sacramento's weak-mayor system, some parts of that agenda may prove to be unrealistic.

But there is one item on Johnson's agenda that is both realistic and badly needed. The mayor-to-be wants to highlight and promote the role of volunteerism and philanthropy in Sacramento.

The timing for such an effort could not be better. The economic downturn is cutting into the budgets for schools, health care, education and a variety of social services at the very time more people need such help. State and local governments won't be able to meet all the needs.

That makes the efforts of charities, philanthropies and faith-based programs more crucial than ever. But bad economic times also eat up the resources of charities and nonprofit agencies. In these circumstances, a mayor who uses the pulpit of the office to promote volunteerism and philanthropy will be performing a real service.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.

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