Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, joined by CA Secretary of Service and Volunteering Karen Baker, today launched the Sacramento Service Plan, a blueprint to increase civic engagement in the region.

“As Mayor, I launched ‘Volunteer Sacramento’ as my first priority initiative to promote service and volunteerism in Sacramento. This plan outlines an innovative set of initiatives that aim to achieve two overarching goals: making our city the most caring city in the nation, and setting a new standard for how cities can tap the power of their people to tackle our most pressing challenges,” said Mayor Johnson.

Under the Sacramento Service Plan, Volunteer Sacramento initiatives fall into four categories: 1) help more Sacramentans connect to service opportunities more easily; 2) create or elevate volunteer opportunities that address the City’s most urgent needs; 3) create more meaningful opportunities for young people to serve and 4) measure progress against clear goals/Create accountability for results.

Mayor Johnson also announced the four priority areas that represent the City’s most urgent needs and will gain additional attention and volunteer service resources: public safety, education, homelessness and the environment.

The Mayor was joined by Volunteer Sacramento partners including its sponsors AT&T, Kaiser Permanente and Walmart; its lead stakeholders American Red Cross Capital Region Chapter, STAND UP (the Mayor’s education initiative), Sacramento Steps Forward (the Mayor’s homelessness initiative), Greenwise Sacramento (the Mayor’s green initiative), The Volunteer Center of Sacramento, Hands on Sacramento, the Nonprofit Resource Center, the Citywide Volunteer Program; and hundreds of additional community leaders and volunteers.

“The plan we launched today is the product of months of hard work done in partnership with many of our leading nonprofits and volunteer service leaders,” said Chief Service Officer of Sacramento, Keith Hart.

“As the capital of California, Sacramento is a region with a strong tradition of public service.

The plan we launch today provides a blueprint to increase civic engagement and the innovative set of initiatives it contains will have a real impact on our communities.”

Mayor Johnson appointed Hart as Chief Service Officer to lead a comprehensive process to engage service experts and stakeholders to create and implement the Service Plan.

Mayor Johnson’s Office competed in a national competition against other cities for a Cities of Service Leadership Grant from the Cities of Service coalition to fund the position.

Sacramento was ultimately awarded a two year $200,000 grant from the coalition funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Hart’s position, is the first of its kind, along with Los Angeles, in the State of California.
Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors from across the country, representing more than 47 million Americans in over 100 cities across the nation, dedicated to engaging more Americans in service and channeling volunteers towards each city’s most pressing challenges. Mayor Johnson is a founding member of the coalition.

“The city of Sacramento has been a true pioneer in the service movement,” said Secretary of Service and Volunteering, Karen Baker.

“The movement is thriving, and local, state, and national leaders continue to propel the movement forward with innovative strategies that harness civic energy. I applaud the city of Sacramento for generating a city service plan that addresses critical needs in the community and adopting a service model that is committed to tangible results.”

High impact service initiatives addressing the City’ s most urgent needs

Public Safety – Sacramento Ready

The Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the Capital Region American Red Cross, will manage a sustained preparedness marketing campaign that will guide residents to become prepared and spread the preparedness philosophy throughout the Sacramento Area. The campaign will work with CERT trained volunteers to recruit an additional 500 community members to be CERT trained; thereby increasing the number of CERT trained and prepared Sacramentans by 50%.

Education – Sacramento Parents Stand Up

The Office of the Mayor, in partnership with Stand Up for Education, is conducting a pilot program to recruit parent volunteers from targeted school communities and connect them with the Sacramento Unified School District’s volunteer program. The program will provide parents with attendance and performance tracking sheets for students and train them to log hours, record student attendance and record student grades.

Homelessness – Nomadic Winter Sheltering Program

The Office of the Mayor, in partnership with Sacramento Steps Forward, will work with SafeGround Sacramento to recruit volunteers and facilities to shelter homeless persons when space is not available on bad weather nights. The initiative will reach out to congregations to encourage them to open their doors to people who are homeless during bad weather months, with the goal of expanding the current pool of 5 churches to a total of 20-25.

Environment – Sacramento Green Corps

The Office of the Mayor, in partnership with Greenwise Sacramento partners, will create a Sacramento Green Corps to provide meaningful opportunities for volunteers to contribute in a way that both positively impacts Sacramento’s environment and teaches meaningful aspects of what it means to be a good steward of the environment. Project leaders will be trained to execute specific green projects using a three-tiered approach that escalates engagement. The initiative will also provide pathways into employment through green job training.

About Cities of Service

Founded in New York City on September 10, 2009 by 17 mayors from cities around the Nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors who have committed to work together to lead a multi-year effort to expand impact volunteerism answering the historic Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act’s call to action. The coalition has rapidly grown since its inception and now includes more than 100 mayors, representing more than 47 million Americans across the nation. All coalition members have signed a “Declaration of Service,” committing to work together to lead a multi-year effort to expand community service and volunteerism.

About Cities of Service Leadership Grants

The first round of Cities of Service Leadership Grants, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, were awarded in January 2010. The selected cities were Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; Newark, NJ; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; Savannah, GA; and Seattle, WA. The grants are used to hire Chief Service Officers, senior city officials who develop and implement citywide plans to increase volunteerism and target volunteers to address their city’s greatest needs. All ten cities are launching comprehensive service plans this month to address problems of critical need in their communities.

The second round of Cities of Service Leadership Grants, funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, were awarded in June 2010 to Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Chula Vista, CA; Houston, TX; Little Rock, AR; Orlando, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; and Richmond, VA.

More information about the coalition can be found at

Mayor Johnson officially launched his volunteer initiative Volunteer Sacramento In June of 2009. The initiative is an effort led by Johnson, in partnership with HandsOn Sacramento and Honorary Chair Congresswoman Doris Matsui, to encourage volunteerism and service in the greater Sacramento area.