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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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City of SacramentoCandidate for City Council, Council District 8

Photo of Mai Vang

Mai Vang

College Scholarship Director
4,705 votes (47.47%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Equitable Investments in Parks, Transportation & Neighborhoods
  • Economic Security for All
  • Fighting Homelessness & Promoting Affordable Housing



Mai Yang Vang is the daughter of Hmong refugees from Laos. Vang is a proud Sacramento native and the eldest of 16 children. Vang is the Executive Director for the Buck Scholars Association and a lecturer in the Department Ethnic Studies at California State University, Sacramento and Asian American Studies at UC Davis. Vang was elected to the Sacramento City School Board in November of 2016 and will be running for Sacramento City Council in 2020.


Mai co-founded Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP) whose mission is to strengthen the power of disenfranchised communities through innovative civic engagement and strategic grassroots mobilization. Prior to being elected to the Sacramento City School Board, Vang worked tirelessly as a community organizer to improve health and educational outcomes for children and families in south Sacramento. Vang currently serves on the board of directors for the Center for Land-Based Learning and Hmong Youth & Parents United. Vang has worked on education, labor and racial/ethnic health disparities with local and national policy and government organizations.


Mai lives in the Meadowview Neighborhood in south Sacramento. Vang holds Bachelors’ in Biology and Sociology from the University of San Francisco and dual Master's degrees in Public Health and Asian American Studies from UCLA. During her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog Coffee and spending time with her 15 siblings.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (1)

Questions & Answers

Questions from The Sacramento Bee (3)

Sacramento County has an estimated 5,570 homeless people on any given night, mostly unsheltered and mostly in the city. What are three things you would do to address this growing crisis? Where would you get the funding?
Answer from Mai Vang:

We need scatter shelters, safe parking zones, transitional housing and low & high barrier shelters. I would work in partnership with local businesses, the county, state, and federal government to also leverage resources and provide wrap-around services for the homeless while pushing for more housing options - including temporary, supportive and transitional housing. I would work with housing advocates, non-profits, and developers to build a local coalition to push for building more affordable housing units, as discussed above in my response to the affordable-housing question.


The City of Sacramento owns a significant amount of vacant land, and instead of selling this valuable acreage, we should be looking into alternative uses - including temporary and transitional housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. I fully support using existing general fund revenue, state and federal dollars, and new Measure U funding to create, protect, maintain, and expand these resources.

Sacramento has a serious shortage of affordable housing. What are three things you would do to help create more affordable housing in the city? Where would you get the funding? 
Answer from Mai Vang:

As a city, we have the responsibility to ensure that we set aside a certain number of units for affordable housing throughout Sacramento. I support the adoption of rent control, just-cause eviction standards, and our local ordinance to end Housing Choice Voucher discrimination. However, more must be done to protect renters and tenants. The City should be a leader, working with builders to spur construction of affordable and market-rate housing. I support the creation of the Sacramento Affordable Housing Trust Fund to spur housing construction, backed by Measure U dollars. As Councilwoman, I intend to look at other incentives that will bring more new construction to Sacramento.

The city is now receiving roughly $50 million in new revenue a year from the Measure U sales tax increase voters approved in November 2018. What are three projects/areas you'd like to see the money spent on?
Answer from Mai Vang:

The voters of District 8 overwhelmingly voted in favor of Measure U, based on the promise that the tax dollars would be invested in communities that have been underserved and marginalized. Any allocations of Measure U dollars must be made with that at the forefront of our minds.


Firstly, I would like to see these dollars being spent on improving the quality and quantity of affordable housing options in Sacramento. The Council has already taken a large step towards this with the creation of the Sacramento Affordable Housing Trust Fund, backed by Measure U dollars. I support this initiative and look forward to its continued implementation.


Secondly, Measure U dollars need to be directed to youth investment, development, and programming. We need to create more recreational opportunities for young people - for example, the excellent after-school education-focused programming provided by Square Root Academy in South Sacramento. This program receives funding from the city of Sacramento, and we should be looking into additional opportunities to invest in our youth through the lens of community engagement and neighborhood equity. Our Sacramento community centers and neighborhood schools deserve to have more accessible, affordable, and exciting programming for youths to engage with the community and with each other.


Lastly, I intend to see that Measure U dollars are invested in economic development through minority-owned small businesses, local arts and culture, and neighborhood equity. This can be accomplished through implementing capacity grants to enhance small businesses’ ability to grow, amongst other options. When the Creative Edge survey was circulated, more than 90% of our residents agree that arts and culture are important - now, it’s just a matter of political will. The arts is an avenue for investing in the community through the City Council, as well as attracting outside businesses/investments into our neighborhoods.

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