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West Sacramento has been an incorporated city since 1987 but most people living in the area never knew much about the city; Chris Cabaldon was no exception. In fact, he says the only reason why he discovered West Sacramento was because he accidentally took the wrong freeway exit, but he ended up finding “a place that I wanted to live.”

Cabaldon began seeing many opportunities for change and growth in his new city and used it to build his platform for his political candidacy. As a resident, he was able to truly get to know the city and “know [the city’s] heart and its history and its future and its pain and its aspirations.” In his role as mayor, Cabaldon continues to use that same intimacy to embrace change and innovation as West Sacramento provides a unique opportunity “to try new things and take some risks.”

Through these risks and keeping the residents in the forefront, Mayor Cabaldon has helped West Sacramento grow businesses and programs, like urban farms, breweries, city seed funding for college savings accounts, and bikeshares. But he is “very clear on what it is that my organization and the city itself can do, what our capacity is, what our context is,” and knows when collaboration and partnership with other organizations, cities are necessary to further the creative process.

Listen to his interview to hear more about how community, passion and purpose have helped navigate Cabaldon’s time “In the Arena” as mayor of West Sacramento.

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