Article Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Since being elected in June to represent District 2 on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, Patrick Kennedy, who replaced Supervisor Jimmie Yee upon his retirement, has immersed himself in County departments and programs as preparation for his “dream job” that officially began January 5.
“I’ve met with every department, some multiple times, getting my arms around the vast network of services the County provides,” Kennedy said. “One of my biggest impressions is with County employees; I’ve never met a more dedicated, innovative, creative group of people. Their level of commitment and investment in solving problems and improving services is astounding.”
Kennedy has ridden along with Probation, Child Protective Services (CPS), and restaurant inspections to name just a few.
“The programs that Probation is doing are changing the way we handle rehabilitation in this County and the people at CPS do challenging and amazing work every day.” After a day at the Rio Consumnes Correction Center learning about rehabilitation programs, including parenting classes and culinary school, he noted, “Probation and the Sheriff’s Departments have really stepped up to make realignment work.”
On public assistance as a child, he later attended law school at night while working to support his family. “These experiences gave me tremendous empathy and have driving me in public life,” Kennedy added. “The services and issues that the County deals with are where my heart is.”
Kennedy has a long history of public and private sector work with SMUD and the University of California, and running his own law office for ten years, as well as public service work as a Sacramento City Planning Commissioner and on the Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education. At the School Board he worked to triple the number of local fresh fruit and vegetables served to children, noting it was the right thing for the region and the kids because malnourished kids don’t learn and the increased business served the local agriculture industry. Likewise, he sees many opportunities for the County to play a role in local food policy that will help fuel the local economy.
Kennedy looks forward to working with the other members of the Board, noting that even when they disagree, it is in a respectful way. “People like to focus on the members’ differences; what they don’t realize is most of the votes are unanimous – this Board works as a team. The caliber of people on the Board has always been high – it’s humbling and exciting to join this group.”
Having been on the school board during the recession, he understands the need to live within one’s means. “I think the County did a very good job changing and adapting during the recession. I understand the importance of keeping an eye on the bottom line. In order for the County to serve the residents, it needs to be fiscally healthy. Replacing and growing jobs is essential to our fiscal health and I want to help by making smart land-use decisions, and working with employers such as the former Campbell’s Soup plant and Siemens.”
On the personal side, he is married, has four adult children and is a self-proclaimed foodie; when he’s not working, he says you will usually find him in the kitchen, cooking something local and seasonal.
Visit Supervisor Kennedy's website for more information.