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Why we can't have nice things

With 37% of Sacramento County's residents, the unincorporated UnCity has the largest population of any subordinate unit of the County. The UnCity has a larger population than the giant City of Sacramento. The UnCity is bigger than Sacramento by 63,000 people, an increment which is 2,000 more people than live in all of Carmichael. With that many people, you would think the UnCity would get some recognition in the media, would have some clout as to municipal services, and would generally feel the love. But it doesn't, and not just because there is no "UnCity". No, the reason is that our collective voice on the Board of Supervisors doesn't amount to much.

It is easier for citizens in incorporated cities to be heard because their number of elected decision makers per capita is far less than the situation in the UnCity. The City of Sacramento has 1 elected decision maker for every 51,832 people. Elk Grove has 1 for every 33,400 people. Citrus Heights, Folsom and Rancho Cordova have 1 for 16,660; 14,441; and 12,953 people, respectively. Every 4,729 people in Galt and every 161 people in Isleton have a representative on their city council. So, when it comes to municipal service decisions in the seven incorporated cities within Sacramento County, the ratio of elected representatives to residents ranges anywhere from 1 in 161 to to 1 in 51,832.  Meanwhile, five people sit on the governing body for the 37% of County residents who live in the UnCity, which means we have 1 elected official making municipal service decisions for every 283,748 residents. And, though Arden Arcade has the largest chunk of population in the UnCity (by far) with 91,186 souls, the Supervisor who rules over our municipal services has to serve a population that's more than 3 times bigger than us. Arden Arcade is less than 1/3 of our Supervisor's turf, which means we really don't matter much. Add to that problem the need to get at least 3 votes for anything pertaining to Arden Arcade -- 2 votes of which must come from areas where we don't get to vote either yay or nay for the supervisors. No wonder we are not heard!

(Source of data: US Census 2010) 

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Map of Sacramento County and its 7 cities. (Source: Sacramento County)


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