SACRAMENTO — The California Democratic Convention begins in Sacramento this weekend at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center.
Not only are there plans in place to keep delegates and visitors safe, but there are also plans to keep crowds in some degree of peaceful control as organizers expect potential protests.
There were already peaceful protesters out in the downtown area Friday morning but the rest of the afternoon was quiet.
“I think it’s a recognition that we are in a tense moment in our history, not just in California but around the world,” California Democratic Chair Rusty Hicks said.
Whether it be protesters or even concerns over public safety, security for the convention will be in place all weekend.
Despite those potential concerns, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg told CBS13 that he encourages the public to enjoy what the downtown area has to offer as crime rates are down.
“The fact is, in 2023, violent crime is down nearly 19% compared to last year, and homicides are down nearly 40% over that same time period,” Steinberg said.
Security director Rob Canales says his team will work closely with the Sacramento Police Department. Working this event is something he already has experience with.
Canales said his team coordinates with the Sacramento Police Department, and they aim to strike a balance between letting voices be heard and keeping things peaceful.
“We’ve been in touch with people organizing the protests,” Canales said. “I’ve been in touch personally with them, Sacramento police have been in touch with them, so they know and are aware of what they’re trying to get across in the best way that they want to and how to get their message across without causing as much disruption as possible.
It’s a tightrope to walk that Hicks hopes can be a model of progress for Sacramento and beyond.
“Within this venue, I think we have the opportunity to showcase what it means to have a deliberative, collaborative conversation,” said California Democratic Chair Rusty Hicks.