All, just thought I would forward my email to Councilwoman Pannell. I hope this is able to inspire all of you to write as I was inspired looking at some of the letters on here. Since I can't make to Sacramento for the meeting on the 14th, I figured this was the next best thing. Thank you again, and GO KINGS!!!!!!!!!
Dear Councilwoman Pannell,
First off, let me sincerely express my thanks and gratitude for your service to the City of Sacramento over the years, and for being such an incredible voice for those working and living in the region. I was born and raised in Sacramento and now live in Washington, DC where I work for the US Government. My work and academic life has taken me around the world, and in every city and location I have traveled to I have been happy to sing my praise for the city and what it has meant to me. Since you and your work in making the city what it is was a major part of that, I am deeply in your debt.
In one such instance, I was traveling in a remote part of Turkey in 2002, walking through a series of street markets while on personal vacation. I was looking at an ivory chess set with some colleagues when the vendor noticed a foreign accent speaking in front of him. “Where are you from?!?” he asked. “California”, I said. “Oh really? Where?” Without hesitating, and thinking I was taking a long shot by being more specific, I said, “Sacramento, the capital”. Before I could offer an explanation of where this was exactly, his eyes got wide and he looked full of excitement. “Ohhh- I know Sacramento! Sacramento Kings! Hedo Turkoglu! It is a famous place for us!”
Now, almost 10 years on, I remember that story as if it were yesterday and am still struck by how much that example showed me about what the Sacramento Kings mean to the identity of Sacramento. They are an icon for what brings the city together, and one of the incredible symbols of what makes us unique. But in the end, the effort to fund and approve a new arena transcends far beyond the Kings. This, ultimately, is about Sacramento and the city we want it to be. I believe that Sacramento is a world class city, deserving of world class amenities and atmosphere. I hear raves by colleagues who visit Portland, Oregon, Indianapolis, Indiana and San Antonio, Texas—three similarly sized cities to Sacramento—after they see what an arena has meant to a successful downtown urban center. I beam with anticipation thinking of the day I can take my own family to a game or concert in a new arena in Sacramento, just as my family took me as a child back in 1987.
It is in this spirit that I respectfully ask you to reconsider your recent position on the new Entertainment and Sports Complex Initiative. While Sacramento still has many civic hurdles to climb, and the economy continues to put strain on all of our priorities, this may be the last true window for the city to get the meeting place, opportunity, and team it deserves. I hope you consider the future identity of our great city and those who have had very similar cherished experiences to mine, and the excitement this new project could provide for the identity of future generations as well. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and all the best in your current and future efforts.