As California struggles to overcome the devastation caused by COVID-19 and catastrophic wildfires, the Golden State’s lawmakers still plan to move forward with a secretive, $1 billion project to demolish and rebuild the Capitol Annex building. See what preservationists, environmentalists, small business, and taxpayers are saying about the costly project.
"While Californians suffer from record unemployment, illness and homelessness, and our state continues to burn, our politicians worked behind closed doors to build themselves a hugely expensive monument to power. We are calling upon Governor Newsom and lawmakers to halt the demolition project immediately and to address the priorities in California – the people in need, and the need to restore the historic Capitol Annex to ensure its safety and security for everyone who works there or visits this important California landmark."
- Karen Jacques, board member of Preservation Sacramento and member of Public Accountability for Our Capitol.
"Intentional neglect by the Legislature should be addressed by restoring the historic East Annex. Destroying California history is not a solution."
- Dan Visnich, executive secretary of the California Capitol Historic Preservation Society.
"As every Californian is being called upon to sacrifice in this unprecedented time, we are asking the governor and lawmakers to set aside this lavish project and focus on addressing the needs of struggling families and businesses.”
- John Kabateck, California state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“We are dismayed and disheartened that we have heard absolutely nothing about taking into account the tribes that have historically occupied this area. United Auburn has expressed concerns on this project and the direction that this project has been going for over a year now. We were promised that this project would be the ‘Gold Standard’ for respect in consultation with area tribes, and clearly it is not true.”
- Representative of the United Auburn Indian Community Tribal Council during public comment.
“Trees are our first line of defense against climate change and flooding. And we’re demolishing them so more people can drive to work. What kind of message are we trying to send?”
- Dan Pskowski, Sacramento city arborist in Sacramento News & Review: “If a Moon Tree falls at the Capitol, will Sacramento Notice?”
“This project will remove up to 100 trees in the project footprint in the historic Capitol Park. Many of the tree species planted in our Arboretum are rare, and many are now endangered in their native countries. The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) does not include consideration of off-site locations for this project, to save our historic trees. It does not provide a new landscape plan, including plans to plant trees to replace those that are removed. It does not provide information for how the trees outside of the construction zone will be protected during the excavation and building process.”
“The remodel of the historic Capitol Annex would be a waste of taxpayers’ money even in a stable economy, and the decision to pursue this project during a pandemic is particularly concerning. At a time when our elected officials should be supporting their constituents struggling to hold on to jobs, keep businesses open, and send kids to school, priorities should lie elsewhere."
- Jack Frost, executive director of the Sacramento Taxpayers Association.