When COVID-19 hit our communities, Les didn’t sit on the sidelines; he stepped up to ensure families were fed, essential workers had childcare, and our community could get tested. Les opened a food distribution center in South Sacramento that feeds thousands every week. He’s giving away thousands of free face masks and launched the only free COVID testing site in South Sacramento. Working with city leaders, Les helped ensure federal COVID funding goes to our most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Les will continue this important work on the City Council, serving our neighborhoods by bringing needed resources, progress and change to our community.
With the social, economic and physical impacts of the pandemic estimated to last for years to come, we can count on Les to continue fighting to ensure our most disadvantaged communities and small businesses get the resources they need to emerge from the pandemic healthy, safe and strong.
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY
Les Simmons has a long history of fighting for systemic change both in Sacramento and across our nation. Locally, Les has protested against the police shootings of unarmed black men and even was arrested for his part in a peace march in Sacramento. Les has spoken at peaceful protests in Sacramento following the death of George Floyd and has been a leader in pushing for police reform and more funding for basic services like healthcare, mental health, support for businesses, job training and housing relief.
Les has also been part of the national fight for racial and social equity. He marched for justice in Ferguson, Missouri following the death of Michael Brown. When Donald Trumped separated children from their parents at the border, Les was there, standing with the protestors. And Les was a leading activist pushing for a California law imposing the strictest standards in the country on police use of deadly force.
Les Simmons has worked tirelessly to advocate for our youth, spearheading programs to prevent gang violence, reduce child mortality and keep kids engaged in school and active in our community.
To give kids a safe place to learn and grow, Les and his wife Katrina turned the abandoned Cal Skate site in South Sacramento into the Simmons Community Center (named after Les’ parents), which serves more than 1,000 diverse youth and adults every month through educational, recreation and employment activities.
Les recently helped win $10 million for the Black Child Legacy campaign to reduce child death rates in the African American community in Sacramento. Les has also helped secure $2 million for violence prevention.
On the City Council, Les will continue to work with parent, community and local school leaders to improve our schools and expand opportunities to ensure our youth can thrive.
In their endorsement of Les, the Sacramento City Teachers Association called Les “a tireless advocate for youth, students and families” and commended his work “to reduce gang violence and expand opportunities for youth.”
INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
As a community organizer, Les Simmons has been at the forefront of advancing important policy changes. During the pandemic, Les has worked with City leaders to ensure federal COVID funding went to disadvantaged communities to provide support for small businesses and people who have lost their jobs. On the Mack Road Partnership board, Les has advanced investment in South Sacramento’s diverse small businesses.
He will be a forceful advocate on the City Council for inclusive economic development that provides equity for our neighborhoods and businesses along with real resources to lead us back to financial recovery and stability.