Dr. Flojaune Cofer was greeted by a large, cheering crowd as she made her way to the front of City Hall.
An epidemiologist who’s been deep in the fight for safer, healthier neighborhoods, Cofer was officially launching her bid to be Sacramento’s next mayor.
Cofer is the Senior Director of Policy at Public Health Advocates and a former chair of the city’s Measure U Community Advisory Committee. She has been involved in numerous local health initiatives, including the Black Child Legacy Campaign, a broad partnership which is credited with sharply reducing the disproportionate number of Black infant and child deaths that were plaguing Sacramento County. During that campaign, in 2017, Cofer penned a guest commentary for SN&R about the reality of downstream, generational trauma. Her local volunteer work includes serving as Civic Engagement Chairperson for the Greater Sacramento Urban League.
Amidst a sea of waving signs and smiling faces, Cofer told the crowd that she was the daughter of two public school teachers who instilled in her a love the arts and a sense of community responsibility.
“I lost two very close friends to gun violence, and helping their families write testimony to the court about the impact of that loss – and try as I might, and fail – about the magnitude of their grief, is an experience that will haunt me to my grave,” Cofer shared with the gathering. “Let’s dream together about a city where no families have to face that. Where no young people, like my friends, are killed by gun violence. Does it seem far away? Does it seem impossible to you? What if I told you that you already lived in that city, recently. Just three years ago, Sacramento had no youth homicides for multiple years in a row – because we funded community violence prevention programs … And then just when the pandemic started, when we knew those programs were going to need more services – because the drivers of violence are known – we cut their funding.”
She added, “Those programs worked; and more is possible if we fund actual public safety consistently.”
Cofer ended her speech by telling the enthusiastic faces, “This is an all-call for everyone in Sacramento who wants to feel safe; this is an all-call for everyone in Sacramento who wants to live in a place that they can afford; and everyone here who wants to breathe clean air and drink clean water – and this is for every Sacramento person who wants a thriving community.”
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