Observer Interviews Sacramento’s First Female County Executive

As Sacramento County’s CEO, Ann Edwards looks to do things differently.

PUBLISHED NOV 28, 2021 12:00 A.M.
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Sacramento County’s former director of human assistance, Ann Edwards officially took over as county executive on Sept. 14.

Sacramento County’s former director of human assistance, Ann Edwards officially took over as county executive on Sept. 14.   County of Sacramento

Sacramento’s county supervisors and other county government figures may not be household names, but their decisions affect almost 2 million citizens. Genoa Barrow, of the Sacramento Observer, an indie paper that has been keeping a close eye on the supervisors, reprises some of the recent controversies. They include the time then-County Executive Nav Gill turned over the lion’s share of the county’s COVID-19 recovery monies to the Sheriff's Department. This was a nasty surprise to the supervisors, who then got flamed by activists who wanted to know why the money wasn’t going to the neediest in the county.

The Observer interviews Gill’s replacement, Ann Edwards, a 20-year vet of county government and the first woman to serve as county executive. Edwards promises transparency in the county’s upcoming budget … and Black community groups are watching the process closely to make sure federal funds are going to the most underserved. Barrow quotes Edwards: “We’re learning as we go, because this is a very large pot of money.”

Edwards says her top priority is “doing the job well.” But she acknowledges the significance of being the first woman in the position, telling the Observer, “I’ve received emails, notes and cards from women in the organization that say it’s made a difference for them and the conversations they have with their daughters about what they are capable of doing. That does make me feel good. I think that’s really, really a good thing for women and girls in this community.”

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