NORTH SACRAMENTO – Allen Wayne Warren, the representative of Sacramento City Council District 2, called challenger Sean Loloee on Tuesday, morning, Nov. 17, to congratulate the fellow businessman on his election victory, ending the real estate developer’s eight-year reign in office.
As of Nov. 18 and with all 23 precincts reporting, Loloee had 9,896 votes (56%) to Warren’s 7,732 votes (43%). Warren and Loloee were forced into a run-off following the primary election in March.
Warren waited patiently as the votes kept rolling in but in the end, said he could not deny the inevitable. He told The OBSERVER he wanted to “bow out gracefully.”
“I talked to Sean earlier this morning to let him know that I am pulling for him to be successful and our community to benefit from his election,” Warren said in a 32-minute phone discussion. “Hopefully, it will continue to propel our community towards a better future.”
With Warren conceding the District 2 seat, the Black representation on the Sacramento City Council has diminished from seven representatives to one over the last 10 years.
Rick Jennings II, of District 6, is the last man standing. Larry Carr of District 8 will relinquish his seat to Mai Vang, who beat South Sacramento Christian Center senior pastor Les Simmons for the office. Carr decided early not to run for another term.
Warren who was raised in the Del Paso Heights neighborhood has been the D2 representative since 2012. Until last week, he was upbeat that he would overcome a modest deficit against Loloee.
Warren became more aware of his slim chances of holding on to D2’s seat while out of town with his son Roman, who just inked an athletic scholarship to play soccer at the University of California at Riverside. Instead, he chose to wait for another round of results from the County.
“I actually taped a video on Monday (Nov. 9) but I continued to let the votes come in,” Warren said. “I taped the video that I was going to put out in any event that I was unable to reach (Loloee). But I reached him on my first try. I think it was important to make a graceful entry and a graceful exit.”
District 2 covers Woodlake, Ben Ali, Del Paso Heights, Hagginwood, Swanston Estate, Old North Sacramento, Noralto, Strawberry Manor, Robla, and Dixieanne neighborhoods. Overall, D2 is part of North Sacramento, which was annexed to the city of Sacramento in the 1960s.
Allen Wayne Warren was elected to represent Council District 2 in the City of Sacramento on Nov. 6, 2012, and sworn in on Dec. 11, 2012. He was re-elected to the Council District 2 seat on Nov. 8, 2016.
Early in office, Warren was the member of the commission and the chairperson that led the efforts to the building of Golden 1 Center. He was also one of the early supporters to keep the Sacramento Kings in the city when they were on the verge of being sold to a group in Seattle, Washington.
He helped increase the need for housing in the district, put a dent in the area food desert by negotiating a deal to open a Grocery Outlet store on Del Paso Boulevard, and reinstituted the youth sports program, including Little League (which has 400-plus young participants).
As he spends his final weeks at Sacramento City Hall, District 2 currently has added 1,000 units of housing and more to be built, Warren said. Above all, he worked with organizations in D2 that offered youth programs, some that paid young people of color.
Warren was also the first city council member to take back his endorsement from Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert during her reelection campaign, citing that he had no confidence in her office when it concerned racial and social issues.
Warren also advocated for local law enforcement agencies to foster a trustworthy relationship with the Black and Brown communities after a series of incidents and controversial police-involved shootings surfaced over the years.
“I was outspoken about how people were treated in our community,” Warren said. “Also, as a public servant, I wanted to have a community that was not frightened of the police but worked in collaboration with the police to help make the community better.”
What was started by former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Warren was and continued to be out in front to raise a discussion about the severe homelessness situation in his district and other parts of the city.
When Darrell Steinberg became mayor of the city in 2016, Warren kindly stepped aside to let the new mayor be the voice of the cause to find solutions for the unhoused, which still grew to epic proportions.
“It is still one of the things that I thought we didn’t do well as a city as we could have,” Allen said of tackling the homelessness problem in Sacramento. “However, it’s a big and challenging issue. And it’s a problem throughout the state of California. I just wanted us to be more progressive about how we dealt with it. Hopefully, the city will continue to work hard to deal with the issue.”
In the March 3 primary election, Warren and Loloee ended their campaigns with a forced run-off since neither the incumbent nor the challenger got the 50-plus amount of the votes to win outright.
They defeated Ramona Landeros and Lamar Jefferson in the primary election. That gave Loloee enough time to bond with the community.
A few community neighborhood associations joined forces with Loloee, including Ben Ali Community Association, the Noralto Community Association and the Del Paso Heights Community Association led by Twin Rivers Unified School District board member Christine Jefferson and her husband Greg Jefferson.
The Jefferson were allies of Warren but campaigned aggressively for Loloee. Del Paso Heights community activists Debra Cummings and Ross Hendricx were members of Team Loloee as well.
“Sean cares about this community and he has demonstrated that,” Greg Jefferson said of Loloee. “Those are just a number or reason why I (threw) my support for Sean Loloee for city council.”
Loloee, an Iranian-born businessman who owns and operates the Viva Supermarket chain of grocery stores in North Sacramento, had a vision for his campaign.
“When I decided to run for City Council, I knew that I wanted to bring three things to District 2: Investment, Innovation, and Inspiration,” Loloee stated on his Facebook page. “It is time to bring new businesses and jobs to our district and more opportunities for four youth. It’s time for a positive change.”
Warren, a former professional baseball player who had an early taste of success by working on Wall Street has made the transition to allow Loloee do whatever changes he desires.
Warren said he only hopes that the positive changes continue to include the Black community of District 2 as he did.
“I want everybody to do as well or better. That’s my hope,” Warren said. “But it should also be noted that I was an advocate for people who had been disenfranchised and a large portion of that are African American people. I tried to speak to issues that impacted us to make things better and equitable.”
By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer