Steve Cohn was first elected to the City Council in 1994. He was re-elected to a record fifth term in June 2010. He was also elected by his peers as Vice Mayor in 1996 and 2008.
Steve is a regional leader in promoting smart, sustainable growth in Sacramento, expanding regional transit and train service from the Bay Area to Sacramento, and expanding the historic Downtown train depot into a state-of-the-art high speed train station. His other priorities are improving public safety and flood protection, growing economic development/job creation, expanding the City’s arts and cultural attractions, enlarging the region’s parks and open spaces, moving the City to a greener economy and environment, and promoting more efficient and accountable government. Steve is responsible for starting the annual Pops in the Park summer concert series, expanding the City’s bicycle and pedestrian network, installing street lights in our poorest neighborhoods, and renovating every neighborhood park in District 3.
Steve is Vice Chair of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, the Sacramento Metro Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin (Rail Corridor) Joint Powers Authority (JPA), and Chair of the Downtown/Riverfront Streetcar Policy Steering Committee. He is past Chair and current board member of the Capitol Corridor (Rail) JPA, Sacramento Regional Transit, Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, Sacramento Library Authority, and City Council Law & Legislation Committee. He is also a board member of Sacramento County Regional Sanitation District and Sacramento Regional Human Rights/Fair Housing Commission.
In 2010, Steve retired as the Chief Assistant General Counsel for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, where he worked since 1992 as the District’s legal adviser for renewable energy, natural gas, nuclear and climate change issues. Steve was part of the SMUD executive team during a period that SMUD became a national leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency, froze utility rates for a decade, and was rated the top utility in California. Steve previously served as Assistant General Counsel and Hearing Officer with the California Energy Commission and as Volunteer Judge Pro Tem in the Sacramento Small Claims Court.
Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University (1975) and a law degree (magna cum laude) from the University of San Diego (1979). Steve was a Fulbright Scholar in France in 1975-76, and received a Diplôme from the Université d’Aix-Marseilles. Steve and his wife Catherine Travers live near McKinley Park in East Sacramento. They have two adult children.
Steve has received numerous civic awards, including the 2012 Transit Action Elected Official of the Year Award, 2007 Urban Land Institute Transit Development Leadership Award, 2002 Bob Holderness Award for Highway 50 Corridor, 2001 Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s City Elected Official of the Year Award, the 1997 Sierra Club Award for Civic Courage and the 1993 East Sacramento Improvement Association Orchid Award for Community Service.