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Mayor Johnson announces care package for troops in Afghanistan at weekly press conference

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson speaking Tuesday at City Hall.

Mayor Kevin Johnson announced a care package will be sent to American troops stationed in Afghanistan Tuesday at his press conference. The care package was put together by the mayor’s office, public safety organizations and the community.

The contents include American flags, letters from Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Gov. Jerry Brown, and various snacks, candy, and sporting equipment. U.S. Marine Sgt. Anthony Silva, currently deployed in Afghanistan, sent Johnson an e-mail requesting a care package.

“(Silva) said, ‘We are out here fighting for our country, and if the mayor’s office could help facilitate a few things for us troops out here, it would be very meaningful,” Johnson said.

The troops’ No. 1 request was an American flag. In response, the mayor’s office will be sending two – one from the office of Matsui, and another from the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer. The flag from Boxer’s office once flew over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the American flags, the care package includes the California and Sacramento flags, a Sacramento city-limit sign, and sporting equipment and snacks donated by the Sacramento Police Department, Fire Department, other local agencies and private citizens.

“You will not imagine how many people wanted to send things and share,” Johnson said.

The serviceman, from Oakdale

a Sacramento area native
, told Johnson he and his fellow troops wanted to name their operating base “Patrol Base Sacramento” in honor of his hometown.

The care package will be leaving from Travis Air Force Base later today and should arrive in Afghanistan sometime Wednesday.

At the conference, Johnson also discussed the city’s ongoing efforts to dissuade the Kings from moving to Anaheim. Johnson reiterated that the franchise “has one foot out the door, and three or four toes also out the door.

“It’s more likely that they will leave than stay,” Johnson said. “While there’s still time on the clock, we need to treat them as our team, we need to go out and support them as often as we can … but I think the reality is one that’s going to be very challenging to keep them here.”

Johnson added that he plans to speak

recently spoke
with the former mayor of Charlotte, N.C., about his city’s successful efforts to attract a new NBA franchise following the departure of the Charlotte Hornets to New Orleans in 2002.

“They lose their team, and then in 2003, a year later, they break ground on a new arena. In 2004, they get the Bobcats, and in 2005 they have a ribbon-cutting in a new arena,” Johnson said. “So that could potentially be a very similar, telling city for us to study when it comes to our potential predicament in Sacramento.”

Building a new sports complex, like Charlotte, would be essential for attracting a new NBA franchise to Sacramento, Johnson said.

Editorial Note: Corrections have been made to this story after it was published. The incorrect information has been struck out and the correct information has been added.

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