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Downtown Sacramento Partnership keeps Sacramento moving forward

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Have you ever attended Friday Night Concerts in the Park, grabbed a deal at Dine Downtown Week, shopped at the Downtown Farmers Markets, or skated at the Downtown Holiday Ice Rink? Most likely–even if you’ve lived in Sacramento for just a short period of time–you’ve crossed paths with one of these events. But, do you know who puts in all the behind-the-scenes work? It’s the Downtown Sacramento Partnership (DSP), a hard-working organization dedicated to the ongoing preservation and improvement of the Downtown Sacramento area.

In addition to producing fun-filled events, the DSP works tirelessly throughout the year to provide ongoing services and programs to the downtown neighborhood, community members, and businesses located within it. Sacramento365.com chatted with DSP Marketing Manager Megan Emmerling over email to get a little more detail on the inner-workings of such a multi-faceted, community-minded organization.

Give us a little history on the background of your Organization. How did you get started? How did you get to where you are today?
The Downtown Sacramento Partnership (DSP) is a private, non-profit, property based improvement district (also known as a PBID). The DSP is funded directly by our downtown property owners dedicated to the improvement of the central business district. Our organization serves as a unified voice for the 176 property owners and over 400 retail businesses located within the downtown district. Together, the constituents work for the advancement of Downtown by strengthening relationships with local and regional governments and citizen-based organizations in a public-private partnership.

DSP started in 1995 with a Clean & Safe focus. From our downtown guides and maintenance teams, our organization has expanded over the past 17 years to include Navigators for homeless outreach, policy advocacy, marketing, special events, and retail recruitment and retention for the 66 blocks that make up Downtown Sacramento.

How does your Organization interact with the Sacramento community?
We interact with the community in a variety of ways. We’re committed to making Downtown a better place and work to improve not only the physical appearance, but also the customer experience. Our Community Service Guides are out on the streets of Downtown each day to act as downtown good-will ambassadors, providing visitors with directions and assistance and also acting as “eyes and ears” for local law enforcement agencies to control nuisance behavior. Additionally, some of our guides give our popular Downtown Walking Tours.

Our Downtown Navigators connect homeless individuals with local community service programs, facilitate access to care, and identify solutions to improve clients living conditions and quality of life. Their goal is to increase access to care and to identify long-term solutions to improve their clients’ quality of life and ultimately end their state of homelessness. We also have a street maintenance team that provides enhanced services above and beyond the City’s basic services. You’ll see our crews out there pressure washing sidewalks and alleys, and removing graffiti, litter, and leaves throughout the district.

Managing the customer environment goes beyond just keeping Downtown clean. Our retail recruitment and retention manager works with property owners and potential tenants to help fill empty storefronts. We also work closely with downtown business owners to help them find solutions to their challenges.

We’re also very active on social media. Our marketing team communicates directly with the community via the DSP blog, email, Facebook, and Twitter to keep our Sacramento residents and visitors engaged in downtown. Additionally, DSP brings the community together by producing a host of community events all year round to improve the experience of living and working downtown.

There are some changes for this year’s Concerts in the Park. What can attendees expect this year that’s different than the past years?
The Concerts in the Park’s festival atmosphere will celebrate everything local from music and food, to local businesses. The lineup has a strong focuses on local Sacramento bands that have proven to be very popular throughout the greater Sacramento region and are known for their entertaining shows. These are proven headliners. We’ve also added local DJs to the bill to keep the beats bumping between bands. This year’s line up includes a broad mix of musical genres including rock, country, punk, rockabilly, indie, pop as well as reggae, ska, house, and dance music.

The beer garden fence has gone away which lets you roam the park and allows you to be up front and close to the band with a beer in hand if you’re over 21. Local food trucks now are spread out around the park, including Krush Burger, Wicked Wich, and Autentico Taco Azteca. Local retailers Shop Just and Gypsy Mobile Boutique will also be out at the park.

Also new this year: after parties. Each Concert will be followed by an after party with one of the bands at a local downtown hot spot.

What do you envision for the future of Downtown?
Our vision has always been (and will always [be]) to make Downtown a better place to live, work, and play. One of the best attributes of a great city or urban neighborhoods is that it is constantly changing. Over the years, we’ve welcomed so many new businesses and events into the downtown district that add to the character, personality, and the energy of Downtown. They also help improve the physical and social environment issues by creating critical mass. We expect that trend to continue and the DSP will be there to keep Sacramento moving forward.


Find more detail on this Organization along with many more at Sacramento365.com, the year-round source for Sacramento events.


Note: Images are used with permission from the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. Usage rights are limited to DSP’s specific marketing purposes and the photos cannot be replicated or used in any other capacity without violating DSP’s photography agreement. Photos included here are by Sarah Maren Photographers & Nicholas Wray.

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