“Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
These famous words were uttered by then White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in 2009 in reference to the economic crisis. To some, this comment seemed crass: millions faced layoffs and foreclosures as the United States—and the world’s—economy was crashing hard. But Emanuel was not purely referring the crisis as a political tool so much as he was referring to the opportunity presented to fix a larger systemic problem with the country that lead to the crisis in the first place. With the country mired in the biggest economic calamity since the great depression, Emmanuel described a chance to gain support for a change in the status quo.
In Stockton, there is no doubt that we are in the midst of a “serious crisis”. The question is: are we going to let it go to waste? Continue reading
Fans of the site know about my earlier article referring to Joe Minicozzi, the developer who discovered that dense development brings in tax dollars at a more efficient rate than less-dense development on the edges of cities (you can find the post here). Turns out, Minicozzi was just in Modesto to discuss his work and offer an example based on some buildings in the city. Minicozzi found that what was true in southeastern cities also holds true for Modesto: Downtown buildings are more efficient sources of revenue than developments on the outskirts of the city. Here is an excerpt from the Modesto Bee article highlighting Minicozzi’s findings: Continue reading
2010 was not a good year for the City of Stockton in terms of titles as we were named most miserable, most illiterate* and most obese. If you look at these dubious distinctions, you probably come to the conclusion that Stockton is not a nice place to live. How could three reputable studies all separately come to the conclusions that Stockton is the worst in the country for something? To the untrained eye, being at the top (or bottom) of these lists is hard proof that reinforces negative stereotypes about Stockton. But when you take closer looks at these studies, you begin to realize that these lists are not always what they are cracked up to be. I would like to set the record straight: Stockton is not the worst city in the country for ANY of the aforementioned titles.
Probably one of the best aspects of living in Stockton is the city’s trees. Stockton was once named “Best Tree City” by Sunset magazine and at one time planted 2,500 new trees each year. Sadly, I think Stockton’s trees are also taken for granted. Everyone knows that our trees provide for pleasant streets in older neighborhoods and great shade in the scorching summer months, but, perhaps unexpectedly, trees also offer a tremendous economic benefit, both to property owners and to the city overall. Continue reading
Thank you for supporting the site, I have been overwhelmed with the interest and support so far. Due to the overwhemingly positive response I have gotten, I have set up a Facebook page to reach an even broader audience. You can “like” Stockton City Limits here, or simply click on the “like” button on the right hand side of the page.
Here you will be able to easily share Stockton City Limits with your friends and get updates from the site when new material is available. I encourage you to repost the articles you find the most interesting.The more people we get talking about the issues explored here, the better.
Again, thanks for the support!
I once had a conversation with a family member about living in North Stockton. She loved the house, but noted that trying to get groceries is like “going in to town.” Her comments were not that far from reality, as the nearest grocery store is about seven miles away on Hammer Lane. But it’s not just trying to get to Safeway that is tough about living in North Stockton, there are virtually no restaurants, parks are far and few between, and most services require a 10 to 20 minute drive back in to the city. But this is life on the outskirts of Stockton. We do not value walking or else developers would have planned more shopping and eating within walking distance, right? Wrong.
Stocktonians like being able to walk, and we will even pay more for housing that allows us to do so if given the opportunity. I do not make this claim using qualitative observations or anecdotal examples. There is strong evidence that proves that the people of Stockton put a premium on houses that are closer to shopping, restaurants and services. But because developers only seem interested in building housing on farmland, away from established city services, residents really do not have the choice to buy a new house close to grocery stores, parks, pharmacies or gyms. Continue reading
In Stockton, pretty much everyone knows someone who has had to deal with being underwater. The city has consistently ranked near the top in national foreclosure lists, jostling with Las Vegas for this infamous title year after year. Foreclosures are a blight on Stockton, a problem for banks and a nightmare for the families who have to leave their homes. But it doesn’t have to be this way. What if there was a system to keep families in their homes, protect property values, and help banks reduce the costs of eviction and maintenance?
It’s not a fantasy: A program known as “Right to Rent” addresses major social and economic issues surrounding the housing crisis, and, if expanded, could have tremendous implications for families in Stockton facing foreclosure. Continue reading
I am working on a piece about the decline of sprawl and return to the city nationwide, but I stumbled upon this cartoon in the Washington Post that I thought was very timely and topical given the content of this site. Enjoy.
10 years ago, when a parade of cement mixers, bulldozers and construction workers were streaming into the open space just west of Interstate 5 off of Eight Mile Road, most people thought the impending development would result in a financial windfall for Stockton. Spanos’ mammoth shopping center and sprawling subdivisions would bring much needed tax dollars to the general fund. But while Target, Kohls, and soon, Walmart, all call Trinity Parkway home, it’s the historic buildings and empty waterfront lots downtown that have the potential to refill the city’s coffers, not the mega developments occurring at our city’s edges . Continue reading