Stockton: New Faces, New Beginnings?
“I think San Joaquin county has been overlooked for a really long time and I give you my word that that’s getting ready to come to an end,” said Susan Talamantes Eggman.
A pledge from Eggman, a newly-elected assemblywoman and in response, cheers from a crowd that wants their area to be known for much more than crime.
“I really look forward to being able to put us on the map, to tell people they can’t ignore us any more… can’t keep taking our resources,” said Eggman on election night.
Many in Stockton are taking a similar stand.
The largest U.S. city to file bankruptcy will now have three new faces on the city council, led by new mayor Anthony Silva.
“T he unemployment, the crime, the bankruptcy…I’m going to have a lot of work cut out for myself,” Silva said.
City police union president Kathryn Nance agrees it’s time for a new direction.
“We needed to change the people on the council and the dynamic in the city and we needed people that were willing to look outside the box,” said Nance.
Bankruptcy has severely cut back police staffing, which is why her group endorsed the new mayor and his proposal to put 200 officers back on the street with a Rudy Guiluani-type plan called ‘broken windows.”
“You’re gonna stop a big crime just by being there,” said Nance.
The concept behind ‘broken windows’ is to address every little issue to keep big ones from developing.
Right now, Stockton doesn’t have the means for cops to respond to car accidents.
I’m waiting to get the audit and budget to see where we are financially,” said Silva, eager to start attacking the city’s money issues.
And as far as the new tax initiative he plans to push to fund those officers?
Supporters feel every corner of the city has been hurt enough by the current crime wave that the choice to pay more for more protection would be easy for most.
“I think right now is the time to do something like this,” said Nance.
“We want new businesses and it starts with public safety on the streets,” said Silva.