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Stockton Mayor Talks Successes, Challenges in State of the City Address

STOCKTON -- In his second state of the city address, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs laid out a vision and plan for the city's present and future.

He began his speech celebrating what he's proud of in Stockton.

"Just the sheer amount of work we’ve done in the last 18 months --  from the programs we’re launching, from the basic guaranteed income demonstration, to Advance Peace, to the Stockton Scholars scholarship," he said.

"I’m starting to really feel this energy like things are moving and things are changing," Chamber of Commerce President Diane Vigil said. "It’s an exciting place to be."

Vigil credits that to organizations coming together.

"I think that we're seeing that a lot. A lot of collaboration," she said.

As for Stockton’s challenges, Tubbs says it’s best to address them head-on.

"The issue of housing affordability, the issue of some of our educational attainment in this city, and also really paint a path forward to the future," the mayor said.

Tubbs said that won’t be possible without taking on when he sees as the biggest challenge in the city -- poverty.

"One in four of our residents live in poverty and another fourth or half are one paycheck away," Tubbs said. "That’s the root of a lot of our issues with crime, with educational attainment, with not being able to provide city services."

Whatever the cause of the crime is, it is synonymous with Stockton for some. 2017 saw lows in violent crime overall, but homicides increased.

"Laser focus on gun violence, gun violence reduction and talking about some strategies we’re going to employ, Ceasefire, Advance Peace. But also a need to think through besides police," Tubbs said. "What more do these six focus areas in our communities, communities that have high rates of crime, low rates of everything good? What’s the strategies besides police that will get those communities to better outcomes?"