STOCKTON — Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs laid out his goals at this year’s State of the City address, including safer streets, fewer homeless families and more affordable housing.
“We need each and every person in Stockton unified, focused on the future and not the past,” he said.
Tubbs is calling for a united front — an effort where Stockton families and city leaders tackle homelessness, housing and violence together.
Venture Academy students FOX40 spoke to say they just want to feel secure.
“Stockton at right now, where it’s at, doesn’t feel very safe,” student Andrea Sanchez said.
Tubbs says despite a 40% drop in homicides last year, this year’s growing murder rate is alarming.
“I refuse to go back to 70 or 60 homicides and after a lot of tense conversations and meetings, a strategy is emerging,” he said.
Police Chief Eric Jones says it will take a concerted effort to combat crime.
“Shared safety is about the community, the nonprofits, our clergy, everybody coming together,” Jones said.
City leaders also voiced their concerns about families living on the streets
“Like many cities in California, we have a big challenge with homelessness and I think that’s what we’ve got to figure out how we tackle that,” Visit Stockton CEO Wes Rhea said.
The mayor says the city has already doubled funding for a program that employs the homeless to clean up Caltrans right of ways, and will be looking at ways of making housing more affordable like changing zoning laws to allow for more “tiny home villages.”
“We’re going to endeavor to end the crisis of veterans homelessness by 2025 and that’s why Victory Gardens project is so important,” Tubbs said.
He also unveiled a new state-funded $12 million Americorps program called Stockton Service Corps, where fresh college graduates will give back.
“Will be working in our schools to help schools with literacy, apply for college, helping teachers with classroom management,” Tubbs said.
Tubbs says the program will create jobs for young people and a path for them to find their way back home.
“My parents want me to get a good education and to get a house where it’s safe, where I can live, and possibly have a family,” Sanchez said.