George Koster

VOC/COS Episode 12 Transcript

From Bankruptcy to Reinvention –

The City of Stockton


Episode 12:
The Rose That Grew From Concrete

Listen Now | VOC Producers | Share | Episode 12

A transcript, lightly edited for clarity and length, follows.

Series Introduction: Welcome to voices of the community which explores critical issues facing Northern California communities. We introduce you to the voices of community thought leaders and change makers who are working on solutions that face our fellow individual community members neighborhoods cities and our region.

Series Introduction:This is George Koster your host. This episode is part of our documentary series from bankruptcy to reinvention the city of Stockton California the documentary series attempts to provide listeners with the insights points of view and personal stories from the various voices of change makers working to reinvent the city of Stockton.

Series Introduction: The interviews were conducted from August to September 2016 leading up to the election of Mayor Michael Tubbs. Who's our Central character in the series. The interviews in the documentary series have been edited to fit into our show format. The unedited full interviews will be posted on my website George along with each episode of the series.

Show Guest Michael: I remember one time. I called the meeting with the mayor and a council member and made the agenda and then facilitated the meeting with the mayor and council member there and everyone's like, who is this 15 year old kid?

Show Host George: In this episode we feature the voice of Michael Tubbs. We have broken the episode down into two parts. Part one takes place back in the summer of 2016 when I caught up with Michael Tubbs who was at that time the youngest City Council member in Stockton history and one of the youngest elected officials in the United States. Michael was as you heard in Episode 11 from Tama Brisbane working to change Stockton’s history by making history. Michael was making a run to become the youngest and first African American Mayor of his hometown. 

Michael: My name is Michael Tubbs born and raised in Stockton. I represent city council, the same area. I grew up in and came of age in. And so, when we're talking about closing problem liquor stores or were talking about areas where drug trafficking such as stuff that I read in the newspaper things. I've lived in the experience, which I think gives me a great perspective and little bit of nuance in terms of the solutions we produce.

So, I grew up in Stockton, my mom she had me when she was a teenager and my father has been incarcerated my entire life. So, I grew up in poverty, grew up in clinical tough neighborhoods. But there are a lot of different community supports and inputs that helped me get to where I am today. So, my mom and my grandmother they made sure that I had structured activities and play. There was a lot of recreation opportunities available in the City.

A lot of it comes from leadership in bringing the people together who have the solutions and then forcing us to do the hard work of working together and acquiescing our individual wills and agenda for the collective one
— Michael Tubbs

I remember playing recreation basketball literally year around and an AAU. And we have strong support system in our church that provide some spiritual underpinning and structure and Leadership opportunities, and I was able to go to high quality magnet public school. So I was in the IB Program from the time I was in 7th grade to 12th grade.

And because of a lot of those experiences. You know there was a lot of youth leadership opportunities as well. So, I remember being chair of the youth advisory commission for two years. Education action team. So, by the time I was 14, 15 16, I was used to being in meetings with City officials and bureaucrats and sometimes even running the meetings.

I remember one time. I called the meeting with the mayor and a council member and made the agenda and then facilitated the meeting with the mayor and council member there and everyone's like, who is this 15-year-old kid? Because a lot of the experiences I was able to get a full ride to go to Stanford for 4 years. And at Stanford through my four years I thought that that was my chance to make a lot of money and leave Stockton behind.

But throughout my time there, I did a lot of work in East Palo Alto tutoring and running after school programs. I started a non-profit that did college admissions consulting for free for first-generation low-income students, that is still going called The Phoenix Scholars.

But then in about 2010, I was interning in the White House for Intergovernmental Affairs and my job was to work with Mayors and Councils Nationwide. And while doing that, what was interesting to see what things were happening at a local level how people were really making things happen for their cities. And I thought well, hey I need to go and find good people in Stockton to donate to so that the people who live in Stockton enjoyed good governance.

And then around that time with my cousin's was murdered in a spike of homicides Stockton saw in 2010, 2011. And going back home dealing with the pain and the funeral, it caused me to question kind of the path. I was on because the summer before I had interned Google and my thought was, I was gonna be a management consultant.

But then going home and really doing with the pain. I realized that a lot of opportunities I had been given, had to be more different than for me to be comfortable and materially rich. So that's when I decided I would one day move back to Stockton. And then 2011 came and we had another year of record homicides another spike. It was my senior in college. I was just torn as to what I wanted to do. I thought I was gonna be a Rhodes Scholar in England for three years and that didn't work out. So, I thought I'll just get a job figure things out as I went on and then coming home that Christmas break there was talk about this thing called a Marshall plan to do with crime that hadn't yet materialized.

I took a really personal. So, make a long story short. That's when I decided to run for office. So, I guess in summation, I'm just ah born and raised Stocktonian who was really blessed to have been exposed to a lot of opportunities and came back to kind of make that a reality for more people.

George: You had people in your life. Your Grandmother who I know is very important to you, your Aunt and your mom. What are the things that they could have instilled in you that you feel like really helped you build that sense of character that sense that you could be a leader?

Michael: Yeah, I would say they were incredibly wise and that despite the very real challenges in the very real resource scarcity if you will. They always spoke in terms of assets versus deficit. And I'm not even sure if they even know that frame. My whole upbringing was assets based it was you know, you're smart, you're just as smart as everyone else you can do it. Do you need help? What help can we give you or B is not acceptable if you can get an A. So, get A-s it was almost as if to inoculate around all the real, real challenges in the neighborhood. Is just instilled just this belief in yourself, but also in a higher power that you know this may be difficult, but it's not insurmountable is not impossible.

And then also just very strong cultural upbringing. So, by the time I was in sixth grade, I think I read everyone at Frederick Douglass's autobiographies and all of Booker T Washington's and all of MLKs. And read the autobiography of Malcolm X when like I was in the fifth grade.

Things like that which really instilled in me and not just a sense of pride but a sense of possibility that despite challenges and structural obstacles there are paths to be successful.

George: So, you had mentors in your life, and I know that you're very engaged in your church and faith how of those two things you think help build your character?

Michael: I would not be doing the work I do in politics if it wasn't for Faith. I think often times people of Faith get a bad rap because the Bible is really abuse and use as a tool of Oppression when it's actually a liberator book if you actually read it. I remember in college discovering scriptures like the righteous care about justice for the poor. Or what have I required of you but to do justice love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Or plead the cause of the fatherless and the widow and the orphan. And all the prophets that's what they spoke about. But that just really motivates the work I do now. In Stockton in many places it’s a City that's forgotten, a City that's full of orphans and fatherless children and widows and oppressed folks. I need people to not cry out for them but with them but also think through how do you make sure that all the institutions are working for their benefit and not for the detriment.

So, I think Faith really informs a lot of my political work because if it wasn't for that, I would definitely be doing something else.

George: Is there a mentor that you could point to you or I know that your pastors are important to you someone who's acted as a mentor and provided a hand up in that direction?

Michael: I would say a lot of my mentors I have it's more observational. I watch people and see how they walk and see how they talk and see how they treat people and I learned from that. So, I think the variety of pastors to pasture my childhood Alfred Smith the pastor of my teenager early adulthood, Dumisani Washington. And then the pastor of the biggest church in my district Pastor Glenn Shields they've all been mentors in a myriad of ways just in terms of reaching out to me talking to me, but also just modeling a life of principal and excellence.

George: Why reinvent Stockton how did you get the idea? And then more importantly heard you put the team people together?

Michael: So, one of my best friends in life is Cameron Henry. Met him in college. It's not ah Stockton guy, but he just knew my passion for Stockton, because every paper I wrote at Stanford was about Stockton or an issue facing Stockton. So, after the City Council race, he was like my manager for the first month while we found somebody while studying for the MCAT and doing the other crazy things. He came down and he just would just listen to folks. Uh, we were talking about the campaign, what I wanted to do, and we were thinking about theme and he said I'm not from here, but it sounds like that were what we're really talking about reinvention.

That's ah brilliant! And he's like what about Reinvent Stockton? And we put a hashtag on it and that became kind of rallying cry for the campaign 2012. That's year we declared bankruptcy, that's year we had a record number of homicides. The mood in the community was really different, than the mood you feel now.

It was very like Melancholy and downtrodden it just needed a boost of energy and a reinvention if you will. But then it really caught on like even if you go on Twitter now you put in Reinvent Stockton, you have people who are affiliated, aren't affiliated talking about things they're doing to make the community better.

So, wow... We've created something that people really attached to. Then when I was elected, we had all these people rallied around and excited about this idea Reinvent Stockton. So, it took a year to really think through how do I channel that energy into something that will make the city better? So, then my District South Stockton had a lot of issues and there are a lot of organizations who are really more excited about the idea of Reinvent Stockton.

So, I brought them together and we started the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, which is really a three-part thing. The first thing, it's a collective impact strategy to boost outcomes in South Stockton around five key areas using a very rigorous evidence-based indicator results framework that we learned from Policy Link. The second thing is creating a Civic Engagement structure so that folks can be involved in Reinventing their Community. So, that looks like our park cleanups we do every month, with over a hundred people for the past year each time. We just built a park at Liberty Park on East Jefferson Street. And then the third thing was to create a voice for South Stockton, because I realized in my first two years on Council that a lot of stuff we're able to get done whether it was City funding for the gym or whether it was a Grand Jury issuing a report, it was because I was at the table talking about it and making it an issue.

And it's like well, we can't risk the needs of South Stockton being met based on who the political leaders are cuz you may not always have good political leaders. But the work has to continue. So, how do we create a community voice that will always be at the table to let the institutions know when it's time to do work in South Stockton meet with these Coalition of folks in organizations first.

So, that's kind of were the impetus for the worked come from. And last year we had our first Reinvent South Stockton Summit. We had over 300 people attend, across institutions, across race, from throughout the City to think through how do you make South Stockton better? And this year it's been incredible. We just opened a health clinic, at the Dorothy Jones Center, we shut down New Grand Save Liquor Market.

We just won a half a million-dollar trauma recovery grant from California Endowment to do trauma-informed care for the residents of South Stockton. We've just done incredible work. And a lot of it comes from leadership in bringing the people together who have the solutions and then forcing us to do the hard work of working together and acquiescing our individual wills and agenda for the collective one. But now people are seeing that "wow" this actually works. And we've been able to accelerate things that people said would never happen in the past three years.

Episode Break Show Host George: You are listening to Voices of the Community, which explores critical issues facing Northern California communities. This is George Koster your host and if you are just joining us, in this episode we are discussing the reinvention of the City of Stockton California. We have been listening to an interview I conducted in the summer of 2016 with than City Council member Michael Tubbs. In Part two of our episode we wanted to sit down with now Mayor Michael Tubbs and revisit all of the work he was doing in 2016, his campaign promises, his vision for the City of Stockton, and find out what have been the outcome of these efforts.

Michael: Because now another group called the All-Star Collaborative of other nonprofit partners who may not be at the steering committee level for Reinvent South Stockton but, our doing important work in the community. I think all these are new creations, but they come from the idea that the way to solve these problems, these big messy hairy problems in the City is through collaboration. I'm Michael Tubbs Mayor of City of Stockton, California.

George: The whole purpose of today is to try to go back to some of the same issues we talked about two years ago. Items that you talked about when you became Mayor and you're swearing in ceremony.

Michael: Well, I think it's been really interesting since becoming Mayor, seeing how Reinvent South Stockton's role has changed. We did a really good job I think I'm building capacity. So, I'm not involved in the day-to-day anymore, but the work seems to continue. Now we're pivoting and trying to figure out how do you bring that same model to the rest of the City. Which is easier said than done but something will work toward.

George: I know to that end you've created Reinvent Stockton now and then you and Lange have come together with the Stockton Scholars Program.

Michael: Yeah, so we created a foundation called the Reinvent Stockton Foundation, which is really a home to lot of philanthropic gifts folks when they make to the City. The largest thus far has been the Stockton Scholars. Which is a 20-million-dollar donation we received from the California Community Foundation.

That will make it that for the next 10 years Cal State University tuition will be free for 90 percent of students in Stockton Unified School District. So, we're incredibly exciting and incredibly proud. And yes, our Lange Luntao is executive director of the foundation. He also runs that program.

George: Was that part of the original program that you and Rebecca had created when you're in Stanford?

Michael: It is a continuation of the Phoenix Scholars Program, which we started in college. And ideally Phoenix Scholars was to identify high achieving first generation students and pair them up with a college counselor consultant for free. But it didn't really solve the issue of affordability.

So now we have the second phase of that, and we have some Phoenix Scholars working with our kids in Stockton. But this is really around how we triple the number of college graduates from Stockton in the next decade.

George: When we ah... talked a couple years ago, a big part of that was the whole blight issue and slumlords and in my conversation with Fred at STAND, and you were getting control of working on the liquor store at that point.

I know Fred's piece was of course more people from the City going out and helping push landlords to do what's needed to make safe buildings.

Michael: So, it’s an ongoing struggle. But something we've worked on since this interview before that interview. We were able to shut down the problem liquor store. So, the liquor store was closed down. The receiver didn't give Fred and STAND control of the site so, the Dollar General is there. But, adjacent to that is a plot of land that STAND has exclusive negotiating rights with the City to work on and to work towards.

So, we're really excited about that and we're hoping that project moves forward. So again, it's very difficult. It's not going to be easy. But if executed will be a big deal for that community. So, City why we started a program called "STOP" Stockton's Top Offending Properties. So, properties that pose the greatest risk of harm to the community.

This is semantically between the City Attorney's office, Fire Office, etc. meeting every month to figure out what the status is on these properties. So, they are working with landlords to bring things up to code. You've condemned some properties. And we're kind of moving to clean up Stockton so it's not a haven for Slum Lords.

George: Part of the bankruptcy was essentially getting rid of a lot of overhead in the form of staff. Some of that staff was inspectors, etc. Since the City's come out of bankruptcy have you been able to back fill some of those jobs to help?

Michael: Backfill but, most of our staffing since bankruptcy has been around, we have Measure M. So, most of our staffing has been around where we have dedicated funds. So, we have Measure M which pays for parks and libraries.

So, we have more staff in Parks and Recreation and Libraries department. And then measure A and B which funds our office of crime prevention it also funds our police officers. So, today we have more officers than we've ever had in our City's history. And we've been able to hire some of the other kind of back office or non-law enforcement positions, but very minimally.

George: What would you have to do, in rallying fellow City Council Members, etc. to find the resources to hire back some of the people to help you execute your vision of reinventing?

Michael: I don't think the issues even about marshalling their will or marshalling the resources, it’s that in a City with such great need where to you prioritize where the resources go and how do you make sure we don't use one time money and ongoing cost like a staffing right? So, I think in lieu of having more staff what we can do is take a good look at our existing staff our processes and our policies and how we work together and figure out how to get more alignment so that we can stretch what we have further. And, I think the stock program is a good example of that

George: One of the things I know you've worked on since you have become a City Council person and now Mayor and part of your swearing in was the whole idea of Economic Development in downtown, which has been struggling for decades. How is that going with regards to the partnership with ah, Centro and the downtown merchants?

Michael: Yeah, slowly, but surely um, luckily our downtown area has been designated as an Opportunity Zone. Meaning that it for folks who are looking to invest, it makes sense to invest in downtown with the tax benefit do some good while doing well. But in addition to that there's some developments coming on line from 10 space and others. City Hall is moving and will be redeveloped.

The Sacramento Kings G League team just moved to Stockton. So, the Stockton Kings are bringing more life and liveliness to our downtown. So, ah lot of good things are absolutely happening in our downtown. I think over the next four or five years, you'll really begin to see it revived.

George: I know the Waterfront has been a part of the old Redevelopment agency. It's in a struggle over the years. Where would you like to see the Waterfront go to?

Michael: I'd really like to see our Waterfront just like either a Jack London Square in Oakland or the San Antonino Riverwalk. So, we have a vision, we just have to figure out who's going to be our development partner to execute that vision.

But again, I think with Opportunity Zone designation, there's a chance to do something really special there.

George: I want to turn to education because I know that's another one of your favorite topics the whole Stockton School Initiatives. Can you talk a little bit about the school district? How's it going? Where would you like to take it?

Michael: Its, going well, they use to be the South Stockton Schools Initiative. Now it’s the Stockton Schools Initiative. Their beginning work with Lodi and Lincoln Unified. And we just had a State of Education in Stockton Summit where they released a data report that showed the amount of work we have to do with the community. And are working with parents and students understand that data and push for policy change. They were instrumental in getting us a new superintendent.

They are instrumental for pushing AP for all policy as a graduation policy for the School District. So, that work is still continuing, and I guess we just like to expand it. So, that every District has a dedicated group of parents and students whose focus to make the district's do even better.

George: Do you feel like the school district is receptive to it and they're working with you as a partner?

Michael: Well, I think especially in Stockton Unified School District particularly, their new Superintendent John Deasy is an adamant supporter of trustee Luntao before he was trustee, is actually a founder or co-founder of the organization so he's a big supporter. And people really trust Jasmine, Nancy the rest of the team and look forward to them for leadership and for them to push. And sometimes that gets on people nerves.

George: Coming from South Stockton growing up there. It's always been a violent place. I know from your own personal tragedy and that's been another one of your big areas of focus, is crime and violence and Public Safety. I know police was an issue. How do you feel it's going and where would you like to have a go in next two years?

Michael: We still haven't arrived but for example this year non-fatal shooting homicides are down 35+ percent compared to last year and hoping that trend will be lower still. So, we're still laser focused on preserving the lives of our citizens. Ninety percent of victims of murders or criminal homicides are young men of color. So, in addition to our existing ceasefire strategy, we brought in another strategy called advanced peace to really focus on the guys who were using gun in crimes and bring it on number down.

Our Police Department, our Police Chief has been doing amazing work with reconciliation and internal reform around Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias training. Again, we have more officers and we've ever had. South Stockton in the past if you looked at a crime map and you would like see bright red and now it's like yellowish green.

So, it's no longer with the 10 most crime-ridden places in the City, which they had been for decades. So really proud of that. So yeah, we still have a way to go but we're trending in the right direction.

George: One of the things that Fred was working on it at STAND was just the housing component of it as well. How is the homeless issue? How are you addressing that one? And it's very complex.

Michael: So, on the City end we are laser-like focused on the things we can control. Being that we have allocated general fund dollars for homelessness cleanups. We've allocated money to start our housing mitigation funding from part of a Caltrans to employees and individuals experiencing homelessness to work. And we're partnering with the County on their task force to kind of deliver services for those who are homeless.

In addition, we have a whole Housing and Homeless Taskforce at the City level that's focus on sort of how we bring more affordable units online. What does the community and City need to do that?

George: So, would that be like streamlining planning, zoning?

Michael: I'm looking forward to the recommendations. But all those things are the table.

George: Housing first was one of the things that you threw out and is one of those policies, could you share with the audience a little bit about what is housing first?

Michael: Housing First is idea that the issue with homelessness is that folks don't have housing or can't afford housing. And even those who may have mental illnesses or drug addictions, etc. It's very hard to get treatment we you are not stabilized when they are not in a safe place every day. So, Housing First - the idea that you put folks in housing first and then deliver services to them. It's been shown to have great success in San Diego County and in Utah Salt Lake City, I think so it seems to be emerging best practices around the best way to eradicate homelessness.

George: And the hard part is, location, funds?

Michael: The hard part is location, funds and figure out like yeah who is going to build them.

George: I think the wraparound services component of it as well because homelessness is a byproduct of mental illness, drug addiction,

Michael: Housing affordability.

George: Losing one's job, etc. I know you've gotten both a lot of positive feedback on and a lot of what is he doing is the whole idea of the City led Guarantee Economic Initiative of Stockton's Economic Empowerment Demonstration. Tell us a little bit about why you put that together and how the program has been executed with regards to the whole idea of kind of a universal income?

Michael: We were able to get a grant from group called the Economic Security Project, and thane by raising on top of that. It's really identifying a look at what does the income floor look, with a guaranteed income demonstration look like in the City.

So, in essence Stocktonians who make $46,000 a year or less will be given five hundred dollars a month for 18 months. There will be evaluation from researchers. So, we can figure out sort of what does a basic income look like? What does a basic income do? What it’s efficacy as a matter of public policy? So, we launched Q1 next year (2019) and we're really excited about that.

It's gotten a lot of attention, but it also has taken a lot of time and resources. But we think it's worth it given that the average income in the City is $46,000 a year. Most of our folks are working extremely hard. So, will this addition to their wages allow them to live in the community they grew up in. So, we felt it was incumbent on us as Leaders to kind of be bold and articulate solutions to said problem.

George: The recipient of that, what is their requirement? What do they have to do to engage in that program?

Michael: To qualify, the criteria is live in neighborhoods at or below the median income of the City. And if you're selected, you'll be part of the program. And part of it is just like some reporting and things like that.

George: Does that gives them access to any other wraparound services? Job training?

Michael: Services, but no different and services they can get in the City now. We're not mandating participation in a program or anything like that.

George: What your hoped outcome for it?

Michael: I hope that the findings are consistent with findings we've seen of similar cash disbursements. Namely number one there is no labor market impact i.e. People don't stop working.

Number two that folks generally spend the money on good things and not wasting, Quote un Quote "wasting the money." Number 3 is a positive impact on stress, anxiety, and other health outcomes.

George: I know through working with you and your groups that your whole vision of Reinvent Stockton, Reinvent South Stockton how it started. I think would be really interesting for the audience to understand what's the ecosystem that you've helped create from San Joaquin Pride Center to STAND to Reinvent South Stockton. When you've got sworn in to have people in the City help you reinvent, what have you created in your Coalition of groups and how have people actually participated in the reinvention process?

Michael: I think what we've created is a vision married to results and indicators. And opportunities for folks to be a part of their organization. And we have so many tables set up now folks are meeting about early literacy or third grade or Public Safety, etc. all the time. Or very regularly in a way that agencies are collaborators. I think we just really create a culture of Collaborations and Collective impacts to address our shared concerns. In addition to that we have created another foundation in the community that hosts nonprofit philanthropic gifts. We have a school’s initiative, education organizing.

We have the South Stockton Coalition that does convening and supports impact work with now another group called the All-Star Collaborative of other nonprofit partners who may not be at the steering committee level for Reinvent South Stockton but are doing important work in the community. I think all those are New Creations, but they are from the idea that the way to solve these problems, these big messy hairy problems in the City is through collaboration.

George: And then there's Fathers and Families group. There's Dylan and Little Manila etc.

Michael: What's beautiful is all these groups existed before and some of them work together. But now we have people working together much more intentionally in a way they were before.

George: Is that your vision of trying to bring the whole community together to work together instead of each person going out to try to secure their little piece?

Michael: Oh, absolutely. That's the whole idea. Is, say listen we're all here together and there is not enough resources but there is enough need. So, if we pull together to actually begin to address the need and maybe more resources will come.

George:  And growing up in Stockton. One of the issues that everyone is always struggled with is north and south and north was always creeping. First it was March Lane. And it was not going even further. Then it was Hammer than it was Eight Mile Road. There's the whole General plan piece that you and the City are working with. How is that going with regards to pulling together to everyone to have some kind of common vision of the general plan?

Michael: I think everyone pretty much has a common Vision. I think some of the confusion is that we put a stipulation that if we were ever to extend past Eight Mile Road, it would only be for something that meets these criteria. Then we would have to go through the regular entitlement process anyways, nothing will be fast-tracked in. And for good reason some of our activists are like a little bit paranoid.

So, we have to do a better job at explaining. Because I know we're saying there will be no growth after Eight Mile Road. But if there's like a big CSU that wants to come to Stockton, we will do our best to make sure they have all the land they need. If that requires us to go to Eight Mile Road area as a counter were comfortable with that decision.

So, we have to do a better job of messaging that to the public. Because for good reason. I mean every time we do a general plan; we end up getting sued right. So, I think it's good that the public so engaged and involved. But we all have a shared vision of a Stockton that prioritizes its neighborhoods and its downtown and building that up before expanding and sprawling further.

George: Being from South Stockton. There's lots of really wonderful vacant land that a CSU could have an amazing impact on.

Michael: It would be great.

George: If you can convince them to do that. It's always the hard part. So, is there anything that I haven't asked you in our conversation?

Michael: I forgot to mention Amazon's coming in with 2,000 jobs. We did a report on the Status of Women in Stockton and doing some exciting things around focusing on the needs of women in our community in particular. Moving ahead long way to go but we're so much better than we were even two years ago.

George: Amazon is a fulfillment center.

Michael: Yeah two fulfillment centers.

George: Well, congratulations.

Michael: Thank You

George: I know how difficult it is to recruit those people.

Michael: Yeah, we had to give them no tax benefits or anything, which is great.

George: I wish you the best of luck in executing your vision

Michael: Well, thank you

Episode Outro: That’s it for this episode of voices of the community. You have been listening to the voice of Mayor Michael Tubbs who has been updating us on all of the work that he and his coalition of community leaders have been executing these past two plus years. 

As you have traveled down this pathway with us through these past 12 episodes getting to meet the coalition of community leaders and listening to their stories, I hope that we have helped introduce you to community members just like you who are in the words of Dillon Delvo in Episode 6 we need to be doing the work to save our community because no one else is coming to save it for us.

Series Outro: Voices of the community as a labor of love. This documentary series on the City of Stockton's reinvention is a tribute to my mother Josephine Koster Wiley who grew up in South Stockton and passed away during the production of the documentary series. My mom was a first generation Italian immigrant whose family migrated to Stockton and owned a motel on the Old Charter way now renamed Martin Luther King Boulevard in the Heart of South Stockton. Mayor Michael Tubbs also grew up in South Stockton with his single mother Racole Dixon. Throughout the series, you'll hear voices of community members who are working with Michael Tubbs in both creating new organizations as well as working with fellow community members to reinvent both South Stockton and the greater Stockton Community.

Series Credits: I want to thank my associate producers Eric Estrada and Nick McClendon as well as advising producer Malcolm Cecil. Please go to to check out our next episode of From Bankruptcy to Reinvention - The City of Stockton California documentary series as well as our archived past shows which feature community voices working on solutions to critical issues facing Northern California communities. Please rate us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and share this story with your friends. Follow us on twitter @georgekoster and email us at  I'm George Koster in San Francisco and thank you for listening.

In memoriam of Jo Koster Wyllie

This has been an Alien Boy Production.


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