STOCKTON — In the eyes of the city’s mayor, Stockton is on the verge of making significant economic strides and enhancing its quality of life, despite its recent trials and setbacks.
Stockton mayor Anthony Silva has a plan already laid out and in the works. All he needs is for everyone from local business owners to city leaders to work together to make it successful.
He shared that vision in his recent State of the City address to 1,000 business owners and professionals. Draped in a black business suit, Silva stood before the crowd and asked them to imagine a city where jobs were plentiful, the streets were safe and clean, and the downtown scene was vibrant.
“My friends, working together we can make these visions a reality,” Silva said, “and we can restore this city and rebrand it.”
Silva acknowledged the recent trials that his hometown has faced, citing the damage caused by the economic recession. In 2012, the city witnessed a record number of homicides, and became one of the largest cities in the country to file for bankruptcy.
“There’s no mistaking that in 2012 our city hit rock bottom,” Silva said.
Even still Stockton would prosper, he said, despite the city’s recent bankruptcy, high unemployment, and lack of high paying jobs.
Yet Silva had an optimistic tone and noted some recent successes of the city.
In 2013 Stockton’s overall crime rate dropped by nearly 60 percent and residents passed Measure A, which helps fund 120 police additional officers in a city with a police department vastly understaffed. Also, Silva noted, the city’s bankruptcy trial should come to an end soon.
“Before long our stock will rise and it will bring with it all the good and bad that come with success.”
In the coming weeks, the city will announce economic development deals currently in the works, move forward in implementing the Marshall Plan to fight crime, and adopt a new city budget.
Silva’s other priorities include bringing new jobs and companies to Stockton and addressing quality of life issues, including homelessness, graffiti, and more outlets for youth. He recently spent the night in a cardboard box in downtown Stockton to bring more attention to the homeless living in the city.
Considering the recent successes and future plans of the city, Silva said, investors would be wise to invest in Stockton now. The city’s future looks to be prosperous.
“With the past behind us and a bright future within our reach, there is no better time to invest in Stockton because our stock is rising,” Silva said. “Don’t get left behind. Don’t regret missing your opportunity.”