Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stockton: Fighting "imaginary" crime since the mid-2000s

So a lot's happened in the last couple days Stockton-wise. Forgive me for slacking, I'm still having computer issues. Not to mention I'm one person who's trying to hold down a full time job and blog on the sly. Like I said before, this place is going to be janky for a couple weeks while we do some initial legwork.

Part of that legwork is explaining the name of this place. Reclaiming the Title is our subtle reference to the violent crime rate title this city held for a couple years before we were unceremoniously ousted by Oakland. Since then our city leaders (and that damn Record) have been trying to tell us the city is safer, and that the unsafe feelings Stockton residents have about this place is just a stigma that we place upon ourselves.


We may not have the violent crime rate title anymore, but we are the number one contenders. Saying Stockton's safer because we're "only" number two in REPORTED violent crimes is like saying Iraq's safer after we killed Saddam. Sure, it's safer, but not by much. (Here's where I'd say "don't start a political flame war, we support the troops", but nobody reads us yet anyway.)

I wonder is 14 year old middle schooler Mayra Lopez thinks Stockton's image problem is all just in our heads. Oh wait, she's dead. For walking down the street.

I wonder what the handyman at my apartment complex thinks about this issue. I'd ask him but he quit his job and moved after he kindly asked a fellow Stockton resident to straighten out his parked car that was over the line and got the reply "I know where you live motherfucker" and had his and his kids' lives threatened. Over a parking job.

I wonder what the former patrons of Da Candy Shop think.

I'd go on, but I think you get my point. It's not a perception problem, it's a real problem. Instead of talking about how to "brand" Stockton (more on that later), they should continue tackling the problem at hand. Instead the city's acting like Jim Carrey in the beginning of Liar Liar. ("The color of the pen I hold in my hand...")

And it's not even just our negative view, residents of other towns know how it is here too. When I meet new people in Sacramento and tell them I'm from Stockton, I get immediate street cred. I can see the reaction in their eyes. I'm not a very imposing looking man, so I'll take all the cred I can take. Which is why we need to reclaim that title. I'm tired of Oakland looking down at us as if we got it easy.

Oakland: Hey, we just had another gang shooting, and we sent some suckas over to taunt SF's tigers, what'd you guys do?

Stockton: We had a middle school student shot for no real reason.

The (future) champ is here.

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