LocusFocus- Stockton, California

Named as an ‘All-America City’ in 2015 and also ‘America’s Most Miserable City‘ by Forbes in 2010, Stockton holds mixed reviews. 

“Winning the All-America City Award means Stockton is overcoming the challenge of struggle and walking down a journey toward healing and community empowerment”

Stockton faced major financial crunch and nosebleed unemployment in the year 2008, it became the second largest city in the U.S. to file a bankruptcy protection in 2012. After being in debt for two long years, Stockton finally executed the recovery plan and successfully exited bankruptcy in 2015. This fighting spirit can be tracked down to World War II,where Stockton, thanks to its strategic inland position, played a pivotal role in defending the nation against the threat of nuclear war in the Pacific.

The City….

Did you know that Stockton is the first city in the United States to have built the Sikh temple- The Stockton Gurdwara  and is also the largest inland seaport in California?  The University of the Pacific in Stockton became California’s first chartered institution of higher education. San Francisco is just 83 miles from here!- Now that’s strategic in every sense.

Living in Stockton is pretty cheap. From real estate to healthcare to transportation to utilities, Stockton in terms of amenities is an A+. Weather-wise- Stockton faces hot, dry summers and mild winters making it a comfortable place to live in.

What to do while at Stockton? The city is stocked with places for all kinds of people. You can visit the Haggin Museum, the Fox Theater in downtown Stockton, the Cambodian Buddhist TempleWat Dhammararam, Grand Theater Center for the Arts, Miracle Mile and the fantastic public art displays Stockton’s historic charm in the best possible way. Also, one can never get bored in Stockton, the annual festivals like the Asparagus Food Festival (April), Brubeck Jazz Festival, San Joaquin International Film Festival etc. keep the city’s cultural spirit up and running.

The People….

With a rising crime rate and the city almost drowning in bankruptcy, it was advisable for the Stocktonians to move out, but they decided to stay and work towards the city’s betterment. The “Dear Stockton” project, started in 2012 showcased the immense support and enthusiasm and above all the hope, the Stocktonians had for their city in the time when it was really needed. In general, Stocktonians are known to be resilient, street smart and have a fantastic sense of community.

The other side…

In 2010, Stockton was dubbed the most obese metro area in the US with an obesity rate of 34.6 percent.

In February 2012, Forbes ranked Stockton the 8th most miserable US cities,

In 2012, Stockton was ranked 10th most dangerous city in America and the 2nd most dangerous in California, just behind Oakland.

In 2013, Stockton was ranked as the 3rd most illiterate city in the U.S. by Central Connecticut State University, with less than 17% of adults holding a college degree.

These facts are blots on the city which the Stocktonians, with their perseverance and determination will surely wash away.