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Community Voices Confronting gangs in Lodi: Eddie Cotton, Lodi Boys and Girls Club

‘Even while targeting gangs, we need to understand their appeal. Gangs offer our youth many advantages — status, excitement, power, praise, profit, protection ... healthy goals fulfilled in unhealthy ways.’

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Posted: Monday, March 26, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 8:05 pm, Mon Apr 23, 2012.

I have been a part of this community for the past 20 years.

It is not that the FBI figures tell an inaccurate story about the state of crime trends in America. Rather, they obscure the divergent tale of two communities — one prosperous and safe, the other poor and crime-ridden.

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  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:41 am on Mon, Mar 26, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    I have a question... why is it that the root of the problem is not addressed here...

    For example, if kids have too much time on their hands, why is there not a legislative solution to the problem. For example, why not reduce minimum wage for minors to about 3 dollars per hour... and keep busy.

    In other words, I think we have the teen problems we have because of legislation in place. In Thailand and China, I rarely see kids doing negative activity as they do not have the free time. The people in these countries are much more poor than in our country. Yet, their teen problems are far fewer. I think the argument of this article may have some merit, but I think the statistics are over stated.

    Seems to me it is already too late if we need programs to solve the problem. Lets avoid the problem in the first place so programs are not needed.

  • Brett Thompson posted at 6:56 am on Mon, Mar 26, 2012.

    Brett Thompson Posts: 55

    Thank you for the great article Eddie! I too believe that economics are behind the rise in gang crimes. This City has been anti-growth (which means anti-job creation) for a long time. There is an obvious parallel between the economic downturn and the rise in crime on a local scale. If we invited, instead of hampered, new businesses to come to Lodi, the incomes would eventually rise, the City would have more revenue for public safety and youth programs, and crime would drop.

    All of these people who want this greenbelt between Lodi and Stockton should realize that it can be used to grow something even greater then crops...it can be used to grow jobs. So what if you have to pass a couple of office parks and shopping centers on the way to Stockton? Many of the people working there will live and spend their money in Lodi.

    It's time that the citizens of this City realize that by stopping growth, you're encouraging decline...which has led to our current situation.



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