As a student born in Stockton, the pain of our community is clear to me. I see a disconnect between us, the citizens and our local and state government that is revealed by the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
I see it reflected in the highest home foreclosure rates of any city. I see it exposed by our best and brightest young people overwhelmingly choosing to leave Stockton behind. It has never been more obvious that our leaders have failed us.
For too long we have lacked fiscally responsible individuals to represent this community. We need leaders who will forego pet projects and lavish pensions for themselves; leaders who will actually look at the long-term consequences of their runaway spending.
With the historic size of our bankruptcy, we are now bearing the costs of years of carefree spending with almost nothing to show for our pain. We have had to time and again sacrifice the success of our schools, the prosperity of our local businesses, and the safety of our neighborhoods. The well-being of the citizens that make up our community has not been the priority.
We can, quite literally, no longer afford this kind of "leadership." For years we have lived without a single state or national representative in our district. We need a voice in Washington that has actually lived with the problems our community faces. That's why I plan to vote for Ricky Gill in November. If anyone reading this wants things to change, they should as well.