The World and How I See It: Stockton politics up close and personal

The World and How I See It: Stockton politics up close and personal

Zachary Denney, Online Editor

With elections looming in two weeks and since many seniors will be eligible to vote for the very first time, I thought I would speak to two public officials in our area: council-member Dyane Burgos Medina, a Bear Creek alumna who’s running for reelection in the Stockton City Council, and the Mayor of Stockton, Anthony Silva, who is not running for reelection this year. One Tuesday afternoon, I went to City Hall to meet council member Burgos Medina.

“I guess if you go back to the beginning of when I first got interested in politics was when there was a prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming president,” Burgos Medina said.

After graduating from UCSD, Burgos Medina returned to Stockton where she attended CSU Stanislaus and graduated with a Master in Social Work.

Burgos Medina got her first experience in Stockton city politics when she interned for former council member and current state assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman.

“She helped me translate those skills from social work to policy making,” Burgos Medina said.

When Eggman was elected to the California State Assembly in 2011, she left a vacancy on the city council and encouraged Medina to run for her seat.

“I really look up to her [Eggman]; she’s still a mentor of mine, so when she said that to me, I took her very seriously,” Burgos Medina said.

Burgos Medina said with the city in bankruptcy, the council is left with few resources to combat crime, stimulate economic development, and address jobs and education.  She says the council tries to give attention to every issue with the limited resources they have.

The following Tuesday, I  met the mayor.

Silva has received a lot of coverage in the past year and a half that he has been at City Hall — some good, mostly bad — but the mayor insists that you should get to know him personally before you believe everything that is printed or aired about him

Silva says that news agencies like “The Record” and News10 have continually written or aired stories downplaying Stockton.  He believes that his beef with “The Record” stems from the editorial board.

“I have nothing personal against the mayor.  Nor does anyone at ‘The Record,’” Editor Mike Klocke said to Silva’s claim.  “We cover his actions on our news pages and we comment on his actions on our opinion pages.  It’s no different than with Ann Johnston, Ed Chavez, Gary Podesto or Joan Darrah.”

The mayor’s goal seems to be one thing, rebuilding our city, as was evident from the lapel pin he threw to me before the interview began.

Silva ran as a candidate who would challenge the established elite, whom he claims has run the city for years.  However, I believe that our previous mayor was doomed to lose the election because of the domino effect of the bankruptcy.  Silva wasn’t elected as much for change as for the fact that people were angry that the former mayor wasn’t fighting back when she had several crises beating her up all at once.

Silva, the most conservative member of the city government, wasn’t exactly one I, a progressive, could always agree with, but I could tell he is very pro-Stockton.  However, I believe he shouldn’t fear the press.  Burgos Medina was one I really related to.  She saw the issues I see in this city and feels the same as I, in terms of finding solutions.

Being politically-versed is vital, so please vote responsibly.