Stockton is a hub for great local attractions whether it be entertainment, food or murals.
Gentrification can threaten that.
It’s great to see Stockton become a more popular place and the positive attention the city is getting.
But what is the cost?
There’s a site near West Washington and South Center street that was once a Greyhound Bus Station. It is being transformed into a 7/11 and Dutch Bros. Coffee.
Why build another gas station when there’s a multitude of others just down the street. Liquor stores, gas stations and fast food plague the south side of Stockton.
What’s the point of more?
Maybe it’s the obvious divide between the city when you enter different parts? The ingrained thoughts taught about social and economical class divide from parents or schools?
We don’t physically see this division, but it is there all around us when we drive out of our neighborhood of locally owned shops into the area of Starbucks, Dutch Bros., or other privately owned companies.
When gentrification comes into play it could mean various things can be affected: housing, businesses and people.
In terms of housing, it means homeless people are pushed out and made to find somewhere else to camp.
You may think why not go to shelters or use other resources? It isn’t always easy.
Rent gets higher when an invasion of more middle or higher class begins to move into areas that is either considered low-income or affordable.
Businesses get less customers because it could be easier to go to Starbucks than Empresso or Trail Coffee Roasters because they don’t have a drive-thru.
People see the changes happening in their neighborhoods and it leaves them questioning what’s going to change next.
How can the community flourish when capitalism continues to take over?
So how do we solve such a broad topic that is gentrification?
We can support local businesses.
It doesn’t mean you can’t get your Starbucks or Dutch Bros. but maybe just call attention to all the great locally owned businesses so that they get the credit they deserve.
We can call out the disadvantages and create more community based projects that support the diversity of people in Stockton.
Attention is great but if the attention doesn’t benefit the community is it really needed?