No one running for Mayor of Stockton is fit to serve the city, as The Collegian has found all but one candidate is unavailable to the public.
Several attempts were made by The Collegian to contact Incumbent Mayor Michael Tubbs, Ralph Lee White, Kevin Lincoln, William Smith, Shoua Lo, Shelly Hollis and Motecuzoma Sanchez.
Andrew Johnson was the lone respondent to our questions.
One out of eight candidates who want a position of power, we believe none actually have Delta College on their radar.
Originally, we wanted to allow readers to hear what each candidate had to say. When only one got back to us, the story no longer stood on its own. Publishing an article would appear to be an endorsement, which goes against the unbiased approach we’re taught here at Delta College.
We made the decision to not publish the interview, to avoid appearing like we were supporting a single candidate.
However, when we informed Johnson of this, he criticized us for the choices his fellow candidates made and said he would no longer work with Delta College’s student newspaper, “unless everyone has already been accounted for and interviewed.”
We understand his frustration. We are frustrated too.
But journalism does not serve as free promotion.
It is safe to say that only inner circles and smaller communities within our community will be informed voters for the upcoming primary. We believe candidate interest lies with only certain constituents.
We will remind those running for mayor that Delta College represents young voters of today and informed voters of tomorrow.
The lack of communication with us isn’t the only reason we can’t back any candidate for the March 3 primary.
The candidates are uncooperative toward each other, with someone always claiming some sort of moral high ground. The back-and-forth never ends. Social media is full of jabs, back and forth.
It would be an understatement to say the presidential coverage over the past few years has jaded citizens. People have simply begun to accept aspiring politicians as fake people, ready to start fights.
Why can’t Stockton be better than this?
As student journalists here at The Collegian, we are trained to ask questions of authority, to make sure the people in our community understand what is going on. This is what we intended to do with our outreach in the midst of vitriol-filled campaign noise.
The lack of respect coming from this whole situation should speak to the students of Delta.
If our newspaper and student journalists aren’t being taken seriously by administrations who run the city, how can they possibly be good for us?
What does that say about the mindsets this group of candidates brings? Sure, we’re the future of the city, but as we develop into active citizens, our opinions and questions aren’t valid?
It doesn’t matter how busy these one dimensional, power hungry candidates are, they have to be aware of the city they hope to serve. We are that city now.
More importantly, we can be a better city with strong leadership. That starts with answering questions from the public without expectation of free promotion.
We advise our fellow students to watch whoever wins the primary and general election carefully, because they don’t care about Delta College. It is our job to make sure our student’s needs are being heard, then acted upon.
And to Stockton: Stop being blind to the people in power. Demand work from them.