New challenges, renewed promise
With the increase in the number of people settling in the area and the number of businesses created, some residents are already experiencing the effects of rising rents and house prices. Veronica Ramos moved from the Bay Area with her family to Tracy while she was only a child. She braved the painful moves to go to college in San Francisco before finding a job in Livermore in the fashion and retail fields she has studied.
But the young graduate has dropped a dream job in Livermore to work closer to home, but she can not afford to live in Tracy anymore, she said. She moved to the Sacramento area for a little more financial freedom and now travels to the Central Valley, a trend that, according to Ammann, is becoming more and more commonplace. Rents rose an average of 6% last year in Tracy, compared to 3% in Sacramento.
"I had to sacrifice what I wanted to do to get a job here," Ramos said. "But it was not enough for me to live here and go out anyway."
In Stockton, where politics has long been skewed by the Bay Region's Red and Progressives, Mayor Michael Tubbs has drawn the country's attention with bold anti-poverty policies focused on the education of Canadians. children and social services to fight crime.
That's one of the reasons Rusten could move there, he said. And this prompted the trio of Phoenix brothers, Malachi and Mirabi Trent, to create a non-profit space-maker, called HATCH Workshop, in Stockton. With HATCH and the Most Modest Interior Decorating Company – which debuted south of San Francisco and officially opened in Stockton in September – Rusten sees the beginning of a community of 39 artisans who could attract more artisans from the Bay Area to the east.
After all, that's what attracted Rusten: the potential to be part of something bigger.
Working in the mission area in San Francisco, it was difficult to feel involved in the local community, he said. The problems seemed too big, the players too powerful. In Stockton, he sits on the board of directors of the downtown alliance. He helped Most Modest and HATCH find spaces to exploit. One feels that it can actually make the city a destination once in trouble and renowned for its crime.
"In San Francisco, at that time, we felt like the first wave of gentrifiers and we did not feel well," Rusten said. "What's so exciting about downtown Stockton is that much of it has been abandoned. There was no one to move. It's like a blank canvas. "