Stockton, located in northern California, is the seat of San Joaquin County and one of the state’s 20 largest cities.
During the 1849 Gold Rush, the area around Stockton grew rapidly as a miners’ supply point. In 1869, with the use of irrigation and railroads, the city became a market for farm produce. The San Joaquin River’s deep-water channel, completed in 1933, helped Stockton develop into a major shipping port for many agricultural and manufactured products. Stockton Port’s shipping business continues to grow, now specializing in bulk cargo.
Despite the inland port’s role in economic growth, Stockton faces high rates of crime, poverty, and racial/ethnic income disparities. Sharp geographic divisions also exist, with more affluent residents living in the northwest and low-income residents clustered in the east and south. Recognizing the need for a complete revitalization of Stockton, the city council, the police, and other community stakeholders have launched initiatives to revitalize neighborhoods, reduce crime, and actively engage residents. Many challenges lie ahead, but Stockton residents are fighting to redefine their community.