STOCKTON (CBS13) – Paying it forward in the troubled city of Stockton, volunteers are doing their part to help beautify City Hall.

The need is clear – city leaders have put off building maintenance.

Tired of cracks and peeling paint taking center stage, the group “Stockton Forward” organized step one in an overall beautification project.

“If your house is broke, fix it,” the group’s Roger Salazar said.

The bankrupt city can’t afford to pay the $10,000 it would cost to restore the pair of historical lampposts and dilapidated wall holding the dedication plaque from 1926.

“We are tired of it and we going to help clean it up,” Salazar said.

With paint brushes in hand, young adults also volunteered to help fix Stockton City Hall’s crumbling facade. Students from YouthBuild gave up two days of holiday break cleaning and repainting the area on the north steps of City Hall.

“Trying to make them look better because this is our public face,” YouthBuild’s Gabriel Flores said.

Flores knows Stockton’s violence problems all too well.

“I lost my brother two years ago at a party,” he said. “He caught a stray bullet to the head and passed away.”

Gabriel is turning his life around and taking pride in improving City Hall.

“I can tell my kids that me and a couple friends are the ones who did this,” he said.

The positivity is proving to be contagious. Joy Neas is making a movie to highlight the good people and things the city has to offer amid adversity,

“More people need to find what they can do and be a positive influence for Stockton,” she said.

Stockton Forward hopes to have the complete beautification project done by this spring. The group continues to look for volunteers and is accepting donations.


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