By Carlos Correa

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Discussion on the future of Stockton is in the works as several federal agencies pay the city a visit on Wednesday.

From the south of Stockton to downtown, the group toured several areas around the community on a city bus.

Twenty-four years ago when Patricia Miller Battiste visited the Williams Brotherhood Park in south Stockton she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“Drugs, criminal activity, children with no recreation,” she said.

But today the same park looks a whole lot different. It’s been transformed into a place where children can safely play and families can gather for picnics and events.

“We added a lot of color, we changed a little bit of programming; we decided that it was necessary to do more barbecues, to actually hold events at this park so people would realize that it was safe.”

The site is just one of the many places city leaders and members of eight federal agencies are visiting.

It’s part of a tour that shows off the efforts that have been made to improve neighborhoods known to have high challenges of economic growth, unemployment and crime.

“We are not where we need to be, but I would say in the four years that I was a council member working very closely with the community, we made some gains and now as mayor there’s bigger impacts and gains, not just here, but throughout the whole city,” said Mayor Michael Tubbs.

This is a first of a kind tour that allows these federal agencies to visit Stockton and see its potential.

“It’s important for HUD to see, and other federal agencies to see that we’re not just a community with a hand out, but we’re a community that is rolling up their sleeves and actually working,” he said.

Mayor Tubbs hopes the visit will result in more grant opportunities and partnerships that would bring the needed resources to help improve Stockton neighborhood and several parks that are now filling up with many visitors.

“Change is good, change is what we need to see,” said Miller-Battiste.


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