STOCKTON- Yesterday the third 5 alarm fire broke out in as many weeks. It was so huge it required outside assistance for firefighters from other agencies. The flames were so high they could be seen from as far away as Lodi and Tracy. Many people are wondering if it was another blaze inadvertently set by one of the city’s homeless or the work of an arsonists. Arson has increased 161% in Stockton since Michael Tubbs was elected with promises of reducing crime and homelessness, both of which have increased instead.
The homeless situation is so bad in the city it was both national and top local news stories highlighting the very real dangers of the entire city flooding and freeway bridges collapsing due to so many homeless burrowing into the levees throughout the city.
Stockton’s mayor made no mention of it, the fire, the firefighters risking their lives to save a church and multiple businesses, or the crime.
Instead what he did decide to make a public statement about concerning Stockton, was a recording of a cartoon from the Cartoon Network he was watching on a computer. In the cartoon about teenage super heroes called Teen Titans, Stockton is mentioned.
While many viewed this as an accomplishment, including the mayor who thanked the show with a shoutout for “the city love”, the reality is Stockton was used in the show to highlight its crime. The same crime that has increased of Tubbs’ watch. Some 40 people have been shot in the last 40 days including a mass shooting of 5 people at the memorial for a man killed days prior.
In Teen Titans Season 5, episode 32, after the clip Tubbs posted and towards the end of the show, the heroes of the show travel to Stockton to get pizza and encounter the city’s dangers.
The premise of the episode is the heroes questioning their purpose of being heroes ignored they no longer have crime to fight. The lowered crime of their fictional Bay Area city called Jump City is the result of people leaving for places like Stockton, an obvious nod to the exodus of working class and poor Bay Area residents leaving to the Central Valley due to ever increasing housing costs. This very real phenomenon has only exacerbated issues like crime in the real Stockton.
The show ends with the heroes escaping amidst huge explosions after getting their pizza with exclamations of “Goodbye” and “Wish you weren’t here” as even mock up postcards detail the city with multiple fires burning in the background of a flooded city.
Mayor Tubbs, who has been criticized repeatedly for being an absentee and out of touch mayor-even spending $50,000 on traveling and eating outside of the city last year alone, took that as “showing city love”.
Maybe he should spend more time actually addressing the problems noted in the cartoon instead of watching cartoons.