Why Stockton?


We are a city with a challenging past – and a promising future. Stockton is in many ways a microcosm of the United States: in recent years, major shifts in our economy, persistent wage stagnation, and rising inequality have made it increasingly difficult for hardworking residents to make ends meet. 1 in 4 residents living below the poverty line. 

Located in California’s Central Valley, Stockton was at one point the foreclosure capital of America and gained notoriety in June 2012 as the first city in the nation to file for bankruptcy. Despite the ever-present challenges of a struggling economy, high obesity and low literacy rates, the city is turning the corner under the leadership of Mayor Michael Tubbs, who in January 2017 became the youngest mayor in history to lead a city with more than 100,000 residents and Stockton’s first African American mayor. Dedicated to rebuilding his hometown, Mayor Tubbs has set forth a progressive and innovative agenda that is focused on economic development, education, and overall good governance.

If a guaranteed income can have a meaningfully positive impact on the lives of Stocktonians, it will everywhere. We believe this initiative will highlight the resiliency and grit of our people. And it will show the nation and the world that ours is a community of hardworking, determined individuals who can forge ahead if only given the opportunity.

Stockton By the Numbers

With 315,000 residents and counting, Stockton is a bustling and lively American city. Stockton is a highly diverse and majority-minority city: 40% of residents are Hispanic or Latino, 37% are white, 21% are Asian, 12% are black/African American, 0.6% are Native American, and 7% have a heritage of two or more races. Foreign-born individuals comprise 26% of the population and 45% of households speak a language other than English.

The people of Stockton are currently falling behind the nation:

  • Stockton’s median household income of $44,797 falls far below the state’s median household income of $61,818.
  • The unemployment rate of 7.3% vastly exceeds the nation’s unemployment rate of 4.3%. 
  • Only 35% of the city’s students are college ready by graduation.
  • Though Stockton is an agricultural hub and exports food products across the world, 18% of its residents experience food insecurity.
  • The city is 18th in the nation for child poverty and 25% of its residents live below the poverty line.