What Stockton Residents Can Teach Us About Saving ‘Discarded America’

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A headshot of Michelle Wilde Anderson smiling.
Michelle Wilde Anderson (Photo curtesy of Michelle Wilde Anderson)

Stockton is the most diverse city in America. It was also one of the hardest hit by post-industrial decline, the Great Recession and foreclosures, leading it to bankruptcy in 2012. In her book, “The Fight to Save The Town: Reimagining Discarded America,” Stanford law professor Michelle Wilde Anderson took a close look at Stockton and three other cities with widespread poverty and gutted local governments — cities that have been written off as “dying.” But in each of the towns, Anderson profiles ways residents have fought back and found new ways to address systemic issues like violence, community trauma, loss of home ownership and starved shared resources. Forum talks with Anderson about what it takes to make “discarded” cities a place residents want to stay and fight for.


Michelle Wilde Anderson, professor of Law, Stanford University; author, "The Fight to Save the Town: Reimagining Discarded America"

Jasmine Dellafosse, community organizer, Gathering for Justice