The Fight to Save Stockton

In the Once-Bankrupt City, a Stanford Scholar Finds That People Are Poor Because Their Governments Are Poor

If California wants to curb poverty, its local governments must become richer.

That may be the most important lesson of the recent history of Stockton, as recounted by Stanford Law School professor Michelle Wilde Anderson, a scholar of poverty and local government, in her Zócalo Book Prize-winning book, The Fight to Save the Town.

Anderson expertly portrays the challenges of four troubled U.S. localities, including Stockton. Her work is noteworthy for how it connects the dots between the poverty of people and the poverty of our local governments.

Anderson begins by detailing a …

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