The California City Where Ideals Are Punched in the Face by Reality

My Hometown, Where the Bay Area and the Central Valley Collide, Gave Us the Mexican Mafia, Rock ’n’ Roll’s Worst Day, and a Troubled Version of the Suburban Dream

You might know Tracy, California, if you’ve traveled along Interstates 5 and 580, and had to decide if you want to head towards the Bay Area or Sacramento. What we call the “Tracy Triangle”—hard to get out of, not unlike the Bermuda Triangle—sits within those freeways and a conjoining interstate built in 1970 that’s now called “Business Interstate-205.”

Nobody would have thought to reside in Tracy if it weren’t for the need to stop over on the way to somewhere else. “I never met a person from Tracy who didn’t apologize …

Bankrupt San Bernardino is Rich in the Arts

To Advance Its Revival and Change the Narrative, the City Should Invest in Creativity

The arts could help revive San Bernardino—its streets, businesses, neighborhoods, and urban core—by encouraging visitors, sparking new development, and giving the city new narratives.

That was the conclusion of a panel …

Hooray, Tunisia Won the Nobel Peace Prize!

For a Developing Country, This Recognition Is a Lot More than Mere Symbolism

Here in Tunisia, we received the news of the Nobel Peace Prize with great joy and emotion.

The prize was specifically awarded to what was known as the Quartet for the …

Grappling with L.A.’s Provincial Past

From Yorty to Bradley to Garcetti, the City's Mayors Reflect Our Aspirations

Modern Los Angeles had a difficult birth. It came during the transition between the small-town-writ-large vision embodied by Mayor Sam Yorty and the outward-facing, cosmopolitan dream of his nemesis and …

There’s Hope for Fresno

To Address Poverty, the City is Nurturing Entrepreneurs, Counseling Families, and Learning to Take Pride in Itself

In 2005, the Brookings Institution released a depressing statistic about Fresno: The landlocked Californian city, about 200 miles southeast of San Francisco in the state’s Central Valley, had the highest …

The Forgotten Middle Child of California

My Small Town in the Central Valley Needs a lot of Help, but Doesn't Get Any Attention

As mayor of Farmersville, I’ve had to do a lot of thinking recently about what qualities make a community truly healthy.

Farmersville, population 10,500, is right outside Visalia. Farmersville’s problems …