Michelle Wilde Anderson Wins the 2023 Zócalo Book Prize

The Fight to Save the Town Highlights the Work of Sewing Society Back Together

Michelle Wilde Anderson is the winner of the 2023 Zócalo Public Square Book Prize for The Fight to Save the Town: Reimagining Discarded America.

Zócalo awards the $10,000 prize annually to the nonfiction book that most enhances our understanding of community and the forces that strengthen or undermine human connectedness and social cohesion. Our 12 previous winners—a mix of distinguished historians, social scientists, journalists, and public thinkers—include Michael Ignatieff, Sherry Turkle, Jia Lynn Yang, and, most recently, Heather McGhee. Anderson is a professor of property, local government, and environmental justice at …

Take the ACE Train

A Small but Successful Commuter Line Between Stockton and San Jose Points a Way Forward for California Transportation

As the ACE Train pulls into the Santa Clara station, the conductor pops out—and begins apologizing for his train.

“I’m sorry, but this is not the Amtrak!” he bellows, loud enough …

What California Can Learn From Stockton’s Debt

The Bankrupted City Underscores the Risk of Unchecked Borrowing Habits

Here’s a new maxim for Californians to live by, courtesy of this election: Don’t dismiss apocalyptic warnings from Stockton.

If you’re a Californian with a television or a mailbox, you’re encountering …

I Love My Town, So I Want to Help My Neighbors Use Their Gifts

By Singing Together, Stockton, California Can Become Proud of Itself

My hometown of Stockton, California, has a bad reputation, and not without reason. In 2008, we became the biggest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy (Detroit later surpassed us) and got …

How To Stop 10-Year-Olds From Becoming Gangsters

What I Learned From My Time As a Cop and a Gang Intervention Manager In Stockton

After I retired as a Stockton police captain in 2003, I decided to become involved in new sorts of activities that would help people, particularly youth. I first got on …