Vote no on low turnout

Early returns show the voter turn out for the June primary election was a paltry 17.4 percent. Granted that turnout usually is lower during non-presidential election years, but only 57,995 of the 334,212 registered voters in San Joaquin County cast a ballot in the election.

The remaining 50,000 votes left to be counted will cause that number to rise to about 30 percent, but overall still a relatively low number.

Statewide turnout was 23.8 percent as of Friday.

Previously, 27.5 percent in 2014 was the weakest gubernatorial primary turnout in San Joaquin County since 2000.

“People who vote in the June election are people who pay attention and have clear stakes in who wins,” said Keith Smith, professor of political science at University of the Pacific. “There are not that many of those kinds of people.”

November’s general election still looms with opportunity to have a say in California’s next governor, state Assembly member representing Stockton as well as Stockton City Council members.

If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.



Praising academic achievement

The graduation season is a time to fete academic achievement, particularly in communities where it previously was discouraged. Khmer Space, a Stockton-based Cambodian community group, should be praised for shining the light on Cambodian students.

Stockton is home to the nation’s fifth-largest Khmer community, with 15,000-16,000 people. But in 2013-14 only 26 percent of the Cambodian population in the United States had a high school degree or equivalent and only 17 percent has a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to Demographic Data & Policy Research on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders.

Consider that “during the Khmer Rouge regime, any Cambodian with a college degree was prosecuted and killed,” said Sunny Pahn, a Khmer Space community organizer.

The stories of that torment has been passed down through the generations. Yet, in a new home, where education is valued, Cambodian students have been allowed to prosper.

Let’s join them in celebrating academic achievement.



Purple reign

When the Sacramento Kings announced its G League team was relocating to Stockton, a buzz went through the city. More dates of activity at Stockton Arena, perhaps some NBA players coming here to play on rehab assignments as well as up and coming young players.

To operate closer to Sacramento, the Kings moved its developmental-league affiliate from Reno to Stockton, signing a three-year lease to play 25 regular-season games at the arena.

That contract, at $9,000 a game, will add $225,000 to Stockton’s piggy bank.

Just as important, the Kings promised to be involved in the community. More than 250 students attended a rally at Hong Kingston Elementary School that included former Sacramento Kings player Doug Christie, mascot Slamson, giveaways, dancing and good old fun. They also visited other schools in Stockton and officials later attended and made a presentation at Stockton’s State of the City. There also were other events at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel and at the arena. All reminiscent of part of the G League’s mission of fun and family-friendly entertainment.

The team’s alternate uniform will proudly display the “209” area code.

“Stockton is going to absolutely represent the Kings in a huge way,” said Christie. They appear to be off to a good start.