Tom Patti knows that change isn’t going to come overnight.
But if he has his way, the Stockton businessman who is making a bid for the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors in November will use his position to help ensure that the county emerges as a viable candidate for expanding businesses in the ensuing decades.
Speaking to a small group of voters Thursday night at a meeting of the Manteca Tea Party Patriots at Angelano’s Restaurant, Patti, a Republican, recounted a conversation that he had with a Google executive that was one of the first 100 people hired at tech giant about the future of Silicon Valley businesses and the likelihood they would every look to expand into the adjacent Central Valley.
“He told me that it’ll never happen,” Patti recounted to the group. “He said that the college graduate rate in the Central Valley is like 17 percent, so there isn’t a very big group of people to pull from when compared to other parts of California where it’s 25 or 30 or 40 percent.
“He said come back and see me in 20 years. And like I said at the beginning, this is about changing the trajectory of the place that we live as we move forward.”
More than a decade ago Patti came back to the Central Valley to buy his father’s business, Delta Crane, and has been committed to owning and operating a longtime local small business ever since. He noted that his experience compares to that of his opponent, appointed Supervisor Moses Zapien, who he said has had an “unspectacular legal career” since graduating from law school.
While Patti focused on the three core issues that he sees facing San Joaquin County and the pillars that he wants to focus on if elected to the position – the economy and jobs, public safety and education – he also took shots at the Stockton political machine and those who are emerging within it.
According to Patti, positions like supervisor – and even mayor as he took a shot at Stockton mayoral challenger Michael Tubbs as “a 25-year-old kid who has never had a job outside of being a substitute teacher” – are being used to give young upstarts the experience they need to become career politicians instead of turning to people who have had life experience that could actually contribute to the overall discussion.
And Patti has had some experiences.
He moved back to Stockton from Los Angeles, but the native New Yorker actually left home at 17-years-old to train in Catskill, New York with the legendary Cus D’Amato and was a housemate of none other than Mike Tyson – then only a 14-year-old from Brooklyn who would go on to become the most feared heavyweight champion of the late 20th century.
Patti said his quest to represent District 3 on the Board of Supervisors – which is everything in Manteca north of Yosemite Avenue, all of Lathrop and most of the land to the west of Stockton – isn’t rooted on advancing any political career, but instead representing the people and bettering the county as a whole as a center for business and families.
“I don’t have one foot on the bottom rung of the political ladder – if (Assemblywoman) Susan Eggman’s seat opens up tomorrow I’m not positioning myself to run for it,” Patti said. “I have two terms on the Board of Supervisors and that’s what I’m running for and that’s it.”
He also got specific about things that he’d like to see done.
Patti has emerged as a vocal proponent of positioning Stockton as the home of a future California State University campus that will augment the existing higher education options that are available in the valley, and said that he’s a strong supporter of a yet-unannounced plan by Sherriff Steve Moore to address the homeless issue that has plagued parts of the county. He urged those in attendance to pay attention to the news of its rollout – which has been hinted by the Stockton Record as a reuse of the county’s existing empty honor farm barracks as temporary housing and services for those with nowhere else to go.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.