I hear Tracyites asking two questions:

“Why more warehouses?” Eight years ago, Forbes published an article that described Tracy as the next likely location for Silicon Valley high tech firms, which would bring higher paying jobs. That article can still be found with a simple web search.

What other question do you hear Tracy locals ask often? So often that it’s become somewhat of a joke on social media platforms: “Why don’t we have a Trader Joe’s in Tracy?”

The honest truth is that Trader Joe’s, and other high-end outlets will not likely build their stores in Tracy until we have a higher median income. With our city leaders endlessly pursuing warehouses, it’s difficult to imagine our city achieving this. Along with warehouses come low wage jobs.

Warehousing positions are not the high paying career jobs that will provide Tracy households with the higher earning potential they need. We need city leaders that are willing to do the hard work of bringing better jobs to the city.

Higher wages within our city limits will have many benefits: raised median family income, attract higher quality retail outlets (like Trader Joe’s), lighter commutes, lower emissions as fewer people will need to commute to the Bay Area and, a better quality of life.

Tracy needs city leaders that are willing to stop rubber-stamping warehouses, and begin the hard work of building a better community. They have an opportunity to do the right thing with the Gateway/Westside Plan, but this would require that they listen to what community members have asked of them.

The proposed re-zoning is not required. We should leave the current plan in place, allow for the much-needed hospital, assisted living, education and commercial as per the original plan. And, work to attract higher paying jobs, not more warehouses.

Dan Evans, Tracy

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