Airport neighborhood activist Robert Stanford underwent a complete reversal in his approach to community involvement over the past few years.
Where once he protested Police Department actions as heavy- handed or racist, he now works with law enforcement to spread awareness about crime and community assistance programs.
Stanford, 41, is in a four-way race to succeed outgoing City Councilman Bob Dunbar.
He recently sat down with The Bee to discuss his goals.
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Q: Why are you running for City Council?
A: I love my city and I want to liberate my city from gangs and drugs. I want my city to be all it can be.
Q: Was there an experience in your life that made you want to get involved with local government?
A: I was raised to be involved with the community and I was raised to fight for social justice as a Jew. If I had to say one experience, it was when (Police Chief Roy) Wasden looked in my eyes and called me his friend. That was a moment of clarity for me. I realized the only way I could get what I wanted was to work with the powers that be.
Q: What's your top priority if you get elected?
A: To have Modesto officially declared as a gang- and drug-free zone.