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.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Modesto Bee
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.