An open letter to the City of Tracy:
Now that the “Voices of Tracy” project has opened at the Grand Theatre, I have had a bit of time to reflect upon the last nine months of work.
I am so deeply grateful to the nearly 100 residents of Tracy — the everyday citizens, the business owners and the community leaders — who opened their lives and hearts to me and contributed their stories to the Voices of Tracy project. Their candor and honesty stays with me and has lent immeasurable depth to this narrative that focuses on the effects of the housing market crash and subsequent recession on the community of Tracy.
I am also grateful to those who were too shy, embarrassed or discouraged to be recorded, but who still told me their tales of loss. The words of one man outside of Starbucks one evening last fall continue to haunt me: “I just don’t want to relive it all over again.”
This housing market crash and recession have scarred and wounded a large and almost invisible segment of our society. The goal of the “Voices of Tracy” project was to give voice to a largely marginalized and silenced group of people. Through our collective voices, I hope to foster the development of a forum where a local, regional and even national discussion can be had about the very real effects of the housing and banking meltdown on real people.
Though the news now tells you home prices are rebounding, there are still many in the community — here and everywhere — who are staring down the barrel of foreclosure. There are unknown numbers of bank-owned homes held from the market. Though the stock market is at an all-time high, many people are still unemployed or underemployed. I believe as a community and a society, we must collectively find the way forward from here.
I invite each and every person reading this today to visit the Grand Galleries and see the exhibition, “Fire Sale (Everything Must Go).” Sit for a while and listen to the voices of Tracy as they take you through losses, lessons, and gains and reflect on the meaning of home and community. Take a look at the many photographs and look for your friends, your community, yourself, for in the end, we are all the Voices of Tracy.
Please visit the Grand Galleries, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The show will be up until July 20. The short documentary “Home” can be screened in the gallery upon request. Also, visit the project website at www.annemklint.com/inhabit to get involved or contact me at 415-269-0047 for more information.