Questionable Role Models Chosen For Stockton Youth Conference

The flyer says it’s a night of entertainment. The organizer said it’s to benefit Stockton’s children. What could be the problem?

“I think the city should really reconsider your involvement in such an event and look into who they’re promoting as role models for our kids,” said Motecuzoma Sanchez at last week’s city council meeting. “New York from Flavor of Love? Stockton has enough ghetto.”

The event was approved and scheduled for June 8. It’s both a youth conference to discuss career and community options, and a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club and I Am Ready Foundation. It’s also a chance to meet celebrities.

“These are producers, these are comedians, these are personalities and models,” event organizer Jason Lee said.

The question is whether or not they are good role models for children, especially when some have displayed questionable behavior on television. Mayor Anthony Silva said he doesn’t know.

“I don’t know who they are,” Silva said. “I have no clue, to be honest with you.”

Well, two are reality TV stars.

At the center of the flyer is America’s Next Top Model Cycle 3 winner Eva [Pigford] Marcille, known as a trash talker and back stabber on the show. Tyra Banks told Marcille in the first episode, “about 80 percent of the girls who come in here have something negative to say about you.”

And then there’s New York, a woman featured on the reality dating show Flavor of Love, competing to win the heart of rapper Flava Flav. When asked around Stockton if people heard of her, the reaction went something like this:

“Didn’t she punch someone?” one resident said.

“Oh yeah, that girl spit in her face!” another resident said.

Clips of New York on the show can be found on YouTube cursing, hitting and badmouthing the other competitors.

Despite what they’ve done on TV, Silva, Lee and some teens still think they’re worth bringing to Stockton and have something to offer youth.

“Stockton is very diverse and there is a certain clientele for these type of performers that get their attention and motivate these young men and women that we have on the streets of Stockton,” Silva said. “If this is something that is going to get them off the streets and get them motivated, than I’m willing to try anything.”

High School junior Jamerson Hunt said he looks forward to meeting musical producer Drumma Boy, to hopefully learn insight into a music career. Hunt also defends New York as an entertainment personality.

“From what I hear, she’s a really nice person,” said Hunt, who’s never met the reality star. “She’s here to help educate and inspire the youth of our city. She’s not going to act like she does on that show.”

The youth conference and comedy roast of Silva takes place on June 8.

Proceeds from the event will be split by the Stockton Boys & Girls Club and the I Am Ready foundation.

Posted in Mark Truppner.