He was the first Black mayor elected in the city of Stockton and the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city at the age of 26. Now Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs is the subject of a new HBO documentary debuting Tuesday, July 28.
The hour and a half special “Stockton on My Mind” tells the personal and political story of Tubbs, who was raised by a single mother in Stockton with his father in prison and surrounded by poverty. But he rose above it, graduated from Stanford University, served as a White House intern and on the Stockton City Council.
“Tragedy is that we don’t have a hundred other stories like mine because there are so many talented people who grow up in similar circumstances who will never have a documentary, who will never go to Stanford and won’t have the opportunity to be mayor, and how much are we losing because of that,” Tubbs said.
Tubbs says the documentary is not just about him, but also the younger generation that is changing the community for the better.
“It shows how resilient, how smart, how kind and how deserving they are and we are as a community,” he said. “I think it shows Stockton in a good light. It’s a story rooted in community. How the community is coming together to address some of the problems.”
To that end, Tubbs was able to secure $20 million in donations for student scholarships, launch a pilot program of guaranteed income that gives 125 households $500 a month, and bring in Advance Peace to curb gun violence — all through private donations.
He admits Stockton is not a perfect community but he asks what community is — and says the documentary shows the progress being made by the people who call it home.
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