Michael Tubbs is one of the most impressive people I’ve met in my nearly 30 (!!) years in politics. Don’t just take my word for it; he’s also one of just three political candidates Oprah Winfrey has ever contributed to (the others are named Barack Obama and Cory Booker). What’s most impressive about Tubbs is that he’s not just a whip-smart recent Stanford grad with an incredibly bright future; it’s that this 22 year old has chosen to take his gifts and energy back to the city he grew up in, Stockton, California, to work on the issues facing poor people.
His campaign to "Reinvent Stockton" is a hopeful, inspiring, courageous endeavor to tackle the toughest problems facing America's cities. Stockton is the largest city in the country to declare bankruptcy, and the levels of crime and violence are epidemic. In fact, Tubbs said that he was talking to his brain trust about when would be the optimal political moment to run for office, and one of his friends asked, "how many more people will be killed while you're waiting for the right moment?" And that was the impetus to throw his hat in the ring, while still wrapping up his studies at Stanford.
Tubbs' campaign has been well-organized, disciplined, energetic, and highly effective. In the primary election, he actually defeated the incumbent (in an undemocratic quirk of law, he must now run citywide for his district seat). Every week, a team of young, hopeful residents walk precincts, knock on doors, and make phone calls to enlist the residents of the city in a campaign to transform Stockton into a national model of urban innovation and change. In many ways, Tubbs invites comparisons to another Stanford grad, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who tackled local urban issues in a challenged American city.
In making its endorsement, the Stockton Record wrote, "Stockton native Michael Tubbs brings not only the cerebral horsepower that got him a Stanford education but also a street-level understanding of the south city district...the energy Tubbs offers is infectious...Stockton voters would be well-served by putting Tubbs on the council."
As a Stanford alum, I was at first skeptical of Tubbs because I know firsthand the kind of ego and ambition that an elite university fosters. Michael Tubbs is cut from a different cloth. The product of a family that has faced poverty and incarceration, Michael has his feet firmly on the ground, and is determined to use his privilege to benefit those most in need. In many ways, this is one of the most exciting races in the country, and we are thrilled to back Michael as he begins this journey. We encourage you to join us in supporting him. He will rekindle your faith in politics.