Michael Tubbs ‘12 officially announced his candidacy for the 6th District of Stockton City Council to an audience of more than 200 Monday at the Van Buskirk Community Center in Stockton, Calif.
Tubbs’ speech focused on “the long road to victory we have in battling…poverty, crime, hopelessness and the political power system,” he said in an email to The Daily.
A South Stockton native, Tubbs cited multiple reasons behind his run for office, emphasizing that he feels ready to face the issues he grew up with and still observes in his hometown.
“I’m running for office because I know I’m prepared and qualified; I’ve been personally affected by the issues and I have a strong love for my city,” Tubbs said. “I want to bring my resources and my experiences to a city that really needs them.”
Tubbs said that he made his decision to run over this past winter break, when mayoral plans to fight crime in Stockton — which were initially announced in May — were still unreleased by December.
Asserting that his campaign objective is to re-invent Stockton, Tubbs added that his vision for Stockton is “re-weaving the fabric of community with the foreclosure crisis, with crime, with the current educational system.”
While Tubbs acknowledged that his young age of 21 may pose obstacles, he said that — coupled with his experience and vision — he sees it as more of an asset for his pursuit of long-term goals and for the access it grants him to technological tools encouraging government transparency.
“My vision for Stockton is to have responsible, knowledgeable policy-makers — real leaders of the people who aren’t afraid to talk to the people, who put the people’s interests first and are also knowledgeable and able to make tough decisions and inspire and galvanize people to action,” Tubbs said. “My vision for Stockton is to have a community where young people can maximize and realize their full potential.”
Tubbs attributed much of his qualifications for elected office to his experience working in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs during his sophomore year as part of the Bing Stanford in Washington program. During his time in Washington, Tubbs says that he obtained first-hand experience in policy-making with mayors and councilmembers from around the nation.
Tubbs, who expects to release a complete policy platform during the next few months, said that — while many of his concerns relate to Stockton specifically — his campaign is still inclusive to the Stanford community and will seek direct student involvement.
“This campaign is incredibly inclusive even though Stanford students are not a part of Stockton,” Tubbs said. “They have a stake in this race too, because a lot of the problems in Stockton are problems facing the nation as a whole.”
At Stanford, Tubbs’ support group includes, among others, Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising Julie Lythcott-Haims ‘89.
“Since I first met Michael as a freshman I’ve been impressed with his leadership, passion for social justice, personal narrative and style of oratory,” Lythcott-Haims said. “I felt it was only a matter of time before Michael would seek to serve the Stockton community in an official capacity, and I’m enjoying watching him take this bold first step.”
Tubbs spoke at Stanford’s Occupy the Future rally on Dec.9 and discussed his origins and hesitations about attending Stanford at the University’s 2011 Opening Convocation Ceremony.
“I [felt that] I was not Stanford because I was born to a teenaged mother and an incarcerated father…I was not Stanford because I went to a large, failing urban high school, I was not Stanford because I came from a community that most would consider ‘the hood,’” he said when addressing incoming students at Convocation.
The primary for the Stockton City Council’s 6th District will take place on June 5, with the election against Republican incumbent Dale Fritchen scheduled for Nov. 6. If elected as one of the city’s six councilmembers, Tubbs will serve a term of four years.