STOCKTON (CBS13) – Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs has been named one of the country’s top leaders when it comes to growth in US cities. He joins 13 other local leaders around the US who have also been recognized.
“It gives me a lot of hope for the amount of work that we have to do and I understand that we’re not going to do It by ourselves but we have a team of people who are going to push the city forward,” Tubbs said, who took office earlier this year.
It’s been just over 100 days since Michael Tubbs took office as the youngest mayor the city has ever had.
Now a national organization called New Developing Exceptional American Leaders (NewDEAL) has named Tubbs one of the top pro-growth progressive mayors in the country. It called Tubbs a catalyst for positive change in the city.
“I think he does a good job so far, but it’s not easy here,” said Bill Groen, who lives in San Joaquin County.
“I haven’t seen too much, but he’s got great potential,” said Elsa Keller, who lives in Stockton. “He can’t do any more worse than what was before!”
NewDEAL praised Tubbs’ efforts to create more opportunities for young people and improve police-community relations.
“A lot of my motivation for being even in office is figuring out how to increase opportunity for everyone, but especially those folks who have been left out for a long time,” Tubbs told CBS 13.
After growing up in Stockton, Tubbs said he’s committed to expanding job-training programs, opening health clinics, and supporting cease-fire efforts by police.
“There’s a lot of stuff that he has done since he been in office but that doesn’t show unity with us,” said Dionne Smith-Downs, whose told CBS 13 Tubbs doesn’t deserve the recognition.
Her son, James Rivera, was shot by police seven years ago. Her friend Denise Friday-Hal’s son Colby Friday was shot by police in August 2016. The mothers say they want dash cam video of what happened to Friday and they think Tubbs could do more to help them get it.
“All those officers that have been killing in the community, they need to go,” Friday-Hall said.
But Smith-Downs told CBS 13 that she lost respect for Tubbs back in February when more than 20 Stockton Police officers showed up to the city council meeting with riot gear.
“Me and you share the same color,” she said, referring to Tubbs. “To have this city hall full of officers, how do you look at us as a people?”
But Tubbs said his own cousin was killed in Stockton and he understands their pain.
“It’s preposterous and blasphemous and just a lie to say that I don’t empathize or feel the pain because it’s not something I read or studied at Stanford, but it’s something I live,” Tubbs said.
Tubbs said he’s excited to learn more from other leaders with more experience at their fingertips.
Other local leaders selected for NewDEAL’s list include West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.