At age 26, on the same day Donald Trump was elected in 2016, Michael Tubbs became the first African American mayor of his beleaguered hometown of Stockton, California, as well as the youngest mayor of a major American city. Stockton On My Mind, from filmmaker Marc Levin (HBO's One Nation Under Stress, Class Divide) follows Tubbs’ personal and political journey, exploring how growing up amid poverty and violence shaped his vision for innovative change.
Born to a teenage mother and a father in prison, Tubbs felt society destined him for either prison or death. Defying expectations, he received a scholarship to Stanford University and returned home to Stockton to “Upset the Set-Up,” serving first on the city council and then running for mayor. Now, Tubbs is launching some of the boldest social and economic policy experiments in the country in an effort to lift up his city of 300,000 residents, and turning it into a kind of social policy incubator.
Stockton On My Mind weaves the Mayor's story together with an extraordinary group of people living in Stockton, some of whose stories echo Tubbs’ own experience, and many of whom are working alongside him to reinvent the city. Yet, change is hard, and there are many headwinds to contend with.