'Stockton On My Mind' Spotlights the Youngest & First African-American Mayor of the City (VIDEO)

Rick and Christina Gables
HBO Stockton on my Mind Mayor Michael Tubbs with high school students
Courtesy of HBO

Directed by Emmy winner Marc Levin, Stockton On My Mind is the multi-layered story of Michael D. Tubbs Jr., the youngest and first African American mayor of Stockton, California, whose own experience growing up amid poverty and violence inspired him to create innovative change in his beleaguered hometown. The uplifting documentary debuts Tuesday, July 28 on HBO.

The film follows Tubbs’ efforts to reverse the fortunes of a city known as one of the poorest, most violent and least literate in the nation.

HBO Stockton onmy Mind Mayor Michael Tubbs

Courtesy of HBO

As a child growing up in Stockton, Tubbs felt he was “set up” for either prison or death, but he forged another path for himself. After excelling at Stanford on a scholarship, he returned to his hometown with a clear mission statement: to “upset the setup” and empower others to change the status quo through positive civil action.

In 2016, the picture was bleak for Stockton. The city had been ground zero for the subprime mortgage meltdown in 2008 and had become the first major U.S. city to declare bankruptcy in the wake of the Great Recession. Drawing on his own disadvantaged upbringing to shape his vision for change, Mayor Tubbs launches some of the boldest social and economic policy experiments in the country to lift up his city of 300,000 residents.

HBO Stockton on my Mind Mayor Michael Tubbs Jasmine Dellafosse

Courtesy of HBO

With a holistic approach to change, the city becomes an incubator, using private/public partnerships to test ways of challenging the systems that create conditions of inequality and lack of opportunity in the first place.

The documentary weaves Michael Tubbs’ story together with a wide array of people living in Stockton, some of whose stories echo Tubbs’ own, and many of whom are leaders working alongside him to reinvent the city.

Stockton On My Mind, Premiere, Tuesday, July 28, 9/8c, HBO