By Frank Gayaldo
August 31, 2017
Stockton, CA – Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs recently made national news for suggesting that Stockton may benefit from a violence reduction strategy being utilized in Richmond, California that many critics have dubbed as “Cash for Criminals” a program known as Advance Peace, which pays young men suspected of being involved in fatal shootings to behave.
Upon receiving overwhelming criticism from the public, Mayor Tubbs tried to quell public outrage by enlisting the Record to do a story explaining the alleged merits of the program. Tubbs also went to social media, posting that his plan will not cost taxpayers, as it will be funded solely by (yet to be publicly identified) private donor money. The Mayor claims he discovered the program during a “Google search” after there were several public murders in Stockton in just a few days earlier this summer.
Meanwhile as “Cash for Criminals” is being argued in the court of public opinion, Fathers and Families of San Joaquin (FFSJ), an entity which claims to be dedicated to “promote the cultural, spiritual, economic and social renewal of the most vulnerable families in Stockton and the greater San Joaquin Valley”, is a close political ally of Michael Tubbs. Even though it is illegal for tax exempt non profits to support political candidates, the law has not been a problem for FFSJ seen here not only attending his campaign kickoff as an organization, but posting their support of him on their Facebook page.
Mayoral race opponent Carlos Villapudua even ran a commercial calling out the influence FFSJ Director Sammy Nunez has over Tubbs:
In fact Sammy Nunez was also questioned by a reporter from KOVR 13 for running for Stockton Unified School board even though the house he owns is in another city and the fact that him being a convicted felon would bar him from entry to any school while children are present.
Nevertheless the relationship between Tubbs and Nunez is so close that Tubbs featured him on expensive campaign mailers for his mayor race.
The relationship has paid off for Nunez and FFSJ with city funding aiding the organization and FFSJ even becoming a partner with both the Office of Violence Prevention and the Stockton Police Department so that both entities can qualify for lucrative government grants as is outlined in this document obtained from a public information request as part of a $600,000 grant from the state to “build community trust”:
Yet in stark contrast to this partnership, 209 Times has recently learned of a highly disconcerting four page agenda from a meeting at the McKinley Community Center on 5/13/17 allegedly generated by Fathers and Families representatives that include on page three the words in all capital letters “THE POLICE GOTTA GO”.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss turning McKinely Center and Park into “The Peoples Park”. Ironically the McKinley Center is run by the police department and FFSJ only has access to it with their permission. Other statements on the agenda include “Messaging the People’s Park” and
“We are not asking for investment, we demand it!”
This following sentence is also in all capital letters:
“ALL WE NEED FROM THE CITY IS FOR THEM TO PRIORITIZE FUNDS IN THEIR BUDGET ”
This document mentions the “need” to reach out to Mayor Tubbs and Councilman Jesus Andrade, along with the FFSJ desire to do more outreach to “at-risk youths”. The document suggests that at-risk youth outreach efforts at the “People’s Park” should receive additional generous taxpayer’s financial support, minus any police presence whatsoever.
209 Times has put in a request from the City of Stockton per the California Public Records Act request seeking clarification in this matter.
Earlier this year 209 Times did an exposé on Sammy Nunez denying that FFSJ had any working relationship with the Police Department to “build community trust” as caught on video:
In an apparent appeasement to FFSJ’s demands to the City and an example of their connection to the Mayor, just last week Tubbs and his political ally assemblymber Susan Eggman obliged them at a press conference at the same McKinley Park they plan to label as “The Peoples Park”.
This begs the question: Are police, the very people who risk their lives to protect the public from harm, welcome at the “People’s Park” or not? Exactly how many taxpayer dollars are being “demanded”? What is the rationale behind the “POLICE GOTTA GO” from McKinley Park statement? How does such an inflammatory written statement reconcile with any legitimate youth mentorship program? And finally, it’s known Fathers and Families is providing services for the Stockton Police Department, County Probation and the City of Stockton, so why do they appear to be working against the same entities funding them?
In the spirit of transparency, Fathers and Families, Chief Eric Jones, Mayor Tubbs, Mayor Tubbs’ “policy analyst” and/or “public information officer”, and Councilman Jesus Andrade owe it the public to clarify their positions.
District Attorney Tori Verber-Salazar and Sheriff Steve Moore should also clarify their positions as to whether they view Cash for Criminals and Fathers and Families of San Joaquin as viable solutions to San Joaquin’s growing crime problems. They should, but they won’t. Why not? Simple. They all are recipients of oddly socially engineered grants that place them all in a compromised and symbiotic relationship for the benefit of themselves not the public.