July 31, 2017
Stockton, CA – At a church this evening Michael Tubbs presented his idea to deal with the city’s high crime, particularly violent crime.
To an audience of about 30, most of whom were city staff or non profits funded by the city who supported Tubbs’ campaign, Advance Peace was presented.
After the first 20 minutes, which was a presentation of recent news coverage of Tubbs, including recognition for the “mayor who tweets the most in the nation” by his Public Information Officer Daniel Lopez,
Michael took the microphone briefly to say The program from Richmond, CA was being “explored” for Stockton and was a “results based” program. This happened to also be what he said about Ceasefire when it was implemented in 2013 as he began his term as a city councilmember. Since then violent crime has instead increased consecutively over itsthree years.
The claim of “exploring” Advance Peace would be immediately contradicted by his PIO Lopez whom he again turned the microphone back over to to present the program in a slide show which included a Next Step of applying to have the city selected as one of two cities in California.
When audience members were invited to ask question, Motecuzoma Sanchez who completed a program evaluation of Ceasefire as a graduate student at USC asked Tubbs how AP would be differ from Ceasefire which is not producing the desired results. Tubbs responded that Ceasefire only focuses on parolees and AP would focus on active shooters and not gangs. However, Ceasefire is not designed to focused on parolees which seemed an odd statement as it was incorrect.
In fact the only comparable difference Richmond seems to have (besides being ⅓ the size of Stockton and differ demographics) is that AP pays a monthly stipend of up to $1,300. With a supposed 85 “clients”‘ that the Peacekeepers have as part of Ceasefire and the Office of Violence Prevention the theoretical cost annually would be $1,326,000. Tubbs also claimed that AP would also be differ because it would have a more intense mentorship component. Yet, mentorship was supposed to already be one of the selling points for the Peacekeepers who currently do pay for things such as gas cards for clients and do house visits. When asked by another audience member if police chief Eric jones was in support, Tubbs claimed he had not yet discussed it with him.
The real questions and concerns for many have been the lack of results with the current programs that are mirror images of Richmond’s except for the stipend. Programs that only have 85 clients ( a number that has been the same for over a year) after more than three years, no measurables, increased violent crime rates, and no independent audit of the millions of dollars ($26,000,000) its funding source Measure A brings in annually. The Community Engagement Coordinator for the Office of Violence Prevention, Đenise Manning, resigned her position last week causing a major shake up, citing the city’s lack of comprehensive plans and lack of results.
One community member in attendance at the meeting, Đenise Aguilar said:
“I grew up hanging out with gangbangers. It was a lifestyle I chose. It isn’t a circumstance or beyond my control. I did it because I wanted to. I knew the risk, we all do. We change when we are ready not when someone dangles a carrot. A lot of my friends from then are now dead, in prison or strung out. With a few that still dabble but for the most part grew up.
What the mayor is proposing is insane, paying gangbangers to not shoot, having them babysat constantly and putting them thru school or relocate. You can do all of that without paying them.
How about you invest that money into activities, after school programs, pools, libraries, parks and classrooms so kids have an option for a better future. You can’t pay someone to behave, but you can show them a different way that does not include bribary. This is a terrible idea for Stockton.”
Before closing the meeting Tubbs accused community members who criticized the notion of paying stipends to people suspected of shooting other people not to as “making up lies” Michael Tubbs has openly admitted to coming up with the idea after a wave of homicides in the city by a conducting a google search.