Chuck Woolery, conservative former host of The Love Connection, tweeted this message after reading a blurb from Blunt Force Truth, a questionable news source:
What Woolery probably didn't expect was to receive a quick reply from the Mayor completely dismantling every detail of the post. It turns out Woolery needed to get his facts straight.
1. I’m 27— Michael Tubbs (@MichaelDTubbs) February 8, 2018
2. Please look up the word universal.
3. We haven’t been bankrupt for years and are actually the 2nd fiscally healthy city in the state.
4. It’s philanthropically funded
5. The majority of people are struggling in this economy. We have to deal with that https://t.co/yT76FXl5Ti
Mayor Tubbs is no push-over when it comes to the facts. He was first elected to the Stockton City Council at the age of 22, and has since become the city's all-time youngest mayor and first African-American to hold the office. He was even the subject of a documentary, True Son, which was aired on Fusion and at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Stockton has definitely improved economically since 2013, when it became the year's largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy. The town still has plenty of room for improvement, however: 25% of Stocktonians live below the poverty line, and 18% lack reliable access to reliable, nutritious food. These factors and more have led Tubbs to take a step recommended by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his final book. King wrote:
I'm now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.
It is much cheaper to provide access to basic needs rather than in imprison people for small crimes. Our criminal justice system is ridiculously expensive and accomplishes nothing but making a few people extremely wealthy— Semore Butts (@Instigator7777) February 8, 2018
Tubbs is calling the universal income program the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED for short). A team of "social scientists and community leaders" will be determining the number of residents who will be allowed into the "test phase" of the program in the coming months, and $500 checks are expected to be distributed by late 2018. Put simply, some low-income residents can expect $500 a month, no questions asked. Funding for SEED is coming from various philanthropic sources, as Tubbs claimed, including the Economic Security Project (who supplied a grant of $1 million) and a Crowdrise campaign (which is aiming to raise $50,000).
Twitter users are loving Mayor Tubb's smackdown:
I spend a few days a month in Stockton on business. I’m rooting for you and the city Mayor Tubbs.— Ted Bartlett (@TedBartlett905) February 8, 2018
I’ve been to Stockton years ago. I know where the city was and seeing you turn it around is dope. I’m rooting for you as well, king.— Jon Fields (@TheeJonFields) February 8, 2018
I here up in Stockton. My mom is still there. I am proud of you for being bold. As my dad told me when I was young, Fortune favors the brave. I am moving from Tacoma, WA to Detroit, MI in April and will be watching your journey in this unfold. My mom is proud of you and so am I.— Christy (@LibertineTacoma) February 8, 2018
If Woolery wants to comment on Mayor Tubbs, he ought to check his facts.
76 year old washed up game show host tweets link to inaccurate story to keep himself relevant.— Jerry Baker (@JBeezee73) February 8, 2018
Does it hurt when literally every single thing you type is incorrect?— areyoufingkiddingme (@areufingkiddgme) February 9, 2018
Other cities have their eye on Stockton, hoping Mayor Tubbs' project is successful!
Mayor Tubbs, this is inspirational. Other cities are watching. We are grateful that this important idea is being tested. Regardless of the outcome, we will all learn. Thank you for being bold. You have a bright future. And you’ve got cheering squads all over the country.— Max Love (@morepronoia) February 8, 2018
Good luck Mr. Mayor. Many people are watching you. Many of us want you to succeed! - Illinois guy— Nacho Libtard (@reedequalswin) February 8, 2018
This man deserves accolades for finding a problem and a solution. Seems more presidential than the president.— Dez still owes me fudge (@JassonG010) February 8, 2018
Visionaries like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson have all called for universal basic income as a positive step that society should take at some point. Mayor Tubbs is hoping Stockton will provide a positive example of how alleviation of some financial worries benefits a community. The SEED website says:
Stockton is in many ways a microcosm of the United States: in recent years, major shifts in our economy, persistent wage stagnation, and rising inequality have made it increasingly difficult for hardworking residents to make ends meet. We believe this initiative will highlight the resiliency and grit of our people. And it will show the nation and the world that ours is a community of hardworking, determined individuals who can forge ahead if only given the opportunity.
Wouldn't it be interesting if newspapers reported on other city services the way they report on UBI?— Brian McLaren (@ivordocumentary) February 8, 2018
"26-year-old mayor of bankrupt city to give free money to guys who sit around in fire stations most of their time doing nothing"...and so on.