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Michael Tubbs Joins Rosenberg Foundation as First Senior Fellow

The Rosenberg Foundation today announced Michael D. Tubbs as the Foundation’s first Senior Fellow. Over the course of a two-year fellowship, Tubbs will develop and advance approaches to eliminate poverty in California as part of his work to achieve economic justice and opportunity.

“We are so inspired by Michael — his brilliance, energy, passion and the boldness of his ideas,” said Tim Silard, President of the Rosenberg Foundation. “He is uniquely positioned to bring together families, local leaders, advocates, policymakers, our peers in philanthropy and others to advance solutions to end poverty in California and push for equity and justice across the state.” 

California has the highest poverty rate, with more than a third of Californians living in or near poverty. California also has the highest rate of child poverty (1 in 5 kids) in the nation. 

“At the root of the overlapping and urgent crises that Californians face — COVID-19 and its devastating impact on the economy, racial injustice, climate change, housing insecurity and homelessness, yawning wealth gaps — is persistent poverty,” said Tubbs. “As we build back from COVID-19, we have an opportunity to take bold action to end poverty for families of color and our struggling communities across the state, and level the economic playing field for maximum mobility.”

Tubbs currently serves as Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility and is the Founder and Chair of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. Elected as Stockton’s mayor at 26 years old, Tubbs was Stockton’s first African American mayor, and the youngest mayor of any major city in American history. 

As Stockton’s mayor, reducing the number of people in poverty was a priority for Tubbs. He raised more than $20 million to create Stockton Scholars, a universal scholarship and mentorship program for Stockton students, and piloted the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), the first mayor-led guaranteed income pilot in the country. Under his leadership, Stockton was named the second most fiscally healthy city in California and one of the topmost fiscally healthy cities in the nation.

Through the fellowship, Rosenberg will support Tubbs’ leadership as he convenes and develops cross-cutting partnerships to strengthen, build and re-energize movements to achieve equity, justice and opportunity in the state, with a particular focus on reducing child poverty in California and creating a safety net for children and families.

Tubbs has been named a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics and The MIT Media Lab, a member of Fortune’s Top 40 under 40, a Forbes 30 under 30 All Star Alumni, the “Most Valuable Mayor” by The Nation, the 2021 Civic Leadership Award winner from The King Center, and 2019 New Frontier Award winner from the JFK Library. Prior to serving as Mayor, Tubbs served as a Councilmember for the City of Stockton District 6, a high school educator, and a fellow for the Stanford Design School and the Emerson Collective. 

About the Rosenberg Foundation
The Rosenberg Foundation is committed to ensuring that every person in California has an equal opportunity to participate fully in the state’s economic, social, and political life. Created in 1935 through the bequest of California business leader Max L. Rosenberg, the Foundation has provided more than 3,000 grants totaling more than $85 million to regional, statewide, and national organizations advocating for social and economic justice. For more information, please visit

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