While people scratched their heads at the 2016 US election, a young black man became the mayor of the poorest, most violent, and least literate city in the country.
Micheal Tubbs’ background is Oscar bait material. He’s a kid who was raised by a teen mom and grew up with an incarcerated father. But he didn’t become a statistic. He became a mayor.
The script deftly weaves the beginnings of this term with Tubb’s personal journey. At one point, he visits a mentorship workshop by Raymond Aguilar. The former cellmate of his father in prison becomes a liaison to one of his three programs – Advance Peace.
The documentary introduces a few people who got involved with or will benefit from his initiatives. Tubbs has an interesting story that’s too good to be true but lucky for Stockton it is, as he both stands as a reflection of the city’s problems and potential.
While the documentary mentions criticisms that his inclusive programs face it doesn’t dig any deeper. You don’t see the perspective of the town’s residents except when it serves the story. The doc addresses the chaotic council meeting with riot police, but this kind of nuance isn’t explored as if there is no political fissure inside Stockton. The doc conveniently highlights a group of ignoramuses who failed a petition for recall instead. It seems everyone is simply waiting inside their homes for whatever Tubbs’ is coming up with next.
The documentary was shot before any of his programs bear fruit so you don’t see any significant outcomes that prove its impact on Stockton. There are plenty more sit-ins and human-interest stories to highlight the promise of these programs that you can’t blame a person in the audience for seeing it as PR coverage.
As a result, you get a pedestrian documentary about a politician who is actually in touch with the reality of his constituents.
Still, this doesn’t change the fact that Tubbs is a formidable politician to watch out for. If there is one thing that should be learned from this documentary, is that the government needs young blood to inject innovation into a system that doesn’t serve the best interest of the people who needs it the most.
It’s interesting to see the result of Tubbs’ programs and in this rare case, Stockton on my Mind deserves a sequel.
Stockton on my Mind
Stockton on my Mind is a well-crafted enough introduction of a millennial mayor to make you interested in a sequel.