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An Adviser to Governor Records Pain, Rage, and Hope while Touring California Poverty

In his journal, Michael Tubbs highlights the word “agony” in black pen to indicate its significance.

Although it is impossible to fully express what he has discovered about Californians who are living in poverty as a result of his state-wide trip, the term appears to capture it.

As part of his efforts for his new foundation, End Poverty in California, the former mayor of Stockton has taken a gray notebook to 10 counties and aims to visit the other 48. He is currently the governor of California’s “economic mobility and opportunity” advisor.

His goal was to genuinely hear the hardships, setbacks, and hopes of Californians to relieve poverty “by raising the voices of people experiencing it.”

The 32-year-old Tubbs is considered as a national authority on guaranteed income schemes for the needy. He was raised by a single mother in a low-income family in Stockton, which was once the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, and was constantly criticized for having a large crime rate and a low percentage of literacy.

What therefore must he discover about poverty?

As it happens, a lot.

He has written down general ideas and instructions like “rewrite history” and “shelter is foundational” with the word “agony.”

“Everyone is maxed out,” according to one note.

He’s experienced emotional perceptions and experiences. He writes his response next to it and draws an arrow to the way one woman defines her lifestyle as “lived only to die.”

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