The new hire is Michael Tubbs, 30, a former mayor of Stockton who drew national media attention for providing $500 a week to some of his city’s low-income residents.
“I can think of no one more dedicated or better equipped to make recommendations to my team and help lead outreach efforts to increase opportunity and entrepreneurship to reduce poverty in California,” Newsom said in a news release announcing the hire.
Tubbs, who was raised by a single mother because his father was in prison for much of his childhood, was elected to Stockton’s city council at age 22 and became mayor at 26, according to The Associated Press.
He soon enacted a privately financed program through which 125 low-income city residents received $500 a month for two years. Data released last week showed most of the people used the money to pay off their debts and help themselves find full-time employment, the AP reported.
Defeated by a Republican
But Tubbs lost his reelection bid last November, defeated by Kevin Lincoln, a Republican who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Tubbs will join the Newsom administration as the Democrat fends off a recall effort that will likely send voters to the polls later this year to decide his fate.
Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, has drawn ire from many state residents over his handling of the coronavirus, including stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns.
The recall effort has attracted more than 1.5 million signatures, more than enough needed to force a recall election, Politico reported.
In his new unpaid role, Tubbs will assist Newsom in revising the state’s economic policies, possibly including “guaranteed income” for some residents, the Sacramento Bee reported.
In recent months California policies have prompted both residents and businesses flee to other states, such as Texas, Florida and Arizona, CNBC reported.
The efforts would be intended in part to address inequality and systemic racism issues, the report said.
Tubbs currently heads Mayor for a Guaranteed Income, an alliance of 40 city leaders pushing for guaranteed income programs around the U.S., the Bee reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.