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Reducing Poverty, Centering Equity: Piloting Guaranteed Income in California

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
2:00pm - 3:30pm PDT

Please join the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, Southern California Grantmakers, and an exciting panel of experts to talk about the lessons of UBI pilots, the impact UBI is having on families with young children, and potential opportunities to launch UBI efforts in LA County.



Alex Johnson

Program Director, The California Wellness Foundation

Alex M. Johnson is a program director at The California Wellness Foundation, where he currently manages grantmaking related to the Community Wellbeing portfolio. His responsibilities include strategy development, reviewing letters of interest, requesting and evaluating grant proposals, conducting site visits, making funding recommendations and monitoring active grants.

Prior to joining Cal Wellness in June 2018, Johnson was managing director for Californians for Safety and Justice in Los Angeles. While at CSJ, Johnson led efforts calling for an end to over-incarceration and a renewed focus on safety priorities rooted in prevention and health. Prior to his role at CSJ, he was executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-California, where he led statewide advocacy, policy, program and organizing efforts to ensure access to quality affordable health coverage and care for children and low-income families, reform the juvenile justice system, promote educational equity, end child poverty, and improve outcomes for children of color. Alex also worked for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas where he helped lead policy and programmatic efforts focused on education and public safety; and New York City Department of Education where he managed complex civil litigation and special disciplinary proceedings as part of a quality initiative to improve academic outcomes for K-12 students of color. He began his career as an assistant district attorney for the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office where he advocated for victims of domestic violence.

Alex serves on the boards of the Los Angeles County Board of Education, Southern California Grantmakers, California Advisory Board for the Trust for Public Land, and the Wiley Center for Speech and Language Development. He previously served on the California Complete Count Committee and the California Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board. His writings have appeared in the Sacramento Bee, Huffington Post, The Guardian, Los Angeles Daily News, San Jose Mercury News, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, and the California Health Report.

Alex earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Morehouse College in Atlanta, and his law degree from American University, Washington College of Law.



Mayor Aja Brown 

City of Compton, CA

Mayor Aja Brown made history at 31 as the youngest mayor ever elected in the City of Compton. A national trailblazer, Mayor Brown’s ‘New Vision for Compton’ is a revitalization strategy centered on 12-key principles that focus on family values, quality of life, economic development and infrastructural growth. She was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second four-year term in June of 2017.

Mayor Brown is focused on improving outcomes through policy reform, innovation and strategic partnerships. She proudly serves the Citizens of Compton by developing and implementing public policies that facilitate guided growth through the protection of community assets.

Since taking office, Mayor Brown has launched several community initiatives and policy changes aimed at reducing crime by tackling tough issues such as gang intervention, and domestic human trafficking head on. The Mayor’s efforts to fortify the City have been instrumental in eliminating hourly motel rentals and condemning businesses that incubate human trafficking, and other illicit activity. In June 2014, Mayor Brown started Compton Empowered, a community based gang reduction and intervention initiative focused on empowering ex-gang members to take back their neighborhoods through peace treaties, unity activities and employment opportunities. The efforts of Mayor Brown and participating community members have resulted in a nearly 50% decrease in homicides from 2014 to 2015 and continues to be the leading agency of community driven safety reform throughout the City.

Mayor Brown has been successful in reducing the unemployment rate by 50 percent in Compton from 18 percent in July of 2013, to 9 percent in the month of December 2015, while successfully attracting new companies and employment to the City. The Mayor has executed policy that improves access to Compton City employment through the First Source Hiring Agreement, adopted in October 2013, which mandates 35 percent local hiring for city assisted and funded projects that often times yield neighborhood improvement.

Mayor Brown is the recipient of the esteemed 2016 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, she has received the Brave Ones Leadership Award by Leadercast in 2015 and was awarded the prestigious University of Southern California 2014 Young Alumni Merit Award. Mayor Brown served on the California State Delta Stewardship Council from late 2014 to 2016, a governing body created by legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. Mayor Brown has also led young women and girls empowerment efforts with her esteemed partnership with Girls Fly!, a global initiative geared at exposing young women and girls to careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

Mayor Brown has received a lauded number of honors, including the National Action Network Martin Luther King Award, for her youth, women’s rights and socio-economic equality work in advocacy. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy, Urban Planning and Development, along with a Master’s degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in Economic Development from the University of Southern California. She is married to her best friend of 14 years, Van Brown.

Dr. Zea Malawa

Physician Director of Expecting Justice

Zea Malawa is a pediatrician and public health professional committed to improving health outcomes for children of color. Upon completing her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, she earned a medical doctorate from UCLA and a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley. Because Dr. Malawa recognizes that medical care will not close racial disparities, she has become adept at integrating political advocacy and anti-racism strategies into her practice. Currently, Dr. Malawa sees patients at Mission Neighborhood Health Center and she works for the San Francisco Department of Public Health leading a citywide collaborative to address maternal outcome disparities.


Michael Tubbs

Former Mayor, Stockton, CA

On November 8, 2016, Michael Tubbs was elected to serve as the mayor of the City of Stockton, California. Upon taking office in January 2017, elected at the age of 26, Michael Tubbs became both the nation’s youngest mayor, for a city of over 100,000 people and Stockton’s first African-American mayor.

Recognized as one of Politico’s Top 50Fortune’s Top “40 under 40,” and Forbes’ list of the “30 Under 30,” Tubbs’ leadership paired with an ambitious progressive agenda has received national recognition. Since taking office, Mayor Michael Tubbs secured a $20 million private donation to launch “Stockton Scholars,” which will provide up to $4,000 to help students pay for college or trade school for a decade.  Mayor Tubbs also worked to bring “Advance Peace” to Stockton, a program that works to reduce gun violence in communities by identifying and engaging the less than one percent of Stockton’s population known to commit gun crimes. Mayor Tubbs also launched the nation’s first-ever municipal level basic income pilot, known as the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration or SEED. 

Before becoming mayor, Michael Tubbs served as Stockton’s District 6 City Councilmember. Elected at age 22 in 2013, he became one of the youngest City Councilmembers in the country. As a councilmember, Tubbs created the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, championed the creation of the City’s Office of Violence Prevention and was part of the council that led the city out of bankruptcy as Chair of the Audit and Legislative Committee. Mayor Tubbs graduated in 2012 from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree with honors. Mayor Tubbs is focused on poverty reduction, public safety, workforce development, community engagement, and organizing and collective impact strategies. Tubbs has been a college course instructor for Aspire Public Schools and a Fellow at the Stanford Institute of Design and the Emerson Collective.

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No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG members

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

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