Who We Are
& What We
EPIC aims to end poverty in California by elevating the voices of people experiencing it, creating and implementing bold policies rooted in their needs, and advancing a state agenda focused on equal opportunity for all.
All of our current and future efforts will help change the narrative about poverty from one based on lies and stereotypes, to an authentic narrative based on the strengths, assets, and lived experiences of individuals and communities.
Led by Michael Tubbs, we conduct listening sessions throughout the state to hear the stories and ideas of people living in poverty, and help educate the public and policymakers.
We provide platforms for people to tell their own stories to help heal feelings of shame and stigma, increase agency, enable political action, and ultimately, change the narrative.
We collaborate with partners and lawmakers in order to develop a shared policy agenda focused on poverty elimination and equal opportunity for all.
President & CEO, GRACE/End Child Poverty CA
Executive Director, California Budget & Policy Center
Joseph Tomas McKellar
Director, PICO California
President, SEIU Local 2015
Michael Tubbs is the Founder of EPIC; the Founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income; and the Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility. In 2016, he was elected Mayor of Stockton at 26-years-old. He was the city’s first African-American Mayor, and the youngest Mayor of any major city in American history. As Mayor, Tubbs was lauded for his leadership and innovation. He raised over $20 million dollars to create the Stockton Scholars, a universal scholarship and mentorship program for Stockton students. Additionally, he piloted the first mayor-led guaranteed income pilot in the country.
Under his leadership, Stockton was named an “All-America City” in 2017 and 2018 by the National Civic League. The city saw a 40% drop in homicides in 2018 and 2019, led the state of California in the decline of officer involved shootings in 2019, and was named the second most fiscally healthy city in California. Additionally, it was recognized as one of the most fiscally healthy cities in the nation and was featured in an HBO documentary film, Stockton on My Mind.
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 2019 New Frontier Award Winner from the JFK Library, and the 2021 Civic Leadership Award winner from The King Center. Prior to his tenure as Mayor, Tubbs served as a council member for the City of Stockton District 6, a high school educator, and a fellow for the Stanford Design School and the Emerson Collective.
On November 16, 2021, Tubbs released The Deeper The Roots: A Memoir of Hope and Home published by the Flatiron Books imprint, An Oprah Book. The book relates Tubbs’ story of growing up in poverty, but lays his vision for leadership and policy that is more empathetic and responsive to people who are struggling.
Chief of Staff
Devon aligns our organization’s priorities across issue areas to make a lasting impact for Californians. Prior to joining EPIC, he was a director with Evergreen Strategy Group, where he advised gun violence prevention organizations on policy and strategy.
Devon previously served in the Newsom Administration as Special Advisor to the Governor’s Chief of Staff and is an alumnus of national and statewide political campaigns. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and lives in Orange County where he serves as a delegate to the California Democratic Party.
Sandra supports Michael Tubbs and the EPIC team with administrative tasks, event logistics, calendar management, and implementation of internal processes. Before joining EPIC, she worked for NoRedInk—a start-up educational technology company in San Francisco—supporting the CEO, COO, and VP of Sales and Partnerships.
Sandra previously worked as an administrative and legal assistant in small and large law firms in the Bay Area focused on immigration and estate planning. She also worked for a lobbying firm in Washington DC where she assisted with matters related to transportation, appropriations, and technology legislation. Sandra graduated from George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a concentration in public policy. She currently lives in her native Bay Area.
Chief Advisor, Storytelling and Narrative
Greg leads EPIC’s storytelling and narrative strategy, creating platforms for people in poverty to share their experiences, ideas, and insights so that we change the story about poverty in California. Prior to joining EPIC, he was poverty correspondent at The Nation where his column was syndicated by Bill Moyers and Melissa Harris-Perry called him “one of the most consistent voices on poverty in America.”
He has appeared on numerous national and local programs on networks including PBS, MSNBC and NPR, and his work has also been featured on CBS News, The Washington Post, USA Today and Business Insider. He was also the founder of TalkPoverty.org, a senior fellow at Center for American Progress, and journalist-in-residence at the Roosevelt Institute. Most recently, he worked as narrative advisor to Stacey Abrams at the Southern Economic Advancement Project.
Vikrum advises EPIC on its political and public policy strategy. Previously, Vikrum held roles in the Obama Administration, both as senior policy advisor in the White House National Economic Council, and as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of Commerce for intellectual property. He also oversaw global government relations, corporate social responsibility, and strategic communications, as the Vice President for the tech startup Postmates. His work has appeared in Bloomberg, the LA Times, CNN, The SF Chronicle and the Washington Post.
He has also served on the communications teams of Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Mayor Adrian Fenty (D-Washington, D.C.), and the Democratic National Conventions in 2012 and 2016. In 2017 Vikrum was named a Public Policy Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Vikrum currently lives in San Francisco, California where he serves on Mayor London Breed’s Workforce Investment Board; the Inforum Board of the Commonwealth Club; and as a Term Member for the Council on Foreign Relations.