Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Democratic Mayor, allegedly plans to propose a guaranteed basic income pilot program during his State of the City speech.
According to LAist, under the proposal, “2,000 Angeleno families at or below the federal poverty line would receive $1,000 a month for one year, no strings attached.” The outlet also reports, “the $24 million program would be the largest experiment of its kind in the United States” launching as a piece of Garcetti’s “Equity and Justice Budget.”
“We have to end America’s addiction to poverty,” Garcetti stated to the outlet. “For families who can’t think past the next bill, the next shift or the next health problem that they have, we can give them the space to not only dream of a better life, but to actualize it.”
The entire program has been labeled “BIG: LEAP,” which is an acronym for Basic Income Guaranteed: L.A. Economic Assistance Pilot.
The requirements for eligibility for the new assistance program have not as of yet been outlined. According to LAist, the eligibility criteria “will likely include supporting a child under the age of 18 and a demonstrated medical or financial hardship connected to COVID-19,” citing statements from Garcetti’s office. The program is also planned to be open to illegal immigrants, the report states. The funds will be distributed among the city’s 15 council districts depending on each area’s level of poverty.
A $24 million guaranteed basic income pilot in Los Angeles would be the largest experiment of its kind in the country. Garcetti plans to fund the test in his 2021-22 budget @LAist @KPCC https://t.co/9znQ50RhW3
— Libby Denkmann (@libdenk) April 19, 2021
The original idea for a universal basic income was made popular by Andrew Yang, a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Part of his original platform was the implementing of a “freedom dividend” of around $1000 each month for all u.s. citizens over 18 years of age. according to Yang’s campaign website, the money “would enable all Americans to pay their bills, educate themselves, start businesses, be more creative, stay healthy, relocate for work, spend time with their children, take care of loved ones, and have a real stake in the future.”
Stockton, California was the first city in the united states to see the start of a mayor-led universal basic income pilot program back in February 2019. Completely funded by donors, it randomly selected 125 residents in the city and issues them $500 per month for two years. Those against the program have stated that the financial support could be seen as a disincentive to look for and keep gainful employment. Michael Tubbs, former Mayor of Stockton, is allegedly working with Garcetti on this Los Angeles test run. Tubbs stated that recipients “did not stop working” and “were more likely to find full-time employment.” This past month, several legacy media outlets signal boosted a year-long study “conducted by a team of independent researchers” that corroborated those claims.
The City of Los Angeles has recently been allotted $1.3 billion from the federal government after the passing of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Garcetti stated that he had plans to use those funs to “transform systems.”