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Long Beach Becomes Latest City to Launch a Universal Basic Income Program



Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced a one-year pilot program this week that will eventually provide cash payments to some 500 low-income residents who live under the poverty line.

How it works:

The program will focus direct payments on the neighborhoods in the 90813 ZIP code with a median income that is 25% lower than the rest of Long Beach.

  • The city will provide up to 250 single-parent homes with $500 payments each month for a year, and the state will provide matching funds to support another 250 more families, also receiving a $500 monthly stipend.

  • Participants will also receive free child care, job training, transportation assistance, access to cell phones and the internet.

  • This summer, the city's Economic Development Department will begin taking applications with payouts due by the end of the year.

More: Cal State Long Beach's Office of Economic Research will analyze the program's effects and provide a report.


What they're saying:

"Our guaranteed income program will help single parents and families with direct assistance and basic needs in a community that has long struggled with poverty," Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. "The research collected from this pilot will help us build a national case for these programs across the country and our city.''

Quick refresher:

Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, formed by former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, is the main driving force for the universal basic income movement made famous by former presidential & New York Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang.

  • The group has 34 mayors, including Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

  • The City of Compton is running the largest universal basic income program in the country, offering $600 a month to up to 800 residents.

  • In 2017 Finland ran a two-year basic income trial program that gave monthly stipends to 2,000 unemployed citizens and was considered a failure because many remained jobless.

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