This California pilot project could put universal basic income on 2020 map

Washington Post

Yolanda, an unemployed 40-year-old single mother of two, says it felt good to buy her daughter a birthday gift last week. 

The special purchase, one that she would not have been able to afford under normal circumstances, was made possible by the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED).

Yolanda, whose name we changed to protect her privacy, is one of 130 Stockton, Calif., residents who has been receiving $500 monthly since February as part of the guaranteed basic income program being piloted by the city and The Economic Security Project

  • Stockton's millennial mayor, Michael Tubbs (D), came across the idea of universal basic income when he was studying the work of Dr. Martin Luther King at Stanford University.
  • Tubbs brought his policy dream of “unconditional cash transfers” to combat poverty to fruition this year in a city where a quarter of the population lives below the federal poverty line.
  • The Economic Security Project is also funding a guaranteed basic income initiative in Jackson, Miss., in partnership with the nonprofit Springboard to Opportunities called the “Magnolia Mother's Trust” in which mothers living in subsidized housing receive $1,000 in “no-strings-attached” cash every month for a year.

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