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Los Angeles announces largest guaranteed income program in the US


A COVID-19 relief program that will provide $1,000 monthly payments to thousands of families in one of Los Angeles‘ most poverty-stricken districts was approved by the city’s council on Tuesday.

More than 3,000 families will receive assistance from BIG:LEAP, or Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot.

Mayor Eric Garcetti called it ‘the largest guaranteed basic income program anywhere in the United States of America.’ 

Families below the poverty line in Council District can begin to submit their applications on Friday, October 29, and have until November 7 to do so.

Those chosen in the lottery will receive the payments all throughout 2022.

To be eligible, they must be 18 years or older, have at least one dependent child/are pregnant, live in low-income households, and have experienced economic or medical hardship due to COVID-19 are eligible.

BIG:LEAP, or Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot, will be the largest guaranteed income program in the US. Pictured is Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti holding a sign after the pilot was approved by city council 

More than 3,000 families will receive assistance from BIG:LEAP, or Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot

More than 3,000 families will receive assistance from BIG:LEAP, or Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot

'The idea of a pilot program is one my office has been following for some time, and it gained momentum as we witnessed our country examine the racial disparities and social injustices during the COVID pandemic,' Curren Price, Council District's Councilman, said before the council's approval on Tuesday

‘The idea of a pilot program is one my office has been following for some time, and it gained momentum as we witnessed our country examine the racial disparities and social injustices during the COVID pandemic,’ Curren Price, Council District’s Councilman, said before the council’s approval on Tuesday

‘These will be unconditional, regular, and direct cash payments to individual participants that supplement existing welfare programs. This means there are no restrictions on how the money can be spent and no requirements for the participants,’ the programs’ website read.

‘Whether that means paying for rent, a new tire, or an unexpected trip to urgent care. These participants are granted the freedom to meet their most pressing needs without delay.’

The district’s councilman, Curren Price, said he hoped programs of the sort replicated at the state and federal level.

‘The idea of a pilot program is one my office has been following for some time, and it gained momentum as we witnessed our country examine the racial disparities and social injustices during the COVID pandemic,’ Price said before the council’s approval on Tuesday.

Families below the poverty line in Council District can begin to submit their applications on Friday, October 29, and have until November 7 to do so

Families below the poverty line in Council District can begin to submit their applications on Friday, October 29, and have until November 7 to do so

Guaranteed income pilots have become increasingly popular as state governments struggle to address the needs of their residents

Guaranteed income pilots have become increasingly popular as state governments struggle to address the needs of their residents

His office will be a command center for the 10-day online application days, FOX reported.

Other resources like Wi-Fi, computers and language support will also be available.

In Los Angeles, two out of ten residents are affected by poverty, and one-third of working adults can’t support their families with their full-time job.

Guaranteed income pilots have become increasingly popular as state governments struggle to address the needs of their residents.

The effects of the pandemic have been felt largely across the country, especially amongst families who were already struggling to make ends meet before the outbreak.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announces a privately funded program that will give low-income families of color $500 per month with no rules on how they can spend it

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announces a privately funded program that will give low-income families of color $500 per month with no rules on how they can spend it

Also in California, a controversial program to give $500 monthly checks to families of color in Oakland was approved in the Spring.

The lottery system, funded by private philanthropists, promised no-strings-attached checks go to households with an annual income of less than $59,000 if they have at least one child. The other half of the $500 checks will go to those earning under $30,000.

In New York City, a pilot program giving payments of $1,250 to as many as 40 homeless people between 18 and 24 for two years – with no strings attached, was announced during the summer.

Recipients are can request how they want their money, such as in incremental payments or upfront as cash, and have no limits as to how they could spend it.

The ‘Trust Youth Initiative’ aims to determine whether giving cash to young homeless people will improve their housing outcomes and employment opportunities.

In Long Beach, Mayor Robert Garcia has proposed a guaranteed income program that will support artists who were financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a network of mayors advocating for these types of programs, has registered more than two dozen across the US.

Growth in woke guaranteed income schemes across US 

  • Growing Resilience in Tacoma (GRIT), will provide 100 families with a guaranteed income of $500 for one year. Families must live within Tacoma and earn less than $52,000 per year. 
  • The City of Saint Paul launched the People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot, which will provide at least 150 Saint Paul families with $500 per month as a guaranteed income for up to 18 months. 
  • The Columbia Life Improvement Monetary Boost (CLIMB) will proivide 100 participants with a guaranteed income of $500 for 12 months. Participants will be selected among a pool of Black fathers in partnership with the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition. 
  • The Compton Pledge will provide 800 city residents with a guaranteed income in amounts ranging from $300 to $600, for 24 months.  
  • Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced the Newark Movement for Economic Equity, which will provide a group of 200 paricipants with $250 bi-weekly for two years and another group of 200 participants with $3000 four times over two years. 
  • The Basic Income Guaranteed: L.A. Economic Assistance Pilot (BIG:LEAP) will provide 2,000 city residents with a guaranteed income of $1,000 for a year 
  • Oakland Resilient Families will provide 600 selected Oakland families with a guaranteed income of $500 per month for at least 18 months. Families will be randomly selected after completing an online application. 
  • Growing Resilience in Tacoma (GRIT), will provide 100 families with a guaranteed income of $500 for one year. Families must live within Tacoma and earn less than $52,000 per year. 
  • Mayor Robert Garcia has proposed a guaranteed income program that will support artists who were financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and reside in Long Beach, CA. 
  • Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is working with local philanthropy donors to raise money toward a soon-to-be announced guaranteed income pilot that will serve families in Madison, WI. 
  • The Direct Investment Program in Sacramento (DIPS) is providing 100 families in Sacramento County with $300 every month for 24 months.
  • The Resilient Communities for Every Child initiative will provide a guaranteed income of $500 to 150 randomly selected participants for at least 24 months. Participants will be selected from zip codes in San Diego, CA & National City, CA who were disproportionately affected from COVID-19 and poverty. 
  • The Resilient Communities for Every Child initiative will provide a guaranteed income of $500 to 150 randomly selected participants for at least 24 months. Participants will be selected from zip codes in San Diego, CA & National City, CA who were disproportionately affected from COVID-19 and poverty. 
  • The Denver Basic Income Project will provide groups of homeless individuals a guaranteed income ranging from $50 to $6,500. 
  • Mayor Brandon Scott has named a steering committee to begin the process of designing a guaranteed income pilot in Baltimore, MD. 
  • As a way to support low-income families in Chelsea, MA, 2,040 families in the city will receive a guaranteed income of up to $400 for several months.
  • Source: Mayors for a Guaranteed Income  

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