*In an effort to address poverty and income inequality, Oakland, California on Tuesday launched a privately funded program that will give 600 low-income families of color in the city $500 per month with no rules on how they can spend it.
Oakland follows Stockton, CA in experimenting with a “guaranteed income” program, which aims to confirm that giving low-income individuals a regular, monthly stipend helps ease the stresses of poverty and results in better health and upward economic mobility.
Some mayors across the country launched smaller scale pilot programs in a coordinated campaign to convince Congress to adopt a national guaranteed income program. The first was launched in 2019 in Stockton by former Mayor Michael Tubbs, who later founded the group Mayors for a Guaranteed Income.
An analysis of the first year of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) found that compared to a control group, residents who received regular payments experienced less income volatility, secured more full-time employment, were better parents and partners, and even saw improvements in their health and overall well-being. Six other cities to launch similar programs by this summer.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf joined CBSN Wednesday to talk more about her decision to carry out the experiment.