California city testing 'Guaranteed Income' program
STOCKTON, Calif. (WKRC) - A city in California may become the first in the country to guarantee a basic income for its residents.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs announced a new pilot program that will offer select families $500 a month, no strings attached.
The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, or SEED, is hoping to improve the quality of living in the area with a target date of August of 2018. The city says 25 percent of its 315-thousand residents live below the poverty line. Per Newsmax, its media household income is approximately $44,000, well below California's state median.
“Gonna position Stockton as a national leader, that’s a community on the cutting edge, figuring out how do you help working folk get ahead,” Tubbs said to KXTL.
The idea isn't new. According to KTLA, Martin Luther King advocated for a similar universal basic income in 1967. Thomas Paine wrote about it in the 1700s.
Tubbs, a 27-year-old, said the program will get its initial funding from private sources, financed primarily through advocacy group Economic Security Project that is pledging $1 million alone.
“One million dollars in philanthropic dollars, so it’s not taxpayer money, percolating into the community allowing people to pay for rent and to buy school clothes," Tubbs said.