With a unanimous vote, the Long Beach City Council passed a pilot program in a meetingTuesday evening that will distribute monthly cash payments to promote equity and help residents facing financial constraints.
The program ensures a universal basic income that has the potential to aid Long Beach residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic, such as renters who have lost their jobs and are facing evictions.
“Income inequality is getting worse, and we need new approaches to directly help residents,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in a Tweet. “A huge thank you to @AndrewYang and the @mayorsforagi for spearheading these efforts.”
Founded in June 2020, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income’s main aim is to break down financial barriers that deeply affect communities of color, barriers which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, according to their website.
Presented at the meeting, the program will implement a city-wide test providing residents with a universal guaranteed income which, according to the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income website, is an unconditional monthly cash payment that requires no demands or stipulations. There has been no set amount of income established yet.
Created by Michael Tubbs, Mayor of Stockton, California, the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income organization has developed into a growing network of cities showing their support, including Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, with Long Beach as its newest addition.
Garcia said that he will work with the private sector and will not be using city funds in order to move forward with the pilot program, a concern brought up by Councilwoman Stacy Mungo.
“Long Beach has always led the way with innovative solutions, so I am excited to pilot this and work really hard with the private sector to bring in that money,” Garcia said.
The next City Council meeting will occur next Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m. via teleconference.