Oakland Mayor Will Send $500 Monthly To Black Residents, Claims No Strings Attached

Oakland Mayor Will Send $500 Monthly To Black Residents, Claims No Strings Attached

Oakland Mayor
Oakland Mayor Will Send $500 Monthly To Black Residents, Claims No Strings Attached. Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced the California city would begin implementing one of the largest guaranteed income pilot projects for Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) in the nation. She also claimed it would come with no strings attached.

The city will implement the Oakland Resilient Families program in partnership with Family Independent Initiative and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, according to a press release published on March 23. Funded purely by philanthropic donations of over $6 million, the program will provide 600 families with $500 per month for 18 months and families can spend the money however they see fit.

“The poverty we all witness today is not a personal failure, it is a systems failure,” Schaaf said in a statement. “Guaranteed income is one of the most promising tools for systems change, racial equity, and economic mobility we’ve seen in decades. I’m proud to work with such committed local partners to build a new system that can help undo centuries of economic and racial injustice, and point us all toward a more just society.”

To be eligible for the program, residents must be at or below 50 percent of the federal poverty line, which is $59,000 for a family of three. Half the spots are reserved for families earning below 138 percent of the federal poverty line, which is $30,000 or less.

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Oakland Mayor Schaaf is a member of Mayors for Guaranteed Income, which was founded by former Stockton, California Mayor Michael Tubbs. Stockton did a similar program with 100 families that yielded positive results. He is excited about the Oakland initiative.

“One of my hopes in testing out a guaranteed income is that other cities would follow suit, and I’m thrilled that Oakland is among the first. I applaud Mayor Schaaf’s leadership and am looking forward to working with her to move from pilot to policy,” Tubbs said.

Guaranteed Income should not be confused with Universal Basic Income (UBI), according to CNN. While guaranteed income is meant to supplement wages for low-income residents, UBI provides income for everyone’s basic needs.

Families will eventually be able to fill out a multilingual online form to screen for eligibility. Once eligibility is confirmed, families will be chosen at random.

For more information visit www.oaklandresilientfamilies.org.