Guaranteed Income Program Paying $1,000 a Month Touted in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County is considering whether to introduce a program of guaranteed income which would see those eligible receiving $1,000 per month as part of a pilot scheme.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider a motion on the program on Tuesday, May 18, though the target demographic for the payments has not yet been finalized.

The Guaranteed Income Program would provide the payments to some of the most vulnerable in the local community, according to Fox 11. This may include women living at or below the poverty line who have been released from prison in the past seven years.

Other possible recipients could include Transition Age Youth (TYA) heads of households and heads of households who have survived domestic violence, according to the motion filed for the upcoming meeting.

The pilot program was proposed by Los Angeles County Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Sheila Kuehl.

They see the plan as a way to alleviate poverty among the most vulnerable people living in the county.

In their motion, Mitchell and Kuehl argue that the U.S. and Los Angeles' economies "have been plagued by instability, much of it caused by staggering levels of inequality."

"The coronavirus crisis has heightened and made more vivid what was already clear to many: the inequities in our economy have been a matter of life and death for many of our most vulnerable County residents. Prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, the safety net failed to address the structural issues that have been keeping many children and their families trapped in poverty."

Mitchell and Kuehl pointed to the fact that the Black unemployment rate has remained almost double the rate for white people and argued that racial discrimination is still a factor affecting Black people's opportunities.

"As we endeavor to create a more resilient economy and Los Angeles County (County), we must explore guaranteed income and other measures of poverty alleviation as permanent County policy, not just as an emergency measure to help with this crisis," they said.

"We must fundamentally shift the idea that people who face financial insecurity have somehow failed, and instead recognize that it is the inequity and lack of access built into our economy and government assistance programs that have failed us."

California Governor Gavin Newsom's recent budget allotted $35 million for "universal basic income pilot programs", which will help local governments in the state fund guaranteed income pilot schemes.

Newsweek has asked the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for comment.

 A Shopper Pays with a $100 Bill
A shopper pays cash for sales merchandise December 26, 2000 at the Lakeline Mall in Austin, Texas. Los Angeles County could soon adopt a pilot program of guaranteed income for some of its most vulnerable residents. Joe Raedle/Newsmakers/Getty Images