Council approves first steps in pilot program for universal basic income

The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a city pilot program that eventually will provide a guaranteed income for some residents.

Long Beach is one of 15 cities taking part in the privately funded program.

The council on Tuesday directed the city to begin the planning process, which will include seeking additional grants and other private funding to avoid spending city money. The city will now begin work to determine how many residents will participate and how much income each person would receive.

The effort is led by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of 15 mayors from cities including Oakland, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newark, New Jersey and Columbia, South Carolina.

The initial program launched in the city of Stockton last year. It provides $500 a month to 125 randomly selected Stockton residents to be used for anything.

City staffers will come back to the council with more information at a later date.

Mayor Robert Garcia, a major proponent of the program on Tuesday said the city is moving in the right direction.

“Long Beach has always led the way with innovative solutions, so I am excited to pilot this,” he said.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].