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Los Angeles is fast becoming the last city to try universal basic income.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has included a guaranteed basic income program of $ 24 million in his municipal budget to be released on Tuesday. LA would become the largest city to try the concept, possibly joining Stockton, Compton and others.

Here is an introduction:

What would the LA program do?

If approved by Los Angeles City Council, the program would provide $ 1,000 per month to 2,000 Los Angeles families for a year. There will be no obligation on how to spend the money, according to the mayor’s office.

“When you give money to poor people, it creates better results,” said the mayor. “It covers child care. He puts food on the table. This leads to more high school diplomas and better exams. “

Already, the Los Angeles City Council has unveiled plans to spend more than $ 11 million in misappropriated funds from the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget on such programs in South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

In the Southern District of Los Angeles represented by City Councilor Curren Price, a program will provide $ 1,000 per month for one year to 500 households headed by single parents. It should be launched this summer.

Additional programs are being launched in districts represented by Councilor Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Council Chairman Nury Martinez and Councilor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

A spokesperson for Garcetti said the allocation of $ 24 million for a city-wide program would add to the proposed efforts.

What was the reaction?

The proposal was welcomed by Michael Tubbs, the former mayor of Stockton, who championed a guaranteed basic income program in his own town. Tubbs said Garcetti is giving a major boost to the movement, which is built around the idea that “we don’t need to have poverty in this country.”

“The world cares about what LA is doing,” Tubbs said. “Bringing the mayor out of the second largest city so boldly is significant.”

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., Offered a more critical point of view, saying that programs that “give free money” will simply give Los Angeles elected officials a new way to buy votes when ‘they will stand for re-election.

“When you can steal Peter to pay Paul, you can still count on Paul’s vote,” he said.

Where is this tried?

Stockton was the first big city to try it, run by Tubbs.

In a social experiment that is as much public relations as rigorous research, this program began with 130 residents receiving $ 500 per month with no strings attached – like job or sobriety requirements – attached.

Times columnist Michael Hiltzik reported that early research showed positive signs in Stockton’s experience:

A preliminary analysis of the program’s first year, through February 2020, found that beneficiaries were “healthier, exhibited less depression and anxiety, and improved well-being” than those in a control group. not receiving allowances. They also experienced fewer monthly fluctuations in household income. In particular, they were more successful in finding full-time employment or improving their employment.

In one of the largest programs of its kind, the City of Compton launched the Compton Pledge, which will pay $ 300 to $ 600 per month for 800 residents of Compton during two years.

The program is sponsored by the Guaranteed Income Fund, a charity run by Nika Soon-Shiong, daughter of Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong and co-director of the Compton Pledge.

Pilot programs have also been launched in St. Paul, Minn .; Richmond, Virginia; Pittsburgh; and Oakland, among other communities.

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