Oakland has plans to enact a pilot program to give universal basic income payments to city residents who are low-income so long as they are from minority groups.
The small-scale program will give $500 per month for a total of 18 months to black, indigenous, and other people of color to spend as they choose.
The program is called Oakland Resilient Families, and will provide the income for 600 families. The reason the BIPOC residents are eligible and white residents are not is that "these groups have the greatest wealth disparity," according to local news.
As the plan gets underway, it will be evaluated by monitors who will look at how families spend the money and the impact of that money on the families.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said "We believe that guaranteed income is the most transformative policy that can achieve this vision and whose time has come."
She went on to say that "Guaranteed income is an idea that has been around a long time."
Eligible families will be drawn from a lottery to see who gets to participate. They will be families who earn $59,000 or less for a family of three, which at or below the median income for the area.
Very-low-income families, who earn below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or 30,000 for a family of three, will be eligible for half of the UBI disbursements in the program.
Neither housing nor citizenship are necessary to be eligible for the plan, and funding for the program will come from Blue Meridien Partners. In support of the plan, $6.75 million has already been raised.
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