In 2019 Stockton SEED was the first ever Mayoral led city-wide guaranteed income pilot in the country, eventually leading to the creation of Mayor’s for Guaranteed Income (MGI). Now numbering over 100+ cities around the country MGI helped catalyze the newly formed Counties for Guaranteed Income (CGI), which will work at the county level across the country to ensure that all Americans have an income floor.
The success of early GI pilots, MGI and other cash-based policies (federal Child Tax Credit) coupled with the impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic catapulted a growing movement around Guaranteed Income (GI). Building on this movement in 2021 the State of California launching the first ever statewide GI pilot, providing $35MM to fund GI pilots across the state with the ultimate goal of advancing learning and longer-term policy solutions around GI and cash-based supports.
Moving from a once radical idea to a government funded statewide pilot shows how far the GI movement has come– the idea that government should provide people with unconditional cash support to ensure that everyone has a minimum level of income to meet basic needs. While there is no single legislative answer there are promising policy solutions (e.g. Child Tax Credit) and local and statewide pilots including ones focused on safety net reforms taking place in California. For example, LA county is testing changes to the existing safety net on the economic well-being of people receiving public benefits. These potential safety net reforms together with emerging success stories from local Guaranteed Income pilots suggest we are closer than we have ever been to longer-term economic security for all!
Watch the webinar recording to hear us:
- Discuss the future of the GI movement in California and nationally
- Highlight what we hope to learn through research & evaluation
- Elevate a local cash support pilot addressing safety net reform in CA; and
- Share opportunities for philanthropy and the public sector to catalyze ongoing efforts to move from pilots to policy solutions
Teri Olle (moderator), California Campaign Director, Economic Security Project
Asma Day, Program Manager, Blue Shield of California Foundation
Sukhi Samra, Director, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income
Katie Clarkin, Program Director, Office of Family Engagement & Empowerment Initiatives, California Department of Social Services
Jackie Contreras, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS)