NOVATO, Calif. - Mirroring similar efforts in cities such as Stockton and Oakland, Marin County supervisors this week approved participating in a universal basic income experiment to give 125 low-income mothers of color $1,000 a month for two years.
The county will spend $400,000 and the remaining $3 million will come from the Marin Community Foundation, the Marin Independent Journal reported. To qualify, the women must have a child under the age of 18.
Participants will be selected at random from among 4,600 people who have already received direct cash aid from the foundation with the help of the Family Independence Initiative.
The vote in Marin County came on the same day that Oakland announced that 600 families will be able to receive $500 a month for 18 months with no strings attached.
The roughly $6.7 million in Oakland will all be coming from the philanthropic organization, Blue Meridian Partners; no taxpayer money will be used.
The idea isn’t new, but it’s having a revival across the U.S. after some mayors launched small, temporary programs across the country in a coordinated campaign to convince Congress to adopt a national guaranteed income program.
Stockton was among the first cities in the United States to launch such a program, which provided $500 every month to 125 people.
Supporters say the goal is to show that a pilot, funded by philanthropy, can have positive outcomes that can then become new policies. When the money runs out though, the program inevitably ends.