Author: lafocus

Power Co. Edison Is Recruiting Black Californians for Tech Scholarships, Jobs

Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌ ‌|‌ ‌California‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Media‌

In an effort to increase Black representation in its workforce and the tech industry beyond it, Edison International (EI), a Los Angeles County-based utility company, has developed a four-year, $1 million program to provide scholarships of up to $25,000 to eligible students.
The scholarship program is initially focused on Black men and women in California, but military veterans are highly encouraged to apply, according to the company.
“We believe a diverse applicant pool and workforce that reflect the communities we serve to make for better business,” said representatives of the company that also invests in energy services and technologies in a statement.
EI provides renewable energy and distributes electric power through its main holding company Southern California Edison.
The scholarship award is an annual program and will include tuition and targeted support services while students are enrolled at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College for the Powerline Mechanic Certificate and Class A license programs.
Eligible applicants must enroll at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College for the Fall 2021 semester, enroll in the Powerline Mechanic Certificate program, and have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) equivalent.
In addition, the applicant must be eligible to work in the United States, possess a valid driver’s license, and be eligible to obtain a Class A license.
Applications must be fully completed as a requirement and they will be accepted through May 17.
The scholarship will cover tuition and needed tools. It will also provide support services, such as transportation and childcare, for the scholarship winners through an agreement with Brotherhood Crusade, a charitable nonprofit.
According to EI, the program’s graduates may qualify for a job at Southern California Edison (SCE), and those who pass new employee assessments will be eligible to start as “groundsmen,” employees who maintain and service equipment and facilities.
EI administrators say the scholarship is being offered in partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 47, which also distributes funding for the program.
For more information, visit https://www.edison.com/home/edison-international-lineworker-scholarship.html?

Power Co. Edison Is Recruiting Black Californians for Tech Scholarships, Jobs

Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌ ‌|‌ ‌California‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Media‌

In an effort to increase Black representation in its workforce and the tech industry beyond it, Edison International (EI), a Los Angeles County-based utility company, has developed a four-year, $1 million program to provide scholarships of up to $25,000 to eligible students.
The scholarship program is initially focused on Black men and women in California, but military veterans are highly encouraged to apply, according to the company.
“We believe a diverse applicant pool and workforce that reflect the communities we serve to make for better business,” said representatives of the company that also invests in energy services and technologies in a statement.
EI provides renewable energy and distributes electric power through its main holding company Southern California Edison.
The scholarship award is an annual program and will include tuition and targeted support services while students are enrolled at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College for the Powerline Mechanic Certificate and Class A license programs.
Eligible applicants must enroll at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College for the Fall 2021 semester, enroll in the Powerline Mechanic Certificate program, and have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) equivalent.
In addition, the applicant must be eligible to work in the United States, possess a valid driver’s license, and be eligible to obtain a Class A license.
Applications must be fully completed as a requirement and they will be accepted through May 17.
The scholarship will cover tuition and needed tools. It will also provide support services, such as transportation and childcare, for the scholarship winners through an agreement with Brotherhood Crusade, a charitable nonprofit.
According to EI, the program’s graduates may qualify for a job at Southern California Edison (SCE), and those who pass new employee assessments will be eligible to start as “groundsmen,” employees who maintain and service equipment and facilities.
EI administrators say the scholarship is being offered in partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 47, which also distributes funding for the program.
For more information, visit https://www.edison.com/home/edison-international-lineworker-scholarship.html?

Black Leaders: Spending Must Include Minorities as State Prepares for Billions in Fed Cash

Bo Tefu | California Black Media

Some African American leaders in California are concerned. As the state looks forward to receiving billions in new federal funding this year for development projects, they fear African American and other minority-owned businesses and their workers will be left out.
The leaders say California has not lived up to its commitment to equitably include African American contractors and businesses in the state’s ongoing infrastructure investments. The state has also failed, they say, to include Black-owned institutions like newspapers and other media when informing the public about open bids for taxpayer-funded contracts, hiring and other economic opportunities.
John Warren, the publisher of the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, the city’s largest African American-owned publication, said that there is little-to-no community outreach when government agencies allocate funds for contracts and announce job opportunities.
“The notices for the jobs are not being advertised in our Black and Brown newspapers,” Warren said. “If they don’t reach out to us from a standpoint of being proactive inclusive, we won’t benefit from these jobs.”
Last Wednesday in Pennsylvania, Pres. Biden announced a $2 trillion infrastructure federal spending plan called the “American Jobs Plan.”
He says, if the U.S. Congress approves it, the proposal would create $19 million jobs. In addition, it would invest in research and development that helps the United States “out-compete” China and other countries around the world.
Biden also promised that his plan would also address existing racial disparities that have resulted from the government’s historical neglect or isolation of African Americans and other minorities when undertaking large-scale national development projects.
“Inaction is not an option,” the President said, chiding the U.S. Congress to pass the bill.
“It is an 8-year program that invests in our roads, our bridges, broadband, airports, ports, fixing our water systems. It is going to repair our V.A. hospitals across the country – many of them more than 50 years old,” Biden said.
Responding to the POTUS’s announcement, Gov. Gavin Newsom sounded upbeat.
“President Biden put forward a transformative vision for a healthier and cleaner future for our country, with unparalleled investments in infrastructure and clean energy which will create millions of high-paying jobs along the way,” said Newsom.
Newsom said California is “uniquely positioned to benefit from these investments.”
The governor cited how California will likely use some of the federal money, citing projects like expanding broadband access; making the state’s electric grid more resilient to wildfires and blackouts, improving schools, hospitals and housing; expanding clean transportation; and more.
Newsom said the spending will also “lift up opportunities for communities too often overlooked.”
To help get the word about the infrastructure plan out, Gov. Newsom and Vice President Kamala Harris toured an Oakland-based facility on Monday morning to emphasize the importance of the American Jobs Plan. Vice Pres. Harris held a listening session with local leaders, including a small business owner who received resources and funding from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
But even though the California state government has already set aside lump sums of money to invest in the building and maintenance of state highways, bridges, and additional mass transit infrastructure, Black leaders say African American companies have yet to equitably benefit from those projects.
The overall infrastructure budget for Caltrans, for example, includes a $273 million investment from Senate Bill 1, passed in 2017, to repair the state’s roads and various transportation systems. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for managing and distributing $491 million in funds, allocated by the California Transportation Commission. Caltrans is also in charge of distributing job opportunities including construction contracts and jobs across the state.
Gene Hale, Chairman of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, said the state’s transport agencies need to increase the spending among minority groups, “to make a lasting impression in Black and Latino communities.”
“Caltrans should also increase their small business goals on state-funded highway projects, and also continue to do more outreach to reach these disadvantaged communities,” said Hale.
Toks Omishakin, the director of Caltrans – who Gov. Newsom pointed in September 2019 — said his department has opened the Caltrans Office of Race and Equity (CORE), which works closely with the Office of Civil Rights for equity efforts in August 2020.
The transportation agency also hosted a virtual business summit to support local businesses.
The inaugural virtual small business summit included 800 businesses from across the state networking with federal government officials and representatives from banking institutions.
Despite the success of the event, Omishakin said that Caltrans struggled to get participation from Black and Latino business owners.
“One of the things we need to do is engage more with the communities,” Omishakin said. “We need to reach out more to people and businesses to let them know what opportunities exist.”
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for Black Californians in the last quarter of 2020 was 15 %, the highest in the state. Latinos were a close second at 13 % within the same fiscal quarter.
Warren said using trusted messengers like established Black-owned media publications around the state is a practical way to promote equitable hiring processes and distribution of funds.
“They have to put money in inclusive media for community outreach — the same way they did with the census,” Warren said. “There has to be a directive that these jobs be inclusively placed before us and made available to us.”
Omishakin, Caltrans director, said that ethnic media is a viable option for community engagement in Black and Latino communities.
“We’re going to step up even more on this type of engagement,” Omishakin said. “We know that some communities rely on ethnic media to get our information, so we’re going to do more to get the engagement we were looking for.”
Omishakin said Caltrans is committed to boosting equity in its funding programs and hiring processes.
One important way to address issues of inclusion issues of diversity and equity across the board, “is through our business practices, and how we give more opportunity to marginalized businesses,” said Omishakin.
Hale, who is also the CEO of G&C Equipment Corporation, a construction equipment, material, and supplies company said the transportation agency must be willing to set up goals that prioritize minority businesses for government contracting jobs in predominantly Black and Latino communities.
Hale says he also supports direct outreach to African American businesses.
The businessman and civic leader said Caltrans needs to design programs that, “specifically reach the disadvantaged minority communities and businesspeople.”

New Benefits for Unemployed Californians in Biden’s American Rescue Plan

Quinci LeGardye | California Black Media

When President Biden signed the country’s third federal COVID-19 stimulus package with direct payments to individuals into law on March 11, it extended the increased unemployment benefits that first went into effect with the CARES Act a year prior.

Supporters of the legislation say, with hundreds of thousands of new unemployment claims being filed across the country, unemployment aid is still a necessary part of pandemic relief.

The American Rescue Plan Act extends both the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) programs through Sept. 6, 2021. In addition to these extensions, each recipient will get an extra $300 of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) each week through Sept. 6.

The maximum duration of PEUC benefits, which are paid to people who exhausted state benefits before finding employment, has been increased from 24 to 53 weeks. PUA benefits, which goes to those who are ineligible for state aid such as independent contractors, have been extended from up to 57 weeks to up to 86 weeks.

The American Rescue Plan also extended the Mixed Income Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, which was signed into law in December 2020 for workers who were earning both traditional W-2 and self-employment income before they became unemployed. Unemployment Insurance (UI) recipients who qualify for MEUC will receive an extra $100 weekly through Sept. 6. To qualify for MEUC, claimants have to receive at least $1 per week from UI and have reported at least $5,000 in self-employment income in 2019.

The relief legislation also waives federal taxes on an individual’s first $10,200 of unemployment benefits collected in 2020, or on the first $20,400 for a married couple’s joint tax return. The tax break applies to individuals and married couples who made less than $150,000 in adjusted gross income in 2020. It also applies to benefits from both UI and PUA. The tax break does not apply to benefits paid out after Dec. 31, 2020.

For unemployment recipients who have already filed their 2020 taxes and paid taxes on their first $10,200 of benefits, the IRS announced Mar. 31 that they will automatically refund the difference beginning in May. Claimants do not have to send in an amended return.

In California, after a year of claim payment delays and other challenges including rampant fraud, the eyes of many in the Golden State are closely watching the Employment Development Department (EDD). Concerned unemployed Californians and their advocates say they want to see whether there would be delays in updating the EDD processes to comply with the new provisions in the American Rescue Plan, including the unemployment program extensions.

The end of their benefit year is coming up for many UI recipients.

On March 26, EDD announced details about the upcoming extensions. The department verified that PUA and PEUC benefits for Californians will be automatically extended without the need to file new claims. The department also said that regular UI claimants whose benefits ran out within their benefit year will need to file a new claim, and that they will inform the claimants of their need to reapply through their online platform, mail or text message. People on the FED-ED program, a California safety net that provides up to 20 weeks of benefit payments during times of high unemployment, is available to those who have used all their PEUC benefits. FED-ED recipients will have their benefits automatically extended as well.

On March 26, EDD also released their extended online dashboard with data on unemployment claims, claim payments and call center activity, along with other data. The release complied with a recommendation from the California State Auditor. Two audits have confirmed EDD’s mismanagement of claims during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 4, there were over 150,000 unprocessed claims waiting in the department’s queue for over 21 days. The audit established that the delays were caused by EDD and that they were not awaiting claimant action.

“We are committed to delivering unemployment benefits to eligible Californians as quickly as possible and transparently reporting this information to the public. This dashboard generally shows information about the historic volume of unemployment claims and benefits paid since the start of the pandemic,” says EDD Director Rita Saenz.

The dashboard also includes data on the number of claims filed and benefits paid each month since January 2020, a breakdown of demographics statewide and by county, and the number of unique callers and calls answered each week since Aug. 29, 2020.

Applications Open to Summer Arts Internship Program for L.A. County College Students

Staff

Applications are now open to 228 students looking for paid on-the-job experience in the arts at over 140 nonprofit organizations starting this summer, thanks to the L.A. County Arts Internship Program (AIP).

Now in its 21st year, the AIP is the largest paid summer internship program in the nation, placing more than 2,500 student interns in nonprofit performing, presenting, literary and municipal arts organizations

Students build their professional skills and connections while completing projects in education, marketing, graphic design, fundraising, production, and more. Host organizations, which range in budget size, include nonprofits focusing on artistic disciplines including theater, dance, multimedia, film, and social justice through the arts.

“Through the largest paid arts internship program in the nation, LA County remains committed in investing and nurturing our future generation of artists and cultural workers,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “My commitment to workforce development is stronger than ever due to the pandemic and is why I was so pleased to champion a motion last year to restore funding to the Arts Internship Program—a critical entry point for young people of color into careers in arts and culture. Not only does the program grow in participants every year, but it also chips away at longstanding disparities in creative opportunities. As we continue to re-open sectors of our County, and develop sustainable recovery efforts, our focus must be on building stronger and more accessible pathways for careers in this sector.”

“This kind of paid work-based opportunity is a critical way to address inequities, build an arts and creative sector that centers equity, and relieve the pandemic’s impact on youth unemployment in the County,” said LA County Department of Arts and Culture Director Kristin Sakoda. “As our sector begins a journey of recovery, interns will engage first-hand in the arts and create networks that help launch their careers.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the program timeline has been extended to allow for more flexibility for both interns and work sites. Additionally, part time and remote internships will be available. Organizations set the start and end dates of their positions, but all students must complete their 400 paid hours between May 31, 2021 and March 1, 2022.

Any current undergraduate students, as well as students graduating between May 1 – December 1, 2021 are eligible to apply. All applicants must be currently enrolled in a community college or four-year university. Applicants must also be residents of or attending schools that are located in Los Angeles County, and they cannot be previous participants of the Program. Eligible students of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply and may do so by identifying the opportunities they are interested in at www.lacountyarts.org/internships and applying directly to those host organizations. Positions will be launched at the beginning of each month starting in April through August of 2021. Interested students are encouraged to continue checking our website for the most up to date and available positions.

Extended Tax Dates Spark Confusion

Staff

Last month, the Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals has been extended from April 15, 2021 to May 17, 2021. But apparently the announcement came without much fanfare or promotion and has led to some confusion.

“I was rushing to get my taxes done when I was informed by my accountant informed me that the deadline had been pushed back to May. I had no idea,” said Keisha Wilson.

“Although the IRS do some press surrounding the announcement and it was picked by local and national news, a lot of people didn’t know that they had pushed back the deadlines. So, there was some confusion,” said Michelle Oduntan, of Santa Monica-based MMF Accounting. “Tax preparers, for the most part have been letting people know about the extension.”

Wilson is one of the countless taxpayers unaware of the change in filing dates the IRS was prompted to make in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”

The automatic extension means that if you owe taxes for 2020, you have until May 17 to pay without penalties, regardless of amount owed. As stated, those who are due a refund are encouraged to file their returns as soon as possible as e-filed returns can be issued in a few as 21 days.
The extension does not apply to estimated tax payments —made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Those taxes are still due on April 15, 2021.

While the IRS extension only applies to federal taxes, California’s Franchise Tax Board has announced that consistent with the IRS, it haspostponed the state tax filing and payment deadline for individual taxpayers to May 17, 2021 as well.

“We recognize what a challenging year this has been for Californians statewide,” said State Controller Betty T. Yee, who serves as chair of FTB. “I am pleased we are able to postpone tax filing and payment deadlines for all individual taxpayers in California to May 17. Hopefully, this small measure of relief will continue to allow people to focus on their health and safety and navigate the complexities caused by the pandemic.”

Judge Throws Out Joe Collins Lawsuit Against Maxine Waters

Staff

L.A. Superior Court Judge Yolanda Orozco has dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by Joe Collins, the republican candidate she defeated by more than 90,000 votes last year in the 43rd Congressional District race last year.

The lawsuit was filed after a highly contentious race that had both candidate trading unflattering barbs about the other, including this tweet posted the day after the congresswoman secured her 16th term.

“The Repubs tried it again! They raised $10 m to try & defeat me w/ a candidate who was dishonorably discharged from the Navy & was a deadbeat dad refusing to pay child support for 4 different children in 4 different states. We have the receipts & we’re sharing them w/ everybody!”

Last September, Collins filed a defamation and libel lawsuit against Waters and her campaign accusing them of falsely advertising, during the campaign, through printed material and radio commercials that he was dishonorably discharged in an effort to deceive the voters.

In her defense, Waters testified in a sworn declaration that the information was obtained from a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Anello.

“In other words, I am being sued for quoting the written decision of a federal judge in my campaign literature,” Waters stated.

In her decision, Judge Orozco ruled that Collins had failed to prove Waters “knew that their statements were false or that they entertained serious doubt as to statements’ truth.”

“I am so grateful to Judge Orozco for granting our motion to throw out my opponent Joe Collins’ frivolous case against my campaign, and that the law will require him to pay my attorney’s fees,” said Waters in a statement following the dismissal. “The irony is not lost on me that some of the money Collins raised from Donald Trump supporters across the country will actually be applied to my legal defense against his trash lawsuit. The fact of the matter is Joe Collins was rejected by the 43rd Congressional District because everyone saw him for what he is: a lying, conniving, fraud who has no intention of doing anything to uplift communities he took every opportunity to diminish and disparage in the local press.

“The voters in my district took a stand against Joe Collins and Donald Trump in November, and we will most certainly defeat Joe Collins when he tries to run the same playbook in 2022,” Waters continued. “We will defeat him because Joe Collins is not actually interested in getting elected to office. Running for office has become his job and a source of income to support a lifestyle as a right-wing troll and not to become a legitimate public servant.”

Black Corporate Leaders Take a Stand Against Voting Infringement Legislation

Chez Hadley

Seventy-two of the nation’s most successful Black businessmen and highest ranking corporate officials including—former AMEX CEO Kenneth Chenault, billionaire Robert F. Smith, Ariel Investments’ Mellody Hobson and former BET CEO Debra Lee—signed a letter calling on corporate America to publicly condemn the laws being introduced in over 40 states across the country to infringe on the voting rights of minorities.

The open letter —printed as a full page ad in the New York Times —referenced the sacrifices of those like Vernon Jordan, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer and the freedom riders in its call to “stand united against those who seek to employ unjust and undemocratic laws in order to divide us and thwart the will of the people.”

“Last week, the Georgia legislature passed a sweeping set of changes to the state’s election laws that will unquestionably make it harder for Black voters, in particular, to exercise their right to vote,” the letter stated. “In the last year’s general election, a record 1.3 million Georgians voted absentee, and they were disproportionately Black and Brown voters. This bill adds unwarranted restrictions on remote voting and disallows signature identification in favor of driver’s licenses in a state where over 200,000 Georgians lack a license. In addition, this law makes it illegal to use mobile voting units or to even provide food and water to voters standing in long lines. It also simultaneously expands the ability to purge large numbers of Black voters from the voter rolls for partisan political purposes.”

The letter—titled “By Erecting Barriers, Georgia is Backtracking on the Hard-Won Right to Vote— further cautioned that the disproportionate racial impact of the allegedly “neutral” laws should not be overlooked.
“This is about all Americans having the right to vote, but we need to recognize the special history of the denial of the right to vote for Black Americans, and we will not be silent,” said Chenault, who along with Merck CEO Ken Frazier are organizers of the effort.

“Georgia is the leading edge of a movement all around this country to restrict voting access,” Frazier said. “These kinds of bills have to be stopped in their tracks because you have to actually spend time reading this bill to understand what it does, and I think corporations ought to take a very strong stand in Georgia and every place else.

“What we’re saying is that state by state, in the absence of substantiated and compelling evidence of voter fraud, any actions that are taken to restrict the ability of eligible voters to vote should be opposed.”

To that end they are urging their fellow corporate leaders to join them in taking a stand noting that “the fierce urgency is now”.

Homeless Advocates Call Clash with LAPD in Echo Park Encampment State-Sanctioned Violence

Stephen Oduntan

Community advocates for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles held a press conference Tuesday at City Hall to address last weeks confrontation with LAPD that prompted cops to arrest more than 180 protesters over removing a large homeless encampment in Echo Park Lake.

At least five press members were also arrested covering the demonstrations in an area that has become the epicenter of LAs gentrification and the new battleground in the fight over the homelessness crisis.

In what began late Wednesday night, Isaac Scher ,  a 24-year-old researcher and writer  and hundreds of other protesters, angered by the sight of city crews fencing up the park, had squared off against a line ofLAPD officers when he heard a police commander declare an unlawful assembly and then give the order to advance.

Why is Los Angeles willing to fund a state-sanctioned terror campaign at upwards of a million dollars when we cant provide housing to all Angelinos?Scher asked.

Scher suffered a broken arm and after being struck with a baton by an LAPD officer during what he described as a three-night insurgent campaign under the cover of darknessfor the sole purpose of defending gentrification and terror.

He said police violence shouldnt happen to anybody, but it happens far too often particularly unarmed Black men across the country.

Capt. Stacy Spell, an LAPD spokesman, said the department had not been aware of Schers injury and had launched an investigation to get to the bottom of the facts.

The demonstration was largely peaceful for much of the night as a line of officers stood face-to-face with protesters chanting in support of the homeless peoples rights. But later on, LAPD police formed a skirmish line across Glendale Avenue and began to advance slowly. An officer could be heard on a loudspeaker declaring the protest unlawful, prohibiting people from leaving.

City Councilman Mitch OFarrell claimed the citys newly enforced effort to clean up Echo Park Lake had been a success in the ensuing days.

This week showed us that we are capable of changing the status quo when it comes to our approach to homelessness in Los Angeles, which has been a failure in the past, both for our most vulnerable residents who seek shelter and services and Angelenos who demand safe and secure access to their public spaces,said OFarrell, who represents the district and is spearheading the cleanup effort.

David Busch-Lilly, who lived at the park and has been homeless for 20 years, told LA Focus, We need a currency that values the [disenfranchised] as much as the value they give public officials in power because thats how theyre able to corrupt us on an individual level.

Busch-Lilly voiced his displeasure with the citys plan to tackle homelessness.

This is corruption when a person for political reasons can take a precious resource like hotel rooms that are supposed to go to the most needed and subvert them to destroy a homeless-built community gathering place in a park and then do nothing to help maintain the peace and serenity for everybody there,he said.

A Housing Is A Human Right rep criticized the citys lackadaisical effort to provide rooms in hotels for the unhoused population living by the lake.

The fact that when people have been waiting for a very long time for hotel rooms for housing to me is unconscionable,said Susie Shannon, Policy Director for Housing Is A Human Right.

She believes Los Angeles has become a dumping ground for many other cities to get rid of people with nowhere else to go.

Where are people supposed to go in a city that has less than half of the housing and shelter space for the number of unhoused people? We need to provide real solutions. We know what those are: it is housing, not spending more money on enforcement,Shannon said.

City Councilman OFarrells office did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story

Hundreds of Compton Residents Chosen for Guaranteed Income Program

Dianne Lugo

Compton has joined in participating in a successful program to grant some of its residents a guaranteed income, no strings attached.

800 residents of the city have been feeling some relief since January as a part of Mayor Aja Brown’s program that offers them $300 to $600 every month for the next two years.

“Guaranteed income is really about dignity, and that regardless of circumstances, that all people deserve to live a life free of terror from not having the basic necessities,” said Compton Mayor Brown in January.

Recipients of the cash were chosen randomly and included undocumented residents as well as formerly incarcerated people.

Brown joins Mayors whove instated  instituted similar basic income programs around the world. Locally, former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs was the first to launch a mayor-led guaranteed income program in the nation. 125 of his residents were given $500 a month for two years.

In Stockton, those extra $500 led to reduced income volatility, led recipients to find full-time employment, helped residents set goals, and lessened depression and anxiety.

“The people who received the cash-secured full-time jobs at more than twice the rate of people in a control group who did not receive it,” reported ABC 7.

The results are not dissimilar to what Mayor Brown expects to see in Compton through the “Compton Pledge” program.

“There’s empirical data from other guaranteed income pilots across the nation over the last two years that really underscore that people are making the smart decisions and the best decisions for their family with this additional income,” Brown explained to KCRW.

Analysis of the experiment will come from studies conducted by the nonprofit Jain Family Institute. The institute designs guaranteed income programs. Academic research will come later to see how the program may help solidify state and federal programs.

“I believe that the body of data that will be formulated through this pilot will help really lay the groundwork and make the case with empirical data that this is a necessary vehicle to begin to undo systemic racism in a tangible way,” Brown told the LA Times. “And in a way that actually can be measured.”


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