Hundreds of Compton Residents Chosen for Guaranteed Income Program

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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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