LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The largest Guaranteed Basic Income pilot program in the country was approved by the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday, expanding the city's initial $6 million investment to nearly $40 million to benefit 3,000 Angelenos.
The BIG:LEAP - Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot - program will give $1,000 in direct cash payments to families each month for 12 months. The no-strings-attached payments will be given to families who were impacted by the pandemic and are living in poverty.
More than a quarter of the participants will be residents of Councilman Curren Price's district, Council District 9, which has the highest percentage of people living in poverty, at 12.3%, according to a June 14 report on the program by the former Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department, which has since been split into two separate departments.
Price said Tuesday his district office will serve as a command center during the application window to assist his constituents, and additional sites - including libraries and the All Peoples Community Center and Trade-Tech College - will provide computers, Wi-Fi and language support to help Council District 9 residents apply.
"The idea of a (Guaranteed Basic Income) pilot program is one my office has been following for some time, and it gained momentum as we witnessed our country examine the racial disparities and social injustices during the COVID pandemic," Price said before the vote Tuesday. "It became clear this program was necessary in following the positive results of the Stockton Seed Program."
"It's my hope that following the conclusion of this pilot program, that it'll be replicated at the state and federal level," Price said.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a similar program earlier this year, launching a pilot guaranteed-income program that would pay $1,000 a month to 1,000 residents for at least three years.
About $27.4 million was approved for the program citywide, which includes about $3.4 million for Price's district. Price's office will provide another $6 million from its Guaranteed Basic Income Funds. The offices of Council District 6, 8 and 10 also provided additional funding from their offices' GBI funds, totaling more than $5 million. The council also approved nearly $4 million for research and design services related to the pilot program.
Further information about the application process will be released on Wednesday during a morning news conference by Price, Council President Nury Martinez, Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Community For Investment For Families Department General Manager Abigail Marquez.
The video in the player above is from a previous report.