California County To Fund Universal Basic Income Program That Restricts Initial Participants By Race And Sex

Supervisors in Marin County, California plan to contribute funds to a universal basic income program that restricts initial participants on the basis of race and sex. The program will be done in conjunction with the Marin Community Foundation.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, the foundation will spend $3 million in order to provide $1,000 to 125 low-income women each month for the duration of two years. The women must also have a child who is under 18 years old. The program will also be restricted to “non-White women,” per the outlet. The county supervisors have approved the use of $400,000 to be contributed to the initiative.

Barbara Clifton Zarate, the foundation’s director of economic opportunity, said that people who participate in the trial will be randomly chosen from 4,600 people who have already gotten direct cash aid from the organization with the assistance of the Family Independence Initiative.

Thomas Peters, the foundation’s chief executive, said in an email to the journal, “This first cohort will focus on low-income moms of color … We’re starting with those moms with the greatest aggregate of challenges: low income, young children and facing the daily travails and insults of overt and covert racial discrimination.”

Fox News requested a comment on the initiative and wondered whether the foundation thought it discriminated against certain people. The outlet reports, “Peters said that ‘this initial program’ is directed at women of color who carry a ‘double-weighted burden in their path to self-sufficiency’ and that the reason to target women of color specifically was ‘not for any reason of exclusion, but because we are laser-focused on an area of greatest need.’”

Peters said,”Our pilot program is the next phase in a research study we conducted last year focused on low-income Moms who are struggling to care for their families and better their educational and economic standing.  No surprise but still quite dismaying, we found that the women who are grappling with the most serious difficulties of all are Moms of color, who face not only financial challenges but the daily imposition of overt and covert discrimination … A double-weighted burden in their path to self-sufficiency. So yes, this initial pilot program is directed to them, not for any reasons of exclusion but because we are laser-focused on an area of greatest need. Proudly so.”

Some in support of the move compared it to reparations.

The journal reports:

“This is a great start,” said Charlene Eldon, a Sausalito resident. “Black people in Marin City and the county at large are owed reparations.”

Muse, the county’s equity officer, noted that the City Council of Evanston, Illinois, voted on Tuesday to pay reparations of $25,000 per family to African Americans.

“What is happening really needs to be highlighted as a critical turning point,” Muse said. “It’s a start; it’s nowhere near where people need to be.” 

Supervisor Damon Connolly voted in favor of the move, but he had concerns about the eligibility restrictions. “When I hear the geographic specificity, I’m hearing my district, District 1, is not included,” Connolly said, according to the local journal. “I know there are many single moms who would otherwise fit the criteria for the need and opportunity presented by this program.”

Johnathan Logan, a foundation vice president, told the Board of Supervisors before the unanimous vote, “The ultimate endgame for this demonstration project is to have an example of how cash aid can be really helpful in terms of alleviating poverty, to test the usefulness of this approach to addressing poverty and addressing some of the racial inequities that we know exist in the county and beyond.”

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