Los Angeles to Pay $1,000 a Month to 3,000 Low-Income Families as Part of Guaranteed Basic Income Program

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
October 27, 2021 Updated: October 27, 2021

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday gave the green light to guarantee taxpayer-funded income of up to $1,000 per month for 12 months for 3,200 Los Angeles families living in poverty.

Online applications for The BIG:LEAP, or Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot program will begin on Friday for 10 days, and recipients will be announced in early January. Details on how to apply will also be released on Friday, officials said.

The city’s research partner, the Center for Guaranteed Income Research, will select recipients at random to receive the no-strings-attached payments, city officials said. The program expands the city’s initial $6 million investment to nearly $40 million.

A large number of participants are expected to be residents of Councilman Curren Price’s district, Council District 9, which has the highest rates of residents living in poverty.

A spokesperson for the councilman said that his office may be used during the 10-day application period by residents who wish to apply for the program. Computers, Wi-Fi, and language support will also be available at other locations such as the All Peoples Community Center and libraries.

“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 prior to Tuesday’s vote. “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 added.

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a similar program that would pay $1,000 per month to 1,000 residents for a minimum of three years.

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, a nonprofit that seeks to defend the rights of taxpayers, said at the time that giving residents free money reduces work ethic during a period when the country is seeing record unemployment.

“It’s horrible for individuals, in that people should be incentivized to work,” Coupal told The Epoch Times. “The work experience is quite frankly what gives people value that they’re contributing to society, and it also helps to develop social networks.

Coupal also said that the government should mandate what money from such programs can be spent on.

“If it’s the government’s money, they should absolutely be able to control how it’s spent. You don’t want people going out and buying cigarettes and booze with this,” Coupal said.

Drew Van Voorhis contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.