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California city gears up for universal basic income trial. Here's how they'll pay for it.

Under the leadership of Mayor Michael Tubbs, the city of Stockton, California, will debut its universal basic income program in Feb. 2019. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

Despite recent failures of similar programs in other countries, a California city is gearing up for a universal basic income trial program to begin early next year, according to Business Insider.

Mayor Michael Tubbs of Stockton, California, where the trial will take place, announced details of the program Monday. The trial is scheduled to last 18 months.

"We hope to challenge the entrenched stereotypes and assumptions about the poor, and the working poor, that paralyze our pursuit of more aggressive solutions," read a report from Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, which is providing the money. "We aim to illustrate how widespread and episodic poverty is."

Tubbs and SEED are optimistic about the program, despite the recent failure of a three-year program in Canada that ended after only a year, and the non-renewal of a similar program in Finland.

What are the new details?

The SEED universal basic income program is scheduled to begin in February 2019 and run for a year and a half. Under the program, 100 residents will be selected to receive $500 dollars per month, to use however they like.

One thousand residences in eligible neighborhoods will be randomly selected by SEED and given the opportunity to apply for the program, then SEED will randomly select 100 from the group that applies.

Eligible neighborhoods include those with a median income of $46,033 or less, although individuals who earn more than that can be selected if they live in an eligible neighborhood.

Researchers will monitor those receiving the money to see what impact it may have on health, civic engagement, and financial security, and compare the results to a control group that will also be monitored during that period.

Who is paying for this?

The trial program will be funded by donations from several individuals and organizations. From Business Insider:

The city's basic income pilot is fully funded by private donations, not tax dollars, according to a SEED report released Monday. Donors include Facebook co-founder Andrew McCollum and sociologist Gretchen Sisson, who is McCollum's wife. The Economic Security Project— co-chaired by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Center for Community Change Action president Dorian Warren, and Peers.org co-founder Natalie Foster — is a major donor as well.

Tubbs, whom some residents recently wanted removed from office for wasteful spending and lack of concern for the community, said he wants to change the perception toward people in poverty.

"In our economic structure, the people who work the hardest oftentimes make the least," Tubbs told Business Insider for a previous article. "I know migrant farm workers who do back-breaking labor every day, or Uber drivers and Lyft drivers who drive 10 to 12 hours a day in traffic. You can't be lazy doing that kind of work."

One last thing…
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