Frequently Asked Questions


What is seed and how does it work?

Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, or SEED, is the country’s first city-led guaranteed income initiative.

SEED is born out of the simple belief that the best investment we can make is in our people. Beginning February 2019, we will give randomly selected residents in Stockton a guaranteed income of $500 a month, for 18 months. A hand-up, rather than a hand-out, SEED seeks to empower its recipients financially and to prove to supporters and skeptics alike that poverty results from a lack of cash, not character.

How many recipients were selected, and how?

SEED has 130 recipients total. This includes 125 recipients with an additional 5 to account for medical attrition over the 18 month period.

Our eligibility criteria were simple -  a recipient must be at least 18 years of age and occupy a residence in the City of Stockton in a neighborhood where the median income is at or below $46,033. To identify recipients, we sent application letters to randomly selected households at the end of 2018. From those who replied to the letter, 130 recipients total were randomly selected to receive the guaranteed income. This includes 125 recipients with an additional 5 to account for medical attrition over the 18 month period.  Those who responded, but were not selected for the $500, were invited to participate in the research as a member of a comparison group.

What is medical attrition?

Medical attrition is when someone is medically unable to continue participating in a research study due to a pre-existing condition, unexpected severe illness, or unexpected accident.  

I wasn’t selected as a recipient. Do I still have a chance to receive the $500?

Unfortunately, no. Even if you have not been selected to participate in SEED, the Office of Mayor Michael D. Tubbs and the City of Stockton are here to help residents of our city succeed. The City offers a number of other resources. For more info visit:

How will we know if SEED is successful?

Independent evaluators will conduct an impact evaluation of SEED. They will publish a study findings report at the end of the demonstration outlining what happened and the impact the additional income had on recipients.

We have partnered with two independent evaluators, Dr. Stacia West of the University of Tennessee and Dr. Amy Castro Baker of the University of Pennsylvania, to conduct an impact evaluation on SEED. In addition to understanding how people spend the money, the impact evaluation will measure outcomes around financial security, health and wellness.

If SEED works, will it be expanded to all of Stockton?

SEED was intentionally designed as an 18-month demonstration and current funding limits our ability to expand to all of Stockton. However, our hope is that the data and stories produced by our demonstration will lead to a guaranteed income being adopted at either the state or national level.

When will the research data be available and shared with the public?

A first-year report will be shared in  2020. Final findings will be published in 2021. Read more about our research in our pre-analysis plan here.

Along the way, however, we will be sharing data in real-time on a community dashboard. This dashboard will go live in Fall 2019, and will be updated monthly after that. Check our website regularly for how you can help shape what this dashboard looks like!

What is the storytelling cohort?

The storytelling cohort is a group of 25 SEED recipients who have volunteered to share their experience with SEED publicly. Members of this cohort are still participating in our research and evaluation, as part of our ‘politically purposive’ sample, but their data will be kept separate from the main sample of 100 recipients.  

Contact information for this storytelling cohort will not be made public. All requests for interviews with members of the storytelling cohort should be directed to

What about the other 100 recipients? Will we ever meet them?

No. As with any research study, the identities of the remaining, non-storytelling recipients cannot be shared and their contact information will not be made public.

What is a guaranteed income?

A guaranteed income is a recurring cash payment provided monthly to residents of a specific location regardless of employment status.

Millions of households in the United States experience financial instability. As many as 89% of Americans see their income fluctuate by more than 5% month to month and 60% see changes in spending greater than 30% from month to month. A guaranteed income is intended to help smooth the volatility that these households experience. By providing a minimum income each month, we believe households will be better able to plan, meet their basic needs, become self-sufficient, and achieve more of their potential.

How is SEED funded?

SEED is 100%  funded by private donations. No taxpayer dollars are being used to execute the demonstration.

We have received generous support from The Economic Security Project, as well as other donors across the country to enable us to test this idea. No taxpayer dollars are being used towards SEED.

How is the guaranteed income be distributed?

SEED has partnered with Community Financial Resources to provide pre-paid debit cards to the guaranteed income recipients.


How can I volunteer with SEED?

If you are interested in volunteering with SEED, please contact In your mail to us, please include a copy of your resume, and please highlight your area of expertise and the ways you believe you could contribute to SEED.

I still have more questions. How can I get more information?

Check out our recent discussion paper outlining our vision for the project.

Please continue to check our website for updates, or follow us on social media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram. If you have a specific question, please contact or call us at: 209-203-0201. Please do NOT direct phone calls to City Hall.