We know that there are major shifts underway in our economy and that automation and technological displacement are likely to have a disproportionate impact on low-income workers. That’s why this new initiative led by Mayor Michael Tubbs is so important: we need to start exploring now how to prepare Americans for the economy of the future. As we continue to see new UBI pilots worldwide, it is exciting to see an elected official take this bold step.
ROBERT B. REICH, political commentator and Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley
It’s not well known that Black Freedom Movement leaders in the 1960s and 1970s -- from the Black Panthers to MLK -- championed the idea of a guaranteed income. Mayor Michael Tubbs, as a young leader who went back to serve the community he came from, does that legacy justice by committing to invest in the economic freedom of communities that for, too long, have borne the brunt of an economy that undervalues them. We need approaches that put dignity and autonomy of communities at the center of the solution, and this is an exciting move in that direction.
We’d like to congratulate Mayor Michael Tubbs for his visionary leadership as the first public official to meaningfully commit to exploring basic income in his community. A number of approaches to design and research will need to be tried, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with and learning alongside his team
Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator
Cities are our nation’s laboratories for creative policymaking and bold thinking. Mayor Michael Tubbs has made significant strides in his tenure to elevate his city and its challenges, and this groundbreaking effort to explore a guaranteed income is just the most recent example of his vision and leadership. We look forward to working with Mayor Tubbs and the city of Stockton as they launch SEED to help empower citizens struggling in the modern economy.
Brooks Rainwater, senior executive and director of the Center for City Solutions at the National League of Cities (NLC)
In Stockton, only 17% of our residents have a bachelor’s degree. Moreover, 22% never finish high school. It is more important now than ever to ensure that our residents are adequately prepared to enter an increasingly specialized workforce and that college is accessible to all. SEED is an important first step to ensuring that all of our families and young people have the resources to be resilient given the realities of a new economy, and to develop the skills necessary to be lifelong learners and critical thinkers.
Lange Luntao, Stockton School Board Trustee
Our fast-changing economy undervalues the contribution of many Americans, like those in domestic work and modern caregiving. The campaign for a guaranteed income asks us to think about the kind of social safety net we need to build for the future. The Stockton initiative is an important and courageous act of leadership by a local elected official. We will need many more like it to achieve financial stability for all.
Ai-Jen Poo, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and the Co-Director of Caring Across Generations
As an advocate for foster youth, I applaud Mayor Tubbs’ vision to strengthen our community by offering an unconditional gift of $500.00 per month to some of the most deserving individuals and families in our community. The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration provides an unprecedented opportunity for our emancipating foster youth to succeed. The stakes are high. It’s well documented that approximately 26% of children are living in poverty in San Joaquin County. 31% of the homeless population on any given day is between the ages of 18-24. SEED will forge pathways for our foster youth to move towards independence.
Joelle Gomez, CEO, Children’s Home of Stockton
Si no tienes dinero o crédito, no hay incentivo para las familias de bajos recursos para realizar sus sueños porque después de pagar deudas, el dinero no alcanza. Este programa les dará la posibilidad a familias como la mía trabajar para realizar nuestros sueños.
If you don’t have money or credit, low income families don’t have an incentive to realize their dreams because after paying bills, there is no money left. This program will give families like mine the possibility to work to make our dreams come true.
Inocencia Cano, Southeast Stockton Resident/St. Linus Social Justice Ministry
The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration is an important step as we look for new solutions for an economy that is failing too many American workers. Mayor Michael Tubbs’ willingness to experiment with a new strategy like a guaranteed income will offer key lessons on the potential role it can play in creating opportunity and stability. This is a bold and welcome move that will inform all who care about creating a more inclusive and prosperous economy.
Manuel Pastor, PROFESSOR AT UC DAVIS
The need in Stockton is great and the resources are limited. I’ve seen firsthand how a hand-up, not a handout, can help a family improve their circumstances. I hope this pilot does just that; help families that need a break so that they are better off in the long run.
Kay Ruhstaller, Executive Director, Family Resource and Referral Center
Contrary to some people’s popular beliefs, poverty is not caused by an individual’s bad decisions. Poverty is caused by very low wages, and compounded by the ever increasing cost of living, especially housing rents. SEED will demonstrate the importance of extra income to meet life’s needs.
Fred Sheil, Executive Director, STAND
Income is the key to achieving stable housing. This is especially true in Stockton, which has some of the fastest-growing rents in the nation. Too often, even residents with jobs and income can become homeless because they do not have the money for first and last months' rent, a deposit, or to pay rent along with unexpected transportation, medical, or household needs. SEED, for some, could mean the difference between having a roof over their head or not.