Image via Office of Mayor Tubbs

Thanks to Mayor Michael Tubbs, a significant project will commence next year in the city of Stockton. With the basic income project known as the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), a random sample of the 300,000 residents of Stockton will get an unconditional $500 allowance per month which is $6,000 a year.

Image via Office of Mayor Tubbs

This approach is the latest trial run of a policy known as basic income, funded not out of city revenues but by individual and foundation philanthropy funds. The Economic Security Project, which is co-chaired by Facebook co-founder and former New Republic publisher Chris Hughes and activists Natalie Foster and Dorian Warren, is the organization responsible for the first $1 million. In Layman's terms due to this policy, a part of Facebook’s fortune was distributed to the city of Stockton.

Tubbs plans to launch SEED with a six- to nine-month planning period, where the city will finalize eligibility criteria and the payment amount, and request proposals from researchers on how best to design the program to add to residents understanding about cash programs. According to Tubbs the primary goal of SEED is to observe the ways recipients invest the money. “I’m excited about just showing what people do with increased economic opportunity,” he explains. “Being able to devote their time full time as a parent or caregiver, going back to school to reskill, investing in a new business. I know the ingenuity of some of the folks in my city.”

In conclusion, Tubbs says he hopes the experiment will be in effect for at least three years and assist a minimum of 100 individuals. If it is successful, he plans to expand these methods to incorporate more of the city. Although the financial situation in Stockton has drastically improved since the city went bankrupt, there is still a lot of work to be done. According to Tubbs, “It’s a great opportunity to have this conversation about all these factors. … Stockton is a proxy for America: its diversity, its people. It’s a place that’s emerging and has big bold ideas.” Continue to visit to stay up to date with Mayor Michael Tubbs and all the amazing work he is doing for the city of Stockton.

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Michaela P. Shelton is Managing Editor of

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