Stockton, California and Mayor Michael Tubbs announced plans for a Basic Income trial – the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED).The project is still in its initial stage, and the design phase of the project launched in January 2018.
The design period will last 6 to 9 months, and according to a Sukhi Samra, representative of the SEED project, the design phase is being used to “solicit community input and to ensure that SEED is really reflective of the needs of the Stockton community.”
Stockton is a city with issues high house pricing, loss of middle-class jobs due to their replacement with automation.
“I think Stockton is absolutely ground zero for a lot of the issues we are facing as a nation,” Stockton’s mayor, Michael Tubbs said.
As one of many Bay Area cities on the fringe of the wealth accumulating in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. The Central Valley city went bankrupt in 2012, and for decades it has been trying to diversify its agriculture-based economy.
“I feel that as mayor it’s my responsibility to do all I could to begin figuring out what’s the best way to make sure that folks in our community have a real economic floor,” Tubbs said.
Tubbs is about to test a new way to sustain residents, the universal basic income, or UBI. For one year, several dozen Stockton families will get $500 a month, no strings attached.
Stockton racked up millions in debt on development projects in the past, which got the city into trouble, Mayor Tubbs said.
Tubbs thinks the UBI experiment will show that Stockton’s best bet is to invest in its own people.