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Long Beach City Leaders Consider Pilot Universal Basic Income Program

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) -- Long Beach city leaders are considering a universal basic income program to help the city's most vulnerable residents.

Families will have the opportunity to apply to participate in the pilot program, in which they would receive monthly payments to help with essentials such as food and housing.

"We are gonna have a limited number of people involved in the program," said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. "We're gonna develop the program over the course of the next few months, and we're actually hiring an equity officer who's going to actually manage this universal basic income. We think it's gonna be a huge support for families especially that are struggling."

Ashley Simonini, a Long Beach resident, said that these days she could use an extra financial boost to help support herself and her four-year-old son.

"It would be for groceries and to help out my family and friends," she said.

If approved by the city council, the program would make Long Beach one of 15 cities nationwide that are currently testing out a universal basic income model.

Garcia said many of the details, including who would qualify and how many families would benefit, are still being worked out. Funds would come from grants and private foundations.

"We'll see if it works...what they're spending the money on," he said. 'What we know from Stockton is people are spending it on basic needs like food, childcare. We think this is the future of the economy."

The city council is set to vote on whether or not to begin the first steps of the pilot program next Tuesday.

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