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Low-income families eligible for free cash under Oakland program

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Some low-income families of color in Oakland will soon receive $500 a month in no-strings-attached cash as part of a privately funded program, Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a Tuesday announcement.

The Oakland Resilient Families program has raised nearly $7 million dollars to help families of color with at least one minor child making less than $30,000 a year.

Under the plan, participants will be randomly selected, and white people — who earn three times as much as blacks on average in the city — are not eligible.

“We have designed this demonstration project to add to the body of evidence, and to begin this relentless campaign to adopt a guaranteed income federally,” Schaaf, a Democrat, said.

The program is the latest test of an idea that has gained traction around the country. More than two dozen mayors from around the country have signed on to “Mayors for a Guaranteed Income,” an organization that seeks to mitigate the effects of urban poverty with free cash.

An expanded philosophy of a universal basic income is a tenant of Democrat Andrew Yang’s bid for New York mayor and failed presidential run.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says the goal of the Oakland Resilient Families program is to eventually “adopt a guaranteed income federally.”
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says the goal of the Oakland Resilient Families program is to eventually “adopt a guaranteed income federally.”
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Former Stockton, Calif. Mayor Michael Tubbs founded the organization and said six similar programs in other cities should be rolled out by the summer.

The Oakland project is one of the largest in the US so far, targeting up to 600 families.

It’s the first program to limit participation to people of color and indigenous communities — a nod to the legacy of the Black Panther Party, which was founded in Oakland.

A person walks by a boarded-up shop in Oakland, California on February 12, 2021.
A person walks by a boarded-up shop in Oakland, California on February 12, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

“Guaranteed income has been a goal of the Black Panther platform since its founding,” said Jesús Gerena, CEO of Family Independence Initiative, which is partnering with the program. “Direct investment in the community in response to systemic injustices isn’t new.”

Guaranteed income proposals in the US date back to the 1700’s, and the Nixon administration proposed several family assistance programs to replace welfare and shore up blue collar political support.

Studies found the extra money did not deter people from working, but the measures were never passed by Congress.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is testing out a universal basic income program idea promoted by Andrew Yang during his failed presidential campaign.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is testing out a universal basic income program idea promoted by Andrew Yang during his failed presidential campaign.
AP Photo/Ben Margot

An independent review of Stockton’s lapsed guaranteed income plan found 40 percent of recipients had full-time jobs within a year compared with 28 percent before the program started

“The fact that mayors are piloting (guaranteed income programs), using political capital to raise capital to allow their constituents to have basic necessities, is a policy failure,” Tubbs said. “It’s an admission that we need to do more.”

A form of guaranteed income has taken effect during the last year with three stimulus checks sent to middle class and low-income workers across the US. In addition, the expansion of the child tax credit in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package gives parents temporary monthly payments of up to $300 per child.

A mural called "u201cLake Merritt, Black Structures, and Colorful Streets," by Oakland artist Muzae Sesay is painted on the back of the Uptown Station building in Oakland, California on March 4, 2021.
A mural called “u201cLake Merritt, Black Structures, and Colorful Streets,” by Oakland artist Muzae Sesay is painted on the back of the Uptown Station building in Oakland, California on March 4, 2021.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

A proposal by California Assemblyman Evan Low, a Democrat, would give $1,000 a month to adults with certain incomes paid for by a new tax on multi-millionaires.

Low admits the $129 billion proposal is unlikely to pass, but his plan is to get people used to the idea.

“The initial shock seems to wear off the more people are educated and realize the benefits of having more control over their lives,” Low said.

Participating families will be randomly selected under Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s income program, but white people will not be eligible.
Participating families will be randomly selected under Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s income program, but white people will not be eligible.
AP Photo/Ben Margot

With AP wires



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Suspect arrested in fatal Brooklyn stabbing

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Police have apprehended a suspect in the fatal December stabbing of a Brooklyn man, cops said on Saturday.

The suspect, John Headley, 32, also of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Friday and charged with murder and weapons possession for the Dec. 12 knifing of Ken Baird, 37, police said.

Baird was stabbed multiple times in the chest following a dispute on Crown Street near Utica Avenue in Crown Heights at about 6:40 p.m., police said.

EMS transported Baird to King County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

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Man dies after jumping from Staten Island Ferry

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A 53-year-old man died Saturday after jumping from the Staten Island Ferry into the chilly waters of New York Harbor, police said.

NYPD Harbor launch officers pulled the man out of the water after responding to reports of a jumper near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan at around 2 p.m.

“He jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock,” an NYPD spokesman told The Post. He jumped off the Ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi, police said.

The unidentified victim was removed to Pier 11 and transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 3:10 p.m.

A newsstand worker said there were “about 50 or so emergency people” at Pier 11 following a valiant effort — which included CPR — to save the man’s life.

Ferry1

An NYPD spokesman says the 53-year-old man “jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock.”

Michael Dalton

Ferry3

The 53-year-old man was transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Michael Dalton

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Kemp Lashes M.L.B. as Republicans Defend Georgia’s Voting Law

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Mr. Kemp, who is gearing up to run for re-election in 2022, has striven to re-enter the good graces of Republican voters after becoming a central political target of former President Donald J. Trump because of his refusal to help Mr. Trump overturn the state’s election results last year. A former secretary of state of Georgia who has his own record of decisions that made voting harder for the state’s residents, he is again a key G.O.P. voice leading the charge on the issue.

On Saturday, he repeatedly tried to paint the league’s decision as driven by Stacey Abrams, the voting rights advocate and former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is seen as likely to challenge Mr. Kemp again next year.

Ms. Abrams, one of the most prominent critics of Georgia’s voting law, has pushed back on calls for sports leagues and corporations to boycott the state. She said on Friday that she was “disappointed” baseball officials had pulled the All-Star Game but that she was “proud of their stance on voting rights.”

In defending the law in Georgia, Mr. Kemp singled out two Democratically controlled states, New York and Delaware, and compared their voting regulations with the new law in Georgia. Those states do not offer as many options for early voting as Georgia does, but they have also not passed new laws instituting restrictions on voting.

“In New York, they have 10 days of early voting,” Mr. Kemp said (New York actually has nine). “In Georgia, we have a minimum of 17, with two additional Sundays that are optional in our state. In New York, you have to have an excuse to vote absentee. In Georgia, you can vote absentee for any reason.”



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