Compton mayor offers 2-year guaranteed income for residents

Residents will be randomly chosen for Aja Brown's Compton Pledge initiative from a pre-verified group.

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Aja Brown, the youngest-ever mayor of Compton, has launched a landmark initiative called the Compton Pledge, which will provide a guaranteed income of recurring cash relief to 800 low-income residents for two years.

The program aims to “emphasize guaranteed income as a means of pushing towards economic and racial justice on the pathway to reparations.”

Compton Mayor Aja Brown, seen at last month’s “BE WOKE. VOTE GEN-Z” voter registration event, has launched a landmark initiative called The Compton Pledge, which will provide a guaranteed income of recurring cash relief to 800 low-income residents for two years. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

According to the ComptonPledge.org website, more than one in five Compton residents live in poverty, which is double the national average. Housing assistance in the city is also at capacity, which creates economic hardship in a high-cost housing market.

Additionally, the rate of unemployment in Compton has risen to over 21% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The funds for the Compton Pledge program are being raised by private donors. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that one of its partners is the Fund for Guaranteed Income, which is headed by Nika Soon-Shiong, the daughter of the newspaper’s owner, Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Compton is the second California city to enact a guaranteed income. Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs launched the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration in February 2019, a program that gave 125 residents $500 a month for 18 months. In May, its funding was extended for another six months.

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The Compton Pledge will begin giving 800 Compton residents cash later in the year. According to the Times, Brown thinks her city’s initiative will have the greatest number of participants.

The program aims to inform both state and federal policies. Residents will be randomly chosen for it from a pre-verified group of low-income people. Only one member per household will be eligible.

The exact amount of money that participants will receive will vary. However, it says each participant will receive “at least several hundred dollars, with greater amounts received by parents with multiple children.”

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