UNITED STATES: Fundraising Starts for Education-Based Basic Income Campaign in Los Angeles
The group Basic Income Los Angeles has started fundraising for an educational project, a campaign to spread the word about Basic Income. The purpose of this campaign is to convey the benefits of Basic Income to a wider Los Angeles audience. The audience targeted by the education-based campaign will be not only the general public but also educators, grassroots organizations, non-profit organizations, churches, local government leaders, policymakers and neighborhood councils. Neighborhood councils will be particularly important in this project, there are about 96 Neighborhood Councils in Los Angeles and they each represent an average population of 38,000 people.
The education-based project proposes to select three recipients of a Basic Income grant of $1,500 a month for one year. They will then tour the city telling their own personal stories. These recipients include people in three different groups: 1) an individual living at or around the poverty line; 2) an individual who is part of a couple (can be male-female, male-male, female-female); and 3) an individual who is part of a family with children. These recipients will then be able to tell their personal stories about how having a Basic Income has improved their lives and how it has the potential to enact a transformational change in their communities.
Basic Income could have a crucial role in alleviating several issues specifically connected to Los Angeles. We spoke to mayoral candidate Frantz Pierre, who is also involved in the project and is an advocate for Basic Income and he named several issues that affect Los Angeles that would greatly improve with a Basic Income, including homelessness, gentrification, and support for the self-employed Angelenos. Regarding homelessness, Frantz said: “Homelessness, among vets and non-vets, is a concerning problem that affects a great number of people in Los Angeles. We have identified the problem root causes and we can reverse its effects. If we implement the Housing First model and provide them with a basic income to meet other basic needs, such as food and clothing, we would accomplish a lot as a society.”
The project introduced the idea of Basic Income to a homeless man, Ronald Troy Collins, and after thinking about it, this is what he had to say:
The three individuals picked by the project would tell their personal stories regarding how Basic Income affects their lives. The project believes that powerful personal stories have a great impact in changing people’s hearts and minds and that the impact of this education-based campaign could be decisive for Los Angeles, and if successful, it’s example could be a beacon for the rest of the United States as well.
Kate McFarland, “VIDEOS: Basic Income LA on Homelessness, Domestic Violence”, September 4th, 2016.