California City to Give 'Transgender Residents' $900 in Taxpayer Money Every Month
The plan is part of a $200,000 pilot program
Palm Springs, California, is set to begin a new program giving transgender residents $900 a month in basic income.
The move comes despite resistance from the city’s transgender mayor.
The city plans to give $900 per month to any resident who says they are nonbinary or transgender.
The plan is part of a $200,000 pilot program aimed at improving the transgender community’s living conditions.
The taxpayer will foot the bill and will be managed by the LGBT activist group Queer Works, Fox News reported.
Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton, who is transgender, warned that universal basic income programs could not work at scale.
BREAKING: #Transgender Palm Springs Mayor @LisaMiddletonCA delivers a powerful rebuke of @GregAbbott_TX at tonight's city council meeting. 🏳️⚧️ #protecttranskids https://t.co/DqAuEdVm7w— Equality California (@eqca) February 25, 2022
“Over 37 million Americans living below the poverty line, the over 6 million Californians or the over 400,000 in the County of Riverside living below the poverty [line]," Middleton said.
Middleton, who ultimately voted for the plan, voiced concerns about widespread unemployment and other problems he believed transgender people face, but said UBI should be left to the federal, state, and county governments — rather than municipalities, Fox News reported.
“Transgender Americans face enormous challenges living full and authentic lives,” Middleton said.
“Those challenges have increased substantially in the past few years as transgender children and their families have been targeted by extremist legislators and governors.”
Middleton told Fox he voted in favor of the initial $200,000 in funding on March 24 to fund Queer Works and the advocacy-based DAP Health center but did not commit to any future funding for UBI programs.
Jacob Rostovsky, chief executive of Queer Works, who is also transgender, pointed out at Thursday's meeting that the transgender and nonbinary community is particularly vulnerable to unemployment, homelessness, discrimination, and assault.
"This is a chance to help individuals receive money that we can think of as a subsidy — to subsidize the gap in income that the trans and nonbinary community faces due to having some of the highest levels of unemployment in this country," said Rostovsky.
The Palm Springs experiment will be partially funded by the state, which has set aside $35 million for experiments in guaranteed income programs - something which became a hot topic when Andrew Yang ran for the 2020 presidential election on a platform that included universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 a month for everyone over 18.
The mayor of Stockton, Michael Tubbs, launched a pilot program for UBI in 2019.
Compton is also trying a similar experiment, with 800 residents receiving between $300 and $600 a month to supplement their income.