Home>Articles>Oakland Mayor Announces Basic Income Program, but Not For Poor White Families

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff. (Photo: City of Oakland)

Oakland Mayor Announces Basic Income Program, but Not For Poor White Families

Oakland City Council unanimously voted in July 2020 cut the police department budget by 50%

By Katy Grimes, March 25, 2021 3:50 pm

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced Tuesday a privately funded universal basic income program, to provide 600 Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) families with low-incomes an unconditional $500 per month for at least 18 months.

But there is a hitch – the program excludes poor white families. Mayor Schaaf says the program is only for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) (i.e. groups with the greatest wealth disparities per the Oakland Equity Index) with low incomes and at least 1 child under 18, regardless of documentation status. The term ‘family’ is defined broadly to recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes,” according to the Mayor’s office.

The Oakland Equity Index reports, “The median income for White households was 2.93 times the median income of African American households, while African Americans were most likely to be living at or below the federal poverty level (26.1%), compared to 21.9% of Latinos, 15.0% of Asians, and 8.4% of Whites.”

“The median income for White households was highest ($110,000) and the median income for African American households was lowest ($37,500). The median income for Asian households ($76,000) was similar to the citywide median income ($73,200), while Latino households fell below the citywide median with a median income of $65,000.”

But can Universal Basic Income of $500 per month help close that gap? It takes the lowest annual median income from $37,500 to $43,500. Perhaps encouraging new employers to the region with tax incentives, fee and permit waivers, and loosened regulations, would.

“In partnership with Family Independent Initiative and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, Oakland Resilient Families will be among the nation’s largest efforts to determine the effectiveness of monthly unconditional payments to residents to help overcome economic instability,” the Mayor’s office reported. “Oakland Resilient Families is a collaboration between the Oakland-based community organization Family Independence Initiative and the national Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. The project will support 600 Oakland families while building momentum for strategies to eliminate racial disparities in economic stability, mobility, and assets through a guaranteed income.”

Former Stockton Mayor Michael D. Tubbs founded Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, was one of the early mayors to offer guaranteed income to low income residents. “Mayor Libby Schaaf joined Mayors for a Guaranteed Income as a founding mayor in 2020. Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) grew out of the groundbreaking Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) led by former Mayor Michael Tubbs,” Schaaf’s office reported.

The jury is still out if the program “helps overcome economic instability.”

The seemingly noble goal behind universal basic income is to help to alleviate poverty. However, economists have long warned that UBI creates a disincentive to work.

The other issue with UBI is that it subsidizes non-productive activities, according to the Mises Institute. Rather than being encouraged to look for a job that pays enough to live on, too often people are lulled into using UBI to help fund flailing (or failing) careers as artists, actors or musicians – all very tough industries in which to make a living.

The Oakland Resilient Families website outlines its “Guiding Principles:”

Invest in Justice: Advance strategies to eliminate racial disparities in economic stability, mobility, and assets through a guaranteed income.

Invest in Families: Help participating families move from crisis to resilience to thriving in the wake of COVID-19.

Change the Narrative: Through storytelling and data, uplift the truth that poverty is a systems failure – not a personal failure.

Change the System: Build support for unconditional cash transfers and other strength-based policies that enhance the existing social safety net, rather than replace.

According to Mayor Schaaf’s office, “Oakland Resilient Families is 100% funded through philanthropic donations anchored by an investment from Blue Meridian Partners’ Place Matters portfolio, which aims to improve economic and social mobility in communities across the US through investments both in place-based partnerships and in supports to catalyze their success. These investments go towards transformative upstream initiatives like the guaranteed income pilot, cradle-to-career education supports through the Oakland Promise, and systems change work across the city, county, and school district through Oakland Thrives.”

There may be more effective ways to help lift Oakland’s low income community out of poverty, and focusing on reducing the historic horrific crime rate in the city is one place to start, rather than ways to defund the police.

Violent and property crimes in Oakland are the highest in the state and increased 38% in 2020, according to Oakland Police. While the Oakland City Council unanimously voted in July 2020 cut the police department budget by 50% over the next two years, crime was escalating. The East Bay Times reported that the Oakland City council “created the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force to overhaul public safety in Oakland with the goal of increasing community safety through alternatives to 911 calls, and reallocating police funds into programs having to do with housing, health services, jobs and homelessness.”

The Mises Institute outlined basic ways to help alleviate poverty and unemployment, noting, “the best steps to take are in the directions of reducing the cost of living and creating conditions favorable to plentiful employment.”

  • It must be easy to start a business.
  • It must be easy to operate the new business.
  • It must be easy to make a profit so the business can survive the first few years and,
  • It must be easy to hire employees.

And in Oakland, it must first be safe enough do all of this.

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32 thoughts on “Oakland Mayor Announces Basic Income Program, but Not For Poor White Families

    1. Imagine the writer of this article pointing out the racist aspect almost in passing, but failing to disavow it in any way.

  1. Hmm, preference based on race? That does not seem racist at all. I did not know that poverty skips white people.
    I am sorry folks but this should be challenged in court, it seems it would break the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is a public program and seems to be discriminatory toward one race.

  2. I hope there’s a lawsuit in the works. In addition to being blatantly racist, her program is unconstitutional.

  3. The Oakland Equity Index reports, “The median income for White households was 2.93 times the median income of African American households, while African Americans were most likely to be living at or below the federal poverty level (26.1%), compared to 21.9% of Latinos, 15.0% of Asians, and 8.4% of Whites.” Given the figures above, where is the racism of the program. It seems that Whites complain about Blacks being poor, yet whenever an effort is made to lift them up ever so slightly, Whites get jealous and want what Blacks get. As Ann example, Affirmative Action was designed to help Blacks but, suddenly White females were a “minority” and the gains that should have gone to Blacks went to Whites. Also strange that there is SILENCE regarding SBA, HOLC, VA, FHA programs that benefitted Whites but not Blacks. It seems Whites are not content to have the cake, they want the crumbs that fell on the floor too.

    1. Just because there is more rich white people the poor ones are still poor. Wtf does a poor white person living in Oakland have to do with a rich white people? Absolutely nothing other than they’re both white. Also all of the programs that you have mentioned do not only help white people, it’s a pathetic lie from you. Get some help or seek Jesus cause that hate and racism will cause you cancer.

    2. Your comment indicates a lack of understanding that not all whites are financially secure, not all blacks are poor. Would you deny a poor family benefits benefits because of their race…regardless of their needs?

    3. This doesn’t help the rich white people just like it doesn’t help the rich black people. You’re a racist piece of shit.

    4. Your logic is flawed. Jews are the wealthiest most elite group in the USA ( if you look at the stats) but if the government said that they were giving away money to needy people, but just not Jews. The world would be screaming “Antisemitism, racism, ” and all the other shit they use to divide us.
      It’s RACIST to say you’re going to exclude a certain race based on their race……this is the definition of racism!!
      There has been a huge increase in Europhobia and Europhobic attitudes in the last 5 years. It’s absolutely disgusting!

  4. This seems to be trending ways to deny white people services, jobs, and finance.
    This come straight from Democrats in upper echelon using race as a way to “convince” they are the good people, whilst they implement a tyrannical government.

    Its the Ministry of Plenty

    Like magicians they are making people look at the other hand while they do the tricks with the other

  5. Hmmm, are they saying a higher median income group does not have any homeless or poor folks??? This is very racist and should be challenged in the courts! Can you imagine African Americans were excluded from this program?

  6. Why are democrats not being called out as racists?? These programs are ridiculous and discriminatory.

  7. This basic income should only be given to people that are below a certain level of income and that are pink on the inside
    Be Color blind when considering skin color
    Being in light matter or dark matter shouldn’t matter

  8. Mayor Libby Schaaf you are indeed a racist, hateful and regressive person or an abject politician just pandering to the lowest common denominator to assure your political career. Either way, Mayor Libby Schaaf you are a divisive. Any person in poverty should be eligible for assistance.

  9. Remember when public assistance meant help with housing and food? Now we’re just giving direct cash payments with no strings attached. The money is privately funded, so they can spend it however they want. It’ll be interesting to see the uptick in drug use and crime in the months to come.

  10. Libby Schaaf and her racist income distribution scams? What else would you expect from a Marxist, secular Jew, and globalist who has lived an entire life of upper class white privilege?

    1. Great opinion from Nolte at Breitbart!
      Schaaf, has the audacity to believe she has such great political power that this will become a national program. Here is a quote from her announcement per associated press:
      “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,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said.
      The same article explains that she is honoring the Black Panther Party from the sixities:
      [The program in Oakland serves as the long-awaited implementation of a priority of the Black Panther Party, the political movement that started in Oakland in the 1960s which advocated for a guaranteed income.]

      I live 20 mins from Oakland and I can attest it is as Nolte describes a SH@$HOLE!
      Tent cities at just about every on ramp. Gun violence daily, Asian Americans have been accosted since the ‘70s.

      It is also reported that illegal aliens will be accepted into the program. Imagine that a poor white family is excluded but someone who has entered this country unlawfully is entitled to the income. There are currently 10,000 caucasian families living in poverty in Oakland, and 25,000 African American families. This should be based on income and need, nothing more.

      Again, how is this not a racist government program? They made race the issue!

  11. Hmmm,

    This is so wrong on MANY levels,. This handout is based on skin color and as such is a racist policy.

    Democrats are feeding the sheep for the next election….

  12. I grew up in East Oakland from 1958 to 1990. I’m white and I had friends of all colors and many of them did not have enough to eat. I watched my friend’s little brothers and sisters and themselves go hungry, go without medical and dental care. White families living in poverty right along with their neighbors and people of color. What the hell is wrong with you, I am furious!!! The only factor for eligibility should be income. You are creating even more division in our country because the people who believed that Black Lives Matters but White Lives don’t are having their fears realized. I support Black Lives Matter because ALL lives matter. I am ashamed of what’s happening in the city I am proud to call my city. Stop this immediately.

  13. “And the poor white remains,
    on the caboose of the train,
    but it ain’t him to blame,
    he’s only a pawn in their game.
    (Bob Dylan)

  14. Aaaah, yes! Because we grow up in a time where only BLACK lives matter now, NOT white lives. I mean it’s not like white people, can be poor, and not knowing where their next meal is going to come from, only blacks. Geese imagine being this dang racist as this mayor.

  15. Dear Oakland:
    Define “White.” According to SCIENCE (which you claim to follow) we ALL trace back to African Roots. I may look pinkish to you but I am a proud Black Man! If I walk up and put “black” on my application will you say “no?” Based on what criteria?

    Damn I wish I had a white person in Oakland to test this. I do NOT think this will pass muster and I certainly do not want to encourage anyone to hide the fact they appear white to appease standard-issue leftist racism, but this test needs to be run. Both to embarrass this Oakland administration and to make a point about the futility of racism

  16. Sowing the seeds of division and creating animosity to fuel hatred against Blacks. Way to go. Lets start a war. When we get past skin color maybe we can call ourselves enlightened and advancing our human race.

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