In summary

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said his pilot program to provide $500 each month to low-income residents shows enough promise to expand to other cities.

Even though he’s out of office, former Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs is still the face of the movement to give no-strings-attached money to people of low and moderate incomes. Now he’s doing it on behalf of the state of California. 

Tubbs, 30, told the California State of Mind podcast that the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, which gave 125 people $500 each month for two years, was successful enough to convince Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint him to the governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. 

Newsom’s 2021 budget proposal also includes $35 million over five years to test basic income guarantee programs in several cities including Oakland and Los Angeles. 

Tubbs distinguished between his program of guaranteed income to low- and moderate-income households, and the universal basic income idea made most famous by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. 

“Universal basic income is the idea that everyone receives dollars,” Tubbs said. “Guaranteed income means that everyone who actually needs it gets the money, and we might not get to Bill Gates.”

Listen to the “California State of Mind” episode, co-hosted by Nicole Nixon and Nigel Duara. Subscribe on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Follow @yourgoldenstate, @CalMatters and @CapRadioNews on Twitter to engage with our show every week and see the top California news of the day.

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Nigel Duara joined CalMatters in 2020 as a Los Angeles-based reporter covering poverty and inequality issues for our California Divide collaboration. Previously, he served as a national and climate correspondent...