California city moves forward with universal basic income program for transgender residents

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A California city council is planning to move forward with a universal basic income program in an effort to assist transgender residents in the community. 

The Palm Springs City Council has approved a $200,000 initiative to apply for part of $35 million set aside by the state for such guaranteed income programs.

In a recent report, the City Council said that transgender residents are more vulnerable to experiencing unemployment, homelessness, assault and discrimination in the community. 

The City Council partnered with local health community center DAP Health and nonprofit organization Queer Works on the initiative. 

“This proposal identifies transgender or nonbinary individuals living in Palm Springs as the targeted recipients of the pilot program. Transgender and nonbinary individuals are identified as particularly vulnerable to unemployment, homelessness, assault, and discrimination,” the report said. 

“The $200,000 financial commitment is intended to support the application and design phase,” the report added. “This phase is expected to take approximately six months and will include drafting and submitting a proposal for additional state funding, raising additional funds needed as cash match for the project, community engagement and feedback and finalizing eligibility requirements.” 

In a statement to The Hill Thursday, Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton, who identifies as transgender, emphasized that she only approved the measure to help DAP Health with its application process for state funding, adding that it’s “bad policy” for municipalities to try to institute universal basic income on their own.

The neighboring cities of El Monte, Los Angeles and Long Beach have also created initiatives to provide residents with monthly payments, NBC affiliate KNBC reported.

Los Angeles’s new program, which will give about 1,000 city residents monthly payments of up to $1,000 for three years, has already begun its application rollout last week, KNBC noted. 

The Hill has reached out to the Palm Springs City Council and DAP Health for more information. 

—Updated at 5:37 p.m.

Tags California California LGBTQ LGBTQ community Palm Springs Palm Springs, California transgender Universal Basic Income

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