Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, California will be giving $500 a month no-strings-attached checks to some low-income families of color.
Starting this spring, around 600 randomly selected families of color in Oakland will receive $500 checks each month for at least a year and a half—where included families will need to make less than $30,000 annually and have at least one child—and they cannot be white.
“To qualify, families must have at least one child and make less than 50 percent of the area median — about $59,000 annually for a family of three,” The Washington Post reports. “And they must be Black, Indigenous, or otherwise identify as people of color.”
The money comes from a $7 million budget fundraised through the Oakland Resilient Families program.
“There are huge gaps between people of color and our white residents,” Schaaf said. “With the limited resources of this pilot, we would like to understand better how we can understand these disparities as well as address overall poverty.”
Schaaf’s program is ostensibly intended to be temporary, but the Democrat clarifies that she’d like the program to be adopted federally.
“The federal government is the only one that can provide an entitlement to meet whatever need there is,” said Schaaf. “The rest of us have to balance our budgets. We live in constant uncertainty, much like American families.”