create Winner / 2021
Guaranteed Income- A Policy Path to Equity
The F4GI Compton Pledge is a landmark guaranteed income (GI) initiative that will distribute recurring cash relief to low-income residents for 2 years. GI is simple but powerful: unconditional, direct, and continuous cash payments delivered to all residents to supplement existing welfare benefits. By ensuring that no individual falls below a defined income floor over time, GI creates a true safety net. It enables families to weather crises, government actors, philanthropists to invest directly in the path towards economic justice.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Other:: City of Compton
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
F4GI Compton Pledge has been dedicated to combating the stigmas associated with cash assistance programs and the reputation of Compton. Alongside local organizations and reputable non-profits we were able to enroll undocumented and formerly incarcerated residents otherwise excluded from welfare programs. Our team wholeheartedly believes that guaranteed income can be the policy of the future. It is a way to end systemic racism, cyclical poverty, enhance the dignity of our communities, and give people a moment to breath.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
F4GI Compton Pledge is the largest city-based guaranteed income pilot in the U.S. Our Pledge to the people of Compton is to invest in the economic self-determination of a community. Compton has been systematically under-resourced, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Located in Los Angeles County, a major epicenter in the spread of the virus, Compton has 100,000 residents, 30% of which Black and 68% Latino; 98% of residents are in high risk groups for COVID-19. A growing number of residents are relying on food pantries daily, and poverty rates have risen since the start of the pandemic, but many welfare programs exclude members of our community who are formerly incarcerated. Our team as created a direct online cash transfer program 800 low-income residents will receive unconditional cash installments for two years. This grant will help continue to maintain the pilot for the next two years and ensure operations, dashboards, and communication can continue. Additionally, funding the gap to continue adding more people to the Compton Pledge to provided desperate relief to one of the most vulnerable communities in LA County.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Pilot or new project, program, or initiative
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
- Direct impact
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
With the successful development of the Compton Pledge Payments portal for recipients and admins, we are testing more inclusive and effective mechanisms for cash transfer delivery. By including the unbanked, formerly incarcerated individuals, and undocumented immigrants, the Compton Pledge will enhance the economic security of and self-determination of historically marginalized groups. Additionally, the F4GI Compton Pledge are creating coalitions in service provision with our financial literacy and coaching partners. We are removing paternalistic conditions or requirements around the cash transfer. Any additional services offered would be optional and requests to track outcomes would be minimal. With are local and national partners, we are enhancing our movement-building efforts, capabilities, and campaigns with our partners such as the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, A New Way of Life, and Essie Justice Group.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
To ensure our pilot program was representative of the diverse culture and people of Compton we worked with key stakeholders to help ensure that the impact GI was not limited as other government supported welfare programs are structures. Our vision has been to execute, and catalyze a GI pilot centered around serving the true Compton community. Compton Pledge’s vision came true with the help of both these groups by ensuring our process was not limiting “who” would become a participant, but expanded resources and research into how cash transfers can help the most vulnerable and neglected communities. Over the next two years we will conducting participant survey’s to monitor and track the progress, and impact of the guaranteed income has had on the lives and families of our recipients. A planned full study and report is to be completed at the end of the two years.
Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.
The Compton Pledge launched in December 2020 with the support and administration of the Fund for Guaranteed Income (F4GI) and the Compton Community Development Corporation (CCDC). CCDC works with the F4GI Compton Pledge to continue its efforts and hopes to continue to provide further services, and be able to execute a report and ability to develop further policy efforts for increased programs based on guaranteed income in California and across the country.
Which of the create metrics will you impact?
- Income inequality
- Economic opportunities for formerly incarcerated