Palm Springs’ woke council votes in pilot scheme to pay 20 transgender residents up to $900-a-month for TWO years in universal basic income test – but even city’s trans mayor thinks it’s a waste of money
- Palm Springs council on Thursday voted to begin a pilot program, giving 20 transgender or nonbinary residents a guaranteed income for two years
- The scheme will see participants handed $600-$900 a month, while another control group will just have access to existing social services
- Palm Springs is hoping to access some of the $35 million that the state of California set aside for universal income pilot schemes
- So far Stockton and Compton have both trialled schemes, giving a group of residents a guaranteed monthly sum
- Yet even the mayor of Palm Springs – who is California’s first transgender mayor – expressed reservations about the scheme
Palm Springs is to spend $200,000 on a guaranteed income scheme that only applies to the city’s transgender and nonbinary residents.
The Californian city’s council voted unanimously on Thursday in favor of the pilot scheme, which will give 20 residents between $600 and $900 a month for two years.
Council Member Christy Holstege, who backed the scheme, told The Los Angeles Times that she felt ‘incredibly proud’ of the city for coming down on ‘the right side of history and supporting our trans and nonbinary, gender-nonconforming community.’
She tweeted: ‘In the City of Palm Springs, we are proud to be a beacon of hope to the rest of the nation. We’ve worked hard to build an inclusive community. Our latest proposes a guaranteed income pilot program for trans and non-binary people.’
Yet the mayor of Palm Springs, Lisa Middleton – who is herself transgender – said she did not think the scheme would succeed, but voted for it anyway.
Christy Holstege, a Palm Springs council member, introduced the pilot scheme for universal income
Lisa Middleton, mayor of Palm Springs, expressed concern about the pilot program
Palm Springs is known for being a welcoming community for LGBTQ+ people. Its 2021 pride parade is pictured
‘My serious concern is the ability of these guaranteed income programs to scale up to the magnitude of the issues that are before us,’ she said, despite voting in favor of the pilot program.
‘I have been wrong many times,’ said Middleton, the first transgender mayor in California.
‘I could be wrong again on this one.’
On Monday night, Tucker Carlson discussed the pilot scheme on his Fox News show, and noted that Holstege herself admitted that it was a waste of money during the council meeting.
‘The bureaucracies that we’ve set up to fund poverty programs and to staff them are probably much more expensive than giving the people the money who need it,’ Holstege said.
Tucker Carlson on Monday night discussed the Palm Springs pilot program
Christy Holstege, who proposed the pilot scheme for a guaranteed income for trans residents, admitted that the bureaucracy involved in the plan would likely cost as much as the cash being distributed
Yet others involved in the pilot project – which will compare the 20 receiving the guaranteed income with 20 who only have access to existing social services – said that it was a significant step forwards in meeting the community’s needs.
Jacob Rostovsky, chief executive of Queer Works, who is also transgender, pointed out at Thursday’s meeting that the transgender and nonbinary community is particularly vulnerable to unemployment, homelessness, discrimination and assault.
‘This is a chance to help individuals receive money that we can think of as a subsidy — to subsidize the gap in income that the trans and nonbinary community faces due to having some of the highest levels of unemployment in this country,’ said Rostovsky.
The Palm Springs experiment will be partially funded by the state, which has set aside $35 million for experiments in guaranteed income programs – something which became a hot topic when Andrew Yang ran for the 2020 presidential election on a platform that included universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 a month for everyone over 18.
The mayor of Stockton, Michael Tubbs, launched a pilot program for UBI in 2019.
Compton is also trying a similar experiment, with 800 residents receiving between $300 and $600 a month to supplement their income.