Democratic Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, California, announced a new program Tuesday that would give $500 a month no-strings-attached checks to some low income families of color, though low income white families are expressly excluded.
Starting this spring, about 600 randomly selected families of color in Oakland will receive $500 checks each month for at least a year and a half. The included families will have to make less than $30,000 annually and have at least one child.
And, again, 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 detailed. “And they must be Black, Indigenous or otherwise identify as people of color.”
The money comes from a $7 million fund raised through the Oakland Resilient Families program, according to the New York Post. The program is “100% funded through philanthropic donations,” the City of Oakland noted in a March 23 announcement.
“There are huge gaps between people of color and our white residents,” Schaaf told The Washington Post, seemingly rationalizing the express exclusion of poor white people. “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 makes clear 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.”
City Council member Loren Taylor (D) argued to The Washington Post that the objective of the program is “to see how the guaranteed income pilot not just creates an impact on the individual families that are participating, but on the community and surrounding neighborhood.”
Notably, Schaaf’s home was vandalized and spray-painted with radical demands and messages by left-wing protesters last summer, less than 24 hours before a city council was expected to vote on additional cuts to the local police department’s budget, The Daily Wire reported at the time.
Photos posted by KRON-TV reporter Chuck Clifford showed that some of the demands and messages included “Defund OPD,” “Cancel Rent,” “Homes For All,” and “Blood On Your Hands.” In Schaaf’s window, there was a visible Black Lives Matter poster.
“Around 2 a.m. vandals shot projectiles at the Mayor’s home, set off fireworks, and graffitied her home with paint,” said Justin Beton, a spokesperson for the mayor. “This attack, designed to intimidate the mayor and strike fear into her family, will not stop her from advocating the policies she believes are in the best long-term interest of her beloved hometown.”
Schaaf cast the deciding vote against the $2.75 million budget cut.
— Chuck Clifford (@chuckclifford) July 21, 2020