STOCKTON (CBS13) — At least 1,200 letters have been mailed out to households in Stockton offering a chance at receiving $500 a month, no strings attached, but not everyone is signing up.

The program is part of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration or SEED. It’s the nation’s first city-led guaranteed basic income.

Since learning about SEED, Deborah Gurley, who is on a fixed income, has checked her mailbox several times a day.

“Nope, not yet. Not in my mailbox,” she said.

The letter she and 1,200 other people have been waiting for looks like this. 

The program’s logo is on the top left.  The letter isn’t addressed to anyone in particular, just to the home.

“It’s not a scam, it’s not a hoax. It’s a chance to be part of this groundbreaking program,” said Mayor Michael Tubbs.

A team of independent researchers randomly selected 1,200 households where the median income is at or below $46,000.  From the group, 100 will be selected to receive $500 a month for 18 months. But the response has been slow.

“We’re looking for at least half of the folks who have received the letter to respond back because it gives the evaluators a chance to select the 100 people from that group,” said Tubbs.

SEED is looking to study how an extra $500 will impact people’s health and stress level. They are looking to see if people feel financially secure.

“I told my mom, I said if you get it, let me apply, and she was like, ‘no I’m going to apply because I pay the rent here, but we can share it,’” said Tammy Gaytan who wants to share the money with her mom if she gets the letter.

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Researchers hope people interested will respond by December 23.  Otherwise, it’s back to the drawing board.

“If half the people don’t respond, our research team, our evaluators will find a way to make sure we get a sample size that is representative of the city,” said Tubbs.

If push comes to shove, leaders with SEED will likely send more letters out. For now, researchers are hoping to get enough responses to reflect the number of letters sent out to people.

Comments (41)
  1. Steve Hollar says:

    People tend to live and spend according to what they get, no matter how much it is. That extra $500 will just be spent on more worthless junk and everyone will soon be right back where they started, in debt. Liberals never learn.

  2. “Anti-racists” say there’s a RACE problem. They say it’ll be solved when non-Whites pour into ALL & ONLY White nations and “assimilate” to get a brown mixture.

    They say only White nations have this RACE problem; they say non-White nations are fine.

    If I object to my own genocide these “anti-racists” say I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they’re anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  3. Bruce Harwell says:

    Maybe if their mailer didn’t look so much like junk mail, fewer people would have thrown it away.

    1. when you think about it, it is junk mail.

  4. Ronald G Miner Jr says:

    Giving away the money that someone else earned…Taxation is theft

  5. Dan Komperda says:

    Signing up is way too stressful and unfair. It would be better if the government just went door to door and handed out cash. Why make the citizens have to go through that agony of signing up?

  6. Mark A Walter says:

    BS, giving people free money. Bankrupt state giving away money they don’t have. Politicians counting on buying their votes, raising taxes, threaten default on the bogus loans, and beg for money from the Fed to relieve the debt. Better idea LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS!

  7. Evan Davis says:

    They should also check the stress level of those who pay the taxes for these freebies.

  8. Bailey Moad says:

    Has it occurred to anyone that these folks are hiding from credit collectors, the IRS and other entities so they don’t live at the address you mailed the freebie notice to or that they don’t want you to know where they live because then…….. the gig is up and $500 isn’t worth it. Also, I’ve asked before but can’t find an answer so here I go again. Is this $500 city/state and federally taxed? And if not, why not and if so, what does that $500 really amount to?

    1. Zachary Reed says:

      Has it occurred to you that the article refers to Stockholm Sweden? I don’t know if they have an IRS. They also don’t have state tax, no states. All people see is gov’t giving away free money and never stop to look and see if it’s their gov’t.

      1. Dave Hardesty says:

        Read Zachary Reed, read. The article is written about STOCKTON CALIFORNIA, not Stockholm Sweden. Stockton is the county seat of San Joaquin county IN California. Stockholm is the Capital of Sweden. Did it ever occur to you that you are ignorant?

  9. Abriana Zinich says:

    So, when the program utterly fails, and it will, what will happen to these people when they take the money they are accustomed to, away???

    If people can barely live off of what they get now, they will incorporate this $500 into their budgets and then when it is taken away, they will be worse off.

    This has been tried in other places, and all attempts have failed. Finland and Canada, most recently stopped their program and said they were failures. Finland came to the conclusion that they were actually paying people NOT to work. (who could not see that?)

    This program will end up costing tax payers more than $1M. ($6,000 per year x 1.5 years) x 100 people = $900,000. Then add to that the program costs, all the people involved, their paychecks, and the costs for implementation, paperwork, bank account, checks issued, etc…

    This money would have been better put to use in building a low income housing unit, and have long term effects on those who need housing.

  10. Frederick Whatley says:

    Huh, ordinary people with more dignity than politicians who grovel for their vote. Whodathunkit?

  11. Kevin Bearly says:

    The people involved in this are just plain immoral. Democrats love keeping blacks under control and on the welfare plantation so they will not compete with them.

  12. I am a proud three year escapee of Stockton California. After having my home burglarized, my stolen credit cards used to pay the utility bills, buy groceries, pay loan payments and buy clothes for ONE INDIVIDUAL, that joke, called the police force there, told me that they couldn’t do anything about it because of “budget problems”! When I asked for the thief’s name they actually told me that that was confidential and it would be violating the thief’s rights to provide the name!!!!!!!!!! The thief obviously knew that they wouldn’t be arrested or prosecuted, to be that blatant, so this must be a common occurrence! ! They said that they couldn’t do anything to arrest the obvious thief because they didn’t have the funds to arrest and prosecute them! Their real function is not to protect and enforce the law, but to issue traffic tickets for revenue enhancement! And yet now they can give money away there!

  13. briang123 says:

    This is a Trump scam designed to get dumb Republicans looking a handout to vote for him. I don’t blame people for telling Trump where he can stick it.

  14. Mike Arvand says:

    That’s liberals for you. too f-ing lazy even to sign up for free money.

  15. Ben BeeBell says:

    @briang123 What’s up is down and what’s down is up in your world. Get a clue.

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