San Francisco sued over guaranteed-income programs blasted by critics as racist


Two conservative groups say San Francisco and the state of California are racist for illegally giving away millions in tax money to three non-profits that exclude recipients based on race and gender identity.

The American Civil Rights Project and the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation say the city and state violate the law by picking who gets federal money based on skin color.

The suit names three guaranteed-income programs.

The Black Economic Equity Movement hands out $500 a month exclusively to young, Black Bay Area residents.

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A sign that reads “All queer rights are because of black trans women” was held up at the All Black Lives Matter Solidarity March in Los Angeles, California on June 14, 2020. Guaranteed Income for Trans-people pays $1,200 a month to Black, Indigenous and Latino persons who identify as trans.  (Sarah Morris/Getty Images)

Guaranteed Income for Trans-people pays $1,200 a month to Black, Indigenous and Latino recipients, provided they are also transgender.

The Abundant Birth Project gives out $1,000 a month solely to pregnant Black and Pacific Islander women.

“We are asking for these programs to be halted until they are no longer discriminatory,” says lawyer Dan Morenoff of the American Civil Rights Project.

“Each of these three programs qualifies and disqualifies individuals from participation and benefits based on their race.”

San Francisco established the Abundant Birth Project in 2020 through its department of health. It provides $1,000 to $1,500 a month, for roughly nine months, solely to “Black and Pacific Islander women in San Francisco.” Other races are not eligible for this “unconditional” income. Its annual budget is $1.8 million, but new $5 million in grants expand the program to four additional counties.

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Pregnant woman reading book

The Abundant Birth Project gives out $1,000 a month to pregnant Black and Pacific Islander women, because they have a higher rate of premature birth, according to advocates.  (iStock)

Advocates say that Black and Pacific Islander women need the help because of higher rates of premature birth. “This risk is primarily due to racism, both structural racism and racism that birthing people experience when they interact with physicians and other medical providers,” says Dr. Zea Malawa of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

True or not, the lawsuit claims, it remains illegal to exclude White and Latino women, especially those with higher risks of complication.

In November last year, San Francisco launched another guaranteed income program.

“To participate you must be Black, between the ages of 18 and 24, and live in certain areas within Oakland or San Francisco,” according to BEEM guidelines. Those applying as ‘White’ on-line are told they are ‘not eligible’.

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London Breed presser

San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office said in a statement that the three programs are legal and look forward to addressing the charges in court in relations to the lawsuit.  (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The GIFT project provides $1,200 a month for 18 months to “Transgender, Non Binary, Gender Non-Conforming and Intersex” individuals provided they are “Black, Indigenous or People of Color.”  The program is run through the city’s Office of Transgender Initiatives. Last week, the watchdog group Judicial Watch also sued San Francisco over the GIFT project.

The money in all three programs is provided with no strings attached, via a debit card replenished each month.

“Guaranteed Income is a temporary monthly payment made to people without any requirements or obligations,” says BEEM. “It’s an approach to supporting people, so they have a little breathing room, can take care of immediate needs, and plan for the future.”

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Similarly, the GIFT project says, “the $1,200 stipend will be provided to participants so they may focus on their basic physical and mental health and wellness without worrying about income.”

Fox News reached out to all three programs, but all declined an interview. Mayor London Breed’s office said in a statement that the programs are legal and that it looks forward to addressing the charges in court.



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