DAILY BRIEFING: Basic income, traffic fatalities, and more

Good morning. It’s Monday, March 21. Expect partly cloudy skies and a high of around 86 degrees today. First, some news you need to know …

Proposed Palm Springs guaranteed income pilot program up for discussion this week

Transgender or nonbinary residents of the city would be eligible for a guaranteed income under a pilot programming being discussed at the next Palm Springs City Council meeting.

Under the proposal, the city would provide an initial $200,000 in financial support to help launch a guaranteed income pilot program run in partnership between DAP Health and Queer Works. Later phases of the project could require up to $1.2 million from the city.

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Councilmember Christy Holstege requested that the proposal be placed on the agenda in February, with backing from Mayor Pro Tem Grace Garner and Councilmember Geoff Kors. It will be discussed at the Council meeting Thursday evening (find a complete agenda here).

According to materials submitted by Jacob Rostovsky, Founder and CEO of Queer Works, this initiative is part of a broader effort by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. The request comes, in part, due to the state providing $35 million in funding for guaranteed income pilot programs over the next five years.

A guaranteed income program provides monthly cash payments to individuals to address the individual’s basic economic and social needs. Guaranteed income projects differ from other social safety net programs in that they provide the recipient choice in how to spend the funds.

The proposal submitted by Queer Works outlines three broad phases for the guaranteed income pilot: Application and design; Announcement and launch; and recruitment and onboarding. The $200,000 financial commitment from the city is intended to support the application and design phase. That phase is expected to take approximately six months and will include drafting and submitting a proposal for additional state funding, raising additional funds needed as cash match for the project, community engagement, and feedback and finalizing eligibility requirements.

City staff indicated any requested funds for the program could come from a surplus in the city budget as well as approximately $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the federal government expected to arrive next year.

In the meantime, the city is preparing to throw out the welcome mat to any transgender youth and their families affected by laws being passed in other states. California lawmakers said last week they will introduce legislation to make the state a safe haven for parents in other states who risk having their transgender children taken away or from being criminally prosecuted for supporting their children’s access to gender-affirming procedures and other health care.


? Briefly

Zaddie Bunker in 1958 at the Big Bear fly-in (Photo courtesy Palm Springs Historical Society)

THE WOMEN WHO BUILT PALM SPRINGS: March is Women’s History Month, commemorating the vital role of women in American history. Nowhere is the fortitude of women more evident than in the history of the desert. On The Post’s website, we invite you to get to know some of the women who shaped our city in its earliest days. READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

ROADWAY FATALITIES: A 38-year-old Palm Springs resident died due to injuries suffered after her vehicle struck a utility pole off Gene Autry Trail early Sunday morning, one day after a bicyclist suffered life-ending injuries in the predawn hours along North Indian Canyon Drive. In the Sunday incident, Palm Springs police said the woman was the vehicle’s lone occupant that collided with the pole at approximately 1:30 a.m. “The Palm Springs Fire Department attempted to extricate the victim, but she succumbed to her injuries at the scene,” said police spokesperson Lt. Gustavo Araiza. “At this point in the investigation, it is unknown if alcohol and/or drugs were a contributing factor.” The death was the second on city streets over the weekend. On Saturday at about 5:40 a.m., police responded to Indian Canyon Drive between Garnet Avenue and Palm Springs Station Road, where a vehicle had struck a bicyclist. The bicyclist was transported to a local hospital with significant injuries and died later that day. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. On March 17, a 71-year-old woman operating a mobility scooter died in South Palm Springs after being struck by a vehicle while she was in a crosswalk. 

? Today’s events

For more events in Palm Springs, check out our complete community calendar. Want your event listed? Just click here to add you event.

? What to watch for

  • Palm Springs The Musical: Born to Sparkle premieres at Desert Rose Playhouse on Thursday. It runs Thursdays through Sundays until April 10.
  • The Palm Springs Air Museum annual gala is planned for Friday.
  • Desert Ensemble Theatre begins a two-weekend run of All This Intimacy on Friday.
  • The Negro Academic Scholarship Fund Banquet will be held March 26 at 7 p.m. Information on how to RSVP, purchase tickets, and donate can be found here.
  • A benefit for REAF-Palm Springs and the city’s AIDS Memorial Sculpture is planned for March 26 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at a private home in the city.
  • Nickerson-Rossi Dance Theater presents its inaugural Indigenous Dance Residency March 26 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Desert Winds Freedom Band presents a pair of 20th anniversary concerts, March 26 and March 27.
  • Trans Pride 2022 takes place March 27 at Francis Stevens Park from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  • Palm Canyon Theatre is staging Cyrano de Bergerac from March 31 until April 3.

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