Long Beach Mayor Announces Hero Pay, Rent Relief, and Basic Income for Some LBCC Students

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced a set of new economic programs in his State of the City address last week. These include increased wages for grocery workers, rent relief, and a basic income program for low-income students at Long Beach City College.

Mayor Garcia will ask the City Council to approve a requirement for an additional $4/hour for grocery store employees during the pandemic. The program would be similar to LA’s $5/hour “hero pay."

Garcia said the city will also create a $15 million fund for struggling lessees to help them pay back rent. This is an effort to avoid an eviction crisis in the city.

“This will be the single largest tenant assistance program we have ever launched in our city’s history, and it’s necessary,” Mayor Garcia said.

The basic income program for Long Beach City College students would be similar to the basic income pilot program the city launched last year. In 2018, 19.1% of Long Beach’s population lived in poverty, compared to 11.8% nationally. Food insecurity is an ongoing problem, particularly in North Long Beach.