Published March 22, 2023
On March 21, the American Civil Rights Project (ACR Project), representing Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) and individual San Francisco taxpayers, notified the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, the University of California San Francisco and the California Health and Human Services Agency of our intent to sue regarding their illegal guaranteed-income programs.
For Immediate Release
March 22, 2023
SAN DIEGO, CA – March 22, 2023- On March 21, the American Civil Rights Project (ACR Project), representing Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) and individual San Francisco taxpayers, notified the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, the University of California San Francisco and the California Health and Human Services Agency of our intent to sue regarding their illegal guaranteed-income programs.
In the formal letter, we argue that the four discriminatory programs violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the California State Constitution Article I Section 31(a) (Prop. 209), as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“It’s cartoonishly unconstitutional for San Francisco and its co-conspirators to so blatantly distribute public resources based on race,” explained ACR Project Executive Director Dan Morenoff. “No serious person could look at any of these programs and tell you with a straight face that they satisfy strict scrutiny. Thankfully, California has a mechanism for its people to shut down obviously illegal programs, when their governments choose to ignore such well known facts.”
“The California Constitution unambiguously prohibits public agencies from treating individuals differently on the basis of race,” commented Frank Xu, president of CFER. “But these entities ignore the law and offer race-preferential programs under the disguise of equity. We are proud to participate in this request to halt these programs immediately and we will sue them if they don’t back down.”
The four guaranteed-income programs we are challenging include:
The Abundant Birth Project (APB), which provides unconditional cash supplements (up to $1,000) to Black and Pacific Islander mothers as a strategy to reduce preterm birth and improve economic outcomes for our communities.
The Guaranteed Income for Trans People (GIFT), which provides low-income transgender San Franciscans with $1,200 each month, up to 18 months, with priority given to Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) applicants.
The Guaranteed Income Pilot for Artists (GIPA), which provides 190 artists of particular races and gender expressions monthly payments of $1,000 for up to 18 months.
The Black Economic Equity Movement (BEEM), which selects 300 Black young adults ages 18 to 24 to receive $500 per month for one year.
CFER and its individual taxpayer co-plaintiffs are represented by the ACR Project and its co-counsel at the Benbrook Law Group.
About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.