A bold economic agenda for the Golden State

We’re working to build an inclusive and resilient economy so all Californians can thrive.

Latest Resources

New program helps L.A. County families claim $500M in unused tax credits

02. 23. 2024

Visit resource page: New program helps L.A. County families claim $500M in unused tax credits

Economic Security Project launches state affiliate: Economic Security California

01. 30. 2024

Visit resource page: Economic Security Project launches state affiliate: Economic Security California

Claim Your Cash Pilot to Connect Families to Tax Credits in Los Angeles County

01. 23. 2024

Visit resource page: Claim Your Cash Pilot to Connect Families to Tax Credits in Los Angeles County

California Guaranteed Income Now

01. 30. 2024

Visit resource page: California Guaranteed Income Now

Antimonopoly in the Age of AI: A Conversation with Chris Hughes and Ganesh Sitaraman

10. 25. 2023

Visit resource page: Antimonopoly in the Age of AI: A Conversation with Chris Hughes and Ganesh Sitaraman

Cashing In: Winning Big Bold Tax Credits In States

12. 06. 2023

Visit resource page: Cashing In: Winning Big Bold Tax Credits In States
Vision

Vision

California – home to one in eight people in America and the fourth largest economy in the world – is a place built on opportunity, innovation, and equity. It is a place of natural abundance, where everyone should have what they need to thrive. That’s what the California Dream means to us.

We’re working to make the California Dream a reality for everyone in this state. We do this by fighting corporate concentration that stifles opportunity, harms workers, and disadvantages consumers. We’re putting money into the pockets of people who need it, through guaranteed income and targeted tax credits. The most powerful, practical tools that allow people to have agency in their own lives.

Challenge

Challenge

California provides a clear path to achieve Economic Security Project’s mission to build an economy that works for all of us. As the fourth largest economy in the world, California is home to the greatest innovation and wealth creation in the country. From Hollywood to Silicon Valley, the Golden State is unparalleled in its ability to influence what’s possible in the broader American economy and shape the future. 

Yet, it also has one of the largest income gaps, with high-income families earning 11 times more than low-income families, and disparities exacerbated greatly along lines of race. From stubbornly high housing prices and child care costs to big gas and food prices, Californians too often struggle to meet their daily needs. A single parent with two kids in the Bay Area would need to earn $74 an hour just to pay for child care and cover household expenses. Black, Native, and Latinx families are significantly more likely to face economic insecurity and financial hardship.

Unchecked and consolidated corporate power has made necessities like groceries, care, and prescription drugs punishingly expensive. With the emergence of AI once again transforming the state’s technology and start-up sectors, we risk repeating the mistakes of the past, allowing further consolidation of entrenched power.  

We can do better.

What We Do

What We Do

We lead the transition from cash pilot initiatives to influential policies, focusing on expanding, modernizing, and scaling programs for direct cash. We actively shape state policies by drawing insights from California guaranteed income pilots, backing our case with compelling research and the stories of real Californians. We champion simple and automatic tax filing, ensuring individuals receive the credits they deserve, and building a fair and equitable tax system for all. 

Our commitment extends to broadening benefits access and equity, removing discriminatory barriers in cash programs like CalWORKs. We collaborate with Los Angeles County and community partners to connect thousands of eligible low-income families to tax credits via the “Claim Your Cash” Pilot Program (CYCP). Through CYCP, government officials will proactively engage Californians and facilitate a “warm handoff” to appropriate community-based organizations that provide free income tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This ensures that more of those who are eligible receive Federal and State tax credits such as the EITC, FTC, CalEITC, and YCTC.

To address California’s affordability crisis, we’re confronting consolidated corporate power by fortifying existing policy tools, and advancing a modern antimonopoly framework. In the fight against Big Tech 2.0, we are working to ensure a competitive and fair AI marketplace that fosters innovation, safeguards competition, and opens space for inclusive public AI development. To work toward this goal, we’ve helped develop the California Antimonopoly Table, a network of organizations committed to creating an economy that serves everyone — communities of color, small businesses, and working people.

Impact

Impact

Pioneering the modern guaranteed income movement, we partnered with Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs for America’s mayor-led first cash demonstration. Since then, our efforts have expanded to 130 pilots, with 30+ in California, benefiting 40,000 individuals, including 10,000 in California. Leading both California and national Guaranteed Income Communities of Practice, we unite over a thousand advocates, practitioners, and researchers.

Our role extends to advocating for cash at scale, tripling the California Earned Income Tax Credit and Young Child Tax Credit in 2019. We played a pivotal part in expanding the federal Child Tax Credit, emphasizing user-friendly non-filer tools. 

In our commitment to curb monopoly power, we support campaigns against restrictive contracts, mega-mergers, and Big Tech, organizing a cross-sector antimonopoly table for a shared vision of California’s economy. Furthermore, we amplify California’s innovative leadership on public options exemplified by initiatives like CalRx. This initiative has California combatting the dysfunctional pharmaceutical market by manufacturing affordable life-saving medications, showcasing our commitment to reshaping sectors and advancing public options for all Californians. 

We believe California can be the model for what state leadership should look like: fostering a robust, competitive, equitable, generative economy by shaping markets to work for people instead of corporations.

Our Team

Our Team

Teri Olle

Director of Economic Security California

Mona Masri

California Director of Strategic Initiatives

Mónica V. Lazo

Southern California Program Director

Kelli Smith

Campaigns Research Director

Jenna Severson

Senior Communications Strategist

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