Press Release

Economic Security Project launches state affiliate: Economic Security California

01. 30. 2024

ESP the organization behind the Stockton SEED demonstration and leaders in the nationwide GI movement, will unveil their new state affiliate.

Sacramento, CA – Today, Economic Security Project (ESP), known for pioneering the modern wave of guaranteed income pilots and leading the antimonopoly movement nationwide, proudly unveils its California state affiliate, Economic Security California (ESCA).  ESCA builds economic power for all Californians by championing cash policies that empower individuals, and challenging corporate consolidation, which includes devising new policies and guardrails around emerging AI. The introduction of ESCA formalizes over seven years of work Economic Security Project has led in California. ESCA’s launch is a strategic move to harness ESP’s national advocacy, research, and organizing expertise to address inequities and reshape California’s economic landscape.

“Economic Security California (ESCA) will set a bold economic agenda, applying a California-specific lens to the broader national  vision of building an inclusive and competitive economy that works for all,” said Teri Olle, Director of Economic Security California. “ESCA is looking forward to collaborating with lawmakers, advocates, and communities across the state on AI, guaranteed income and tax policy, to make California a place where every person has the freedom and stability to thrive.”

Over the past seven years, Economic Security Project has played an instrumental role in promoting economic empowerment nationwide, starting in California with guaranteed income in Stockton, and leading the federal and state advocacy efforts to implement and expand tax credits for families, including a campaign to triple the CalEITC and create the Young Child Tax Credit. Following the success in Stockton, there are now more than 130 such pilots with 40,000 individuals benefiting from direct cash, and over 100 mayors who support guaranteed income across the nation, with over 40 pilots in California alone. More recently, ESP helped chart the future of the AI landscape, including a January 2024 meeting at the White House. 

“As the fourth largest economy in the world and the largest state in the U.S., California is home to innovation and wealth creation, and is uniquely positioned to serve as a blueprint for the rest of the country’s economic success,” said Natalie Foster, President and co-Founder of Economic Security Project. “We look forward to building Economic Security California so that it has a meaningful impact on the inclusivity and fairness of the state’s economy. Our work here is crucial because when we succeed in California, we are better equipped to build a resilient economy nationwide.” 

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. ESCA posits that these significant economic disparities can be addressed through policy change. 

ESCA’s 2024 agenda includes working with policymakers to harness the power of AI for the public interest; supporting antitrust efforts to rein in corporate monopolies that hurt consumers and communities; growing the guaranteed income movement, and making the tax system more accessible and more progressive through initiatives like “Claim Your Cash” in partnership with LA County to connect residents to millions of dollars in unclaimed tax credits.

To request an interview with Economic Security California’s Director Teri Olle, or President and Co-Founder of Economic Security Project Natalie Foster, contact Jenna Severson at [email protected]

Attend the launch of Economic Security California

WHAT: ESCA unveiling reception 

WHEN: 5:30-7:30 pm on Tuesday, Jan. 30

WHERE: Smic’s in downtown Sacramento (1200 K Street)

Economic Security California (ESCA), an affiliate of Economic Security Project, builds economic power and promise for all Californians. By fighting consolidated corporate power and advocating for cash policies, we build a resilient economy so every Californian has the freedom and stability to thrive.