For a complete gallery from the day’s events, visit

Event Recap

Over two days in Sacramento this January, Economic Security California (ESCA) in collaboration with Mayor’s for Guaranteed Income (MGI) and John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health hosted the first-ever California GI NOW (CAGIN) Conference.  

Designed to celebrate the incredible work happening to advance guaranteed income in California and to galvanize the movement and its leaders, the conference, attended by over 230 people, was followed by an advocacy day where over 90 community members met with their legislators to advocate for guaranteed income and direct cash supports.

On Tuesday, attendees started the day off hearing how fast and far the guaranteed income movement in California has come from the days of the first guaranteed income pilot, the Stockton SEED Demonstration in 2019, to surpassing 46 pilots statewide! 

We celebrated the big victories, including  California’s leadership in establishing the first-ever state-guaranteed income program and a whopping $35 million investment in the field, while also charting a vision for the road ahead. Throughout the day the audience heard from guaranteed income participants, elected officials, researchers, and policy advocates about the impact of direct cash on people’s lives.  

The diversity of the room reflected the broad intersectionality of pilots, including pilots designed for pregnant individuals, people re-entering communities following incarceration, foster youth, and more. We heard about exciting new research that shows guaranteed income helps address racial equity in health outcomes. We heard about lessons our movement could learn from past successful campaigns that included the importance of narrative change work and spent time collaboratively designing longer-term direct cash policies that center people with lived experience.

On Wednesday, January 31st, over 90 attendees and participants joined us for Advocacy Day, Asm. Sharon Quirk-Silva, who is known for her long-standing support of guaranteed income policy, spoke to those gathered. The group involved 21 teams of advocates who brought their unique expertise to the halls of the Capitol, many for the first time. Guaranteed income participants included a one-month-old foster baby and a man who just a month earlier had thought he would spend his whole life in prison until he had received the unconditional cash. Teams met with elected representatives to educate and advocate for guaranteed income and direct cash supports including proposals such as a guaranteed income for graduating high school seniors experiencing homelessness, and Reimagining CalWorks to eliminate punitive racist and sexist obstacles, and a proposal to create a coordinating council to plan for a statewide guaranteed income. 

If you were inspired by the conference and would like to join our California GI Community of Practice please use this link to register and make sure you say you are from California! 





Kristina Bas Hamilton

KBH Advocacy

Jhumpa Battacharya

Co-President of The Maven Collaborative

Assemblymember Isaac G. Bryan

55th California State Assembly District

Andrew Cheyne

Managing Director of Public Policy at GRACE/End Child Poverty California

Jose Cordon

Cordon Concepts

Senator Dave Cortese

California's 15th State Senatorial district

Nabila Dunbar

Advocacy Program Manager, National Jewish Council of Women, Los Angeles

Natalie Foster

President and co-founder of the Economic Security Project

Kim Johnson

Director of the California Department of Social Services

Devon Gray

President of End Poverty in California

Mayor Martha Guerrero

Mayor of the City of West Sacramento

Shafeka Hashash

Associate Director of Guaranteed Income at Economic Security Project

Mónica V. Lazo

Southern California Program Director at Economic Security Project

Kimberly Lewis

Abundant Birth Project SF Participant

Sukhi Samra

Director of Mayors for Guaranteed Income

Dr. Sheri A Lippman

Professor of Medicine Co-Director at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) Division of Prevention Science | University of California San Francisco

Dr. Zea Malawa

Director of Expecting Justice and Perinatal Equity Medical Director at San Francisco Department of Public Health

Karina Melendez

Coalition for Reentry Cash

Teri Olle

California Campaign Director at Economic Security Project

Simone Price

Director of Organizing at the Center for Employment Opportunities

Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva

67th California State Assembly District

Adriana Ramos-Yamamoto

Senior Policy Analyst at California Budget & Policy Center

Libby Schaaf

Former Mayor of the City of Oakland

Kimberly Serrano

Director of the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at American Immigration Council

Sevly Snguon

PhD Student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Mayor of the City of Sacramento

Michael Tubbs

Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility and Opportunity

Megan Whelan

Deputy Director at the California Domestic Workers Coalition



We want to thank our generous funders for making this conference possible.

  • AidKit
  • Blue Shield of California Foundation
  • The California Wellness Foundation
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Smart Justice California


Day 1:  Tuesday, January 30

8:00 am


8:00 am


Breakfast available until 9:00 am.

9:00 am

Conference Welcome

(Moderator) Shafeka Hashash, Economic Security Project (ESP); Sukhi Samra, Mayors for Guaranteed Income (MGI); Sevly Snguon, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

9:30 am

Mayoral Perspectives: Shared Prosperity through Guaranteed Income

Speaker: Mayor Darrell Steinberg, City of Sacramento

9:45 am

Plenary Session: What GI Means to Me

Highlighting the transformative power of guaranteed income through the eyes of those who’ve lived it, including benefits to their mental health, family dynamics, and community involvement.

(Moderator) Shafeka Hashash, ESP; Karina Melendez, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO); Kim Lewis, Abundant Birth Project

10:30 am

Plenary Session: Celebrating Wins and Forging the Road Ahead

We’re celebrating big wins starting with California’s groundbreaking GI pilot program, but that’s just the beginning. Pioneers in the guaranteed income movement will talk about what’s next, from bold initiatives to changing tax codes.

(Moderator) Libby Schaaf, Former Mayor of Oakland; Natalie Foster, Economic Security Project; Michael Tubbs, Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility and Opportunity

11:20 am

Panel: What Winning Campaigns Can Teach Our Movement About Narratives

Winning campaign architects on the art of narrative transformation to catalyze policy change offer transferable strategies and tactics that can be adapted to advance our work on guaranteed income.

(Moderator) Devon Gray, Ending Poverty in California; Jhumpa Bhattacharya, The Maven Collaborative; Kimberly Serrano, American Immigration Council; Megan Whelan, California Domestic Workers Coalition

12:30 pm

Conversations for Change: Foster Youth

A conversation with Melanie Jimenez Perez (Santa Clara County) and Senator Dave Cortese, lead author of SB 333 (SOAR), about the impacts of guaranteed income on foster youth and the policy opportunities for long-term solutions.

12:45 pm

Networking lunch

1:45 pm

Conversations for Change: Pilots and Policy Makers Advancing GI

Spotlight Focus: Reentry Workers Speakers: Simone Price, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) in conversation with Assemblymember Isaac Bryan about the transformative impacts of guaranteed income on reentry workers and the policy opportunities for long-term solutions.

2:05 pm


Remarks by Kim Johnson, Director of California Department of Social Services

2:30 pm

Conversations for Change: Maternal and Early Childhood Health

Dr. Zea Malawa, MD, MPH, Director of Expecting Justice, in conversation with Assemblymember Mia Bonta about the impacts of guaranteed income on health, economic and racial inequities for Black and Asian Pacific Islander mothers and the policy opportunities for long-term solutions.

3:00 pm

Pilots to Policy to Power: Crafting Campaigns to Win

Pilot practitioners and advocacy experts share a strategic framework to help advocates develop and evaluate policies that can win legislative victories.

(Moderator) Mónica Lazo, Economic Security Project; Kristina Bas Hamilton, KBH Associates; Andrew Cheyne, GRACE/End Child Poverty California; Nabila Dunbar, National Council Jewish Women, Los Angeles

4:20 pm

Plenary: Wellness and Wealth: The Future of Health in the Era of Guaranteed Income

Our closing plenary will explore the burgeoning relationship between guaranteed income and improved health outcomes.

(Moderator) Adriana Ramos-Yamamoto, California Budget & Policy Center; Sevly Snguon, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; Sheri A. Lippman, PhD, University of California at San Francisco

4:50 pm

Spoken Word Poetry

Jose Cordon, Cordon Concepts

5:00 pm


Mayor Martha Guerrero, City of West Sacramento

5:30 pm

Economic Security California Reception

Cocktails at Smic’s 1200 K St.

Day 2:  Wednesday, January 31

8:00 am


Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel

8:45 am


with Assemblymember Sharon Quirk Silva

9:00 am

Overview of Legislative Day

9:30 am

Depart for meetings with Legislators

10:00 am

Meetings with Legislators

Capitol Annex Swing Space

3:00 pm


Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel

3:30 pm

Lobby Day Ends