The ACR Project, for the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation and individual San Francisco taxpayers, has filed an amended complaint in its litigation against California and San Francisco, challenging a set of guarantied income programs, which violate the Constitutions of California and the United States (as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).*
Both Constitutions include equal protection guarantees. The California Constitution further prohibits granting “[any] citizen or class of citizens” any “privileges or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens.” These provisions clearly forbid public entities from choosing beneficiaries based on their demography. Title VI similarly bars federal funding recipients—the state and city qualify many times over—from “exclud[ing anyone] from participation in” or denying anyone “the benefits of” “any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” because of race, color, or national origin.
Nonetheless, California and San Francisco are using public resources to support programs choosing the recipients of cash transfers based on race, national origin, sex, and gender identity. The BEEM program makes monthly transfers to only Black Californians aged 18-24. The GIFT program makes monthly transfers to transgender individuals “prioritize[d]” for “enrollment of … Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) … and … people who are undocumented[.]” The local version of the Abundant Birth Program transfers funds solely to pregnant mothers who are Black or Pacific Islander; the state version uses a different mechanism to qualify beneficiaries, but—by its own terms—automatically qualifies all Black applicants while excluding mothers of other races with the same or greater risk of pregnancy complications.
You can read the filed amended complaint below.
* – The amended complaint was filed as an exhibit to a Stipulated Order Authorizing the Filing of the First Amended Verified Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive, or Other Relief. The amendment will become effective when Judge Richard B. Ulmer, Jr. signs the proposed stipulated order.