Writer, Podcaster, Activist

Assembly Campaign

In 2018, I ran for California Assembly on a platform focused on universal basic income.

It's time for California to invest in all of us

My name is Owen Poindexter and I'm running for California Assembly in District 15. As the economy has changed over the last 40 years, the rich have done incredibly well, but everyone else is running hard just to stay in place. Housing costs are pushing people out of the East Bay, while our healthcare system is a patchwork that allows some people to fall through the cracks. The time has come for California to lead with bold initiatives that lift everyone up.

I'm calling for a universal basic income of $400 a month for everyone who has lived in California for at least 3 years. This will lift millions out of poverty, stimulate the economy, help kids stay in school and provide a true social safety net. For minors, this amount would go to their parents or legal guardians as a child allowance. We can address our housing crisis with a multi-pronged plan that doubles down on affordable housing, compels every city to do its part and enforces the renter protections already on the books. For healthcare, we can bridge the gap to a single-payer system by creating a public option and investing in cost-saving public health initiatives. With a basic income, stable housing and healthcare that stays with you even if you lose your job, we can all benefit from the tremendous prosperity in our great state.

Politics can be about more than halfway solving the problems of the last generation. It's time for California to invest in all of us.

I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.
— Martin Luther King Jr.


Universal Prosperity

Basic income

This is an idea whose time has come. My plan sets an initial goal of $100 a month for everyone who has lived in California for at least 3 years, then grows that over time to $400 a month. This will alleviate hunger and homelessness, boost the economy, reduce crime and help people cover daily expenses and unexpected needs. For minors, it will also function as a child allowance. The program will be paid for with a carbon dividend and a small, gradually rising tax on all but the lowest two tax brackets.

Housing You can afford

As more and more money flows into the East Bay, the harder it gets for many people who grew up here and made it into the cultural powerhouse that it is today. Prices are soaring and landlords are looking for reasons to boot out low to middle income tenants. We need to enforce renter protections and housing discrimination laws, double down on affordable housing and compel every city and county to do its part. A good start would be to repeal the Ellis Act and Costa Hawkins Act.

universal healthcare

We made great strides under Obama, but now California must take the lead in ensuring that everyone has access to healthcare. Once we kick Trump out of office in 2020, we can establish a Medicare for All-type system in California. In the short term, I propose a public option based on Medi-Cal. We can also invest in research and implementation of low cost public health measures. Because staying in one job for a full career is now a rarity, we should establish portable benefits that allow you to take retirement plans and more from job to job.

Systemic Reform

racial justice

The racism in our criminal justice system has been the biggest driver of poverty in communities of color since the Jim Crow era. We need to end cash bail and invest in jobs training and alternatives to incarceration. Through community policing and a system based on restorative justice, we can make prison the last resort, not the first option.

campaign finance reform

Politicians are thinking about your vote some of the time, but they are thinking about donations all of the time. We need a public financing system for candidates who only take small-dollar donations and a lower maximum for individual campaign contributions. I am only accepting half the legal maximum donation for my own campaign, because no politician will be part of the solution if their campaign is part of the problem.

climate change

Climate change is here, and we need to do everything in our power to slow and eventually reverse it. I join the call to make California a 100% clean energy state by 2045. A carbon dividend will reward people for making environmental choices while funding the first part of the basic income. Clean energy represents a great economic opportunity, and through training and research, we can create jobs while saving the planet.

Stronger Communities

Protect all immigrants

This goes beyond DACA and DREAMers. We need to show the world that America loves, welcomes and protects immigrants from all countries. I support making California a sanctuary state.


Jobs Training in Growth Sectors

Though automation and other forces are eating away at some job markets, many economic sectors are open for business and looking for skilled workers. We need to make sure the East Bay is ready to fill this demand with job training programs in growth areas such as coding and clean energy.

Prop 13 Reform & Community investment

Prop 13 dramatically reduced the money available to counties and schools, and that effect continues to this day. By reforming Prop 13, we can create a Community Investment Fund to help fund youth programs, community banks, small businesses, parks, museums and more.