The American Civil Rights Project and the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation are suing San Francisco and the state of California over what they say is a violation of the law by picking who gets federal money based on skin color.
According to the groups, Guaranteed Income for Trans-people pays $1,200 a month to Black, Indigenous and Latino recipients, and the Abundant Birth Project gives out $1,000 a month solely to pregnant Black and Pacific Islander women.
“We are asking for these programs to be halted until they are no longer discriminatory,” says lawyer Dan Morenoff of the American Civil Rights Project.
“Each of these three programs qualifies and disqualifies individuals from participation and benefits based on their race.”
Advocates of the initiative say that Black and Pacific Islander women need the help because of higher rates of premature birth.
“This risk is primarily due to racism, both structural racism and racism that birthing people experience when they interact with physicians and other medical providers,” says Dr. Zea Malawa of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
The lawsuit argues that it it is illegal to exclude White and Latino women, especially those with higher risks of complication from such programs.
The money in all three programs is provided through a debit card replenished each month.