AD15 candidate who evangelized for Universal Basic Income, withdraws; endorses Beckles

Owen Poindexter and Jovanka Beckles at
a candidate forum last January in Albany.

15TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
–ELECTION 2018–
Jovanka Beckles‘ bid for one of two seats in the highly-competitive 15th Assembly District primary, has gained the support of one of the field’s most consistent progressive candidates.

Owen Poindexter, who has gained attention for his support of Universal Basic Income, announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing from the race and endorsing Beckles’ equally progressive campaign.

“From early in the race I recognized Jovanka as someone who understands the need for truly bold action to lift everyone up in these challenging times. It was no surprise to me when I learned she supports universal basic income, a groundbreaking policy that would bring us toward a California that truly reflects our progressive values,” said Poindexter. “Jovanka has already done so much to advance the cause of corporate-free politics. She is the sort of revolutionary candidate that can move the progressive agenda nationwide.”

Beckles said she will adopt the concept of Universal Basic Income, in which the government pays individuals without conditions. The idea has gained greater attention as greater automation of the workplace becomes more pervasive and jobs become scarce.

At every candidate forum over the past five months Poindexter has raised the issue. Subsequently, becoming known as the “Basic Income Guy.” His grasp of the issue also gained the attention of some East Bay elected officials who have described Poindexter as a future political prospect.

It’s unclear, though, whether Poindexter’s endorsement will mean much to Beckles in terms of additional votes. Poindexter was projected to finish in the bottom fourth of the 12-candidate June primary. He will still appear on the June 5 ballot. (Vote-By-Mail ballots arrive in mailboxes starting May 7.)

The move, however, gives Beckles another opportunity to highlight her progressive credentials. As a Richmond councilmember, Beckles helped pass some of the most progressive legislation in the East Bay, leading the way on minimum wage, sanctuary city, and rent control, among other issues.

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