Dozens of US cities can introduce guaranteed income: list
In Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1967 book Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? civil rights leader discussed how best to combat poverty in the United States, writes CNBC.
“I am convinced that the simplest approach will be the most effective - the solution to poverty is to eradicate it altogether with a much-discussed measure: income security,” he wrote.
King was not the first to offer guaranteed income. Political philosophers from Montesquieu to Thomas Paine have also spoken out in support of what is often called "universal basic income." And the idea was recently re-popularized by former Democratic presidential candidate and current New York mayoral candidate Andrew Young.
Nonetheless, King's writings are considered the most prominent in influencing American city mayors' efforts to provide income security. A coalition of 35 mayors from Texas to Minnesota has been formed to support direct, regular cash payments to citizens and run their own guaranteed income programs. The organization uses King's words extensively on its website to describe its mission as “rooted” in the legacy of a civil rights leader.
The Mayors for Guaranteed Income Coalition, sometimes referred to as MGI, was founded by Michael Tubbs, then Mayor of Stockton, California, in June 2020 after his city launched and then expanded its Basic Income Program to provide 125 residents with monthly assistance. $ 500 for funding from the Economic Security Project, a non-profit organization that supports other guaranteed income experiments.
Impact of the pandemic
This philosophy of making direct cash payments the most respectful and efficient way to provide citizens with the funds they need has gained significant momentum during the coronavirus pandemic, including among bipartisan lawmakers who have opted to distribute billions of dollars in economic aid through direct sending of funds rather than alternative approaches. such as tax write-offs.
While the distribution of the checks was far from smooth, they proved to be the key to keeping the US economy afloat. Perhaps the most common complaint about financial aid was that it was not significant and regular.
Finally, the pandemic also demonstrated how much support Americans need.
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“Millions of households have lost part or all of their income from work in the past year due to the economic crisis as a result of COVID. It is imperative that the Biden administration and the new Congress prioritize an incentive package that bridges the income gap faced by people on the ground. The data shows that periodic payments are the most effective way to achieve this, says Stacey Rutland, president and founder of the Income Movement, a nonprofit that aims to promote universal basic income. “Ten months after COVID began to spread, it became clear that multiple payments or temporary guaranteed income would be required to shorten the economic recovery.”
Here are 35 cities whose mayors already joined to the program:
- Stockton, California
- Chelsea, Massachusetts
- Newark, New Jersey
- Columbia, North Carolina
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Compton, California
- New Orleans, LA
- St. Paul, MN
- Seattle, Washington
- Providence, Rhode Island
- Los Angeles, CA
- Long Beach, California
- Hudson, New York
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Holyoke, Massachusetts
- Ithaca, New York
- San Antonio, TX
- Mount Vernon, New York
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Shreveport, LA
- Gainesville, Florida
- Gary, Indiana
- Madison, WI
- Waso, Wisconsin
- Paterson, New Jersey
- Oakland, California
- Durham, NC
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Richmond, VA
- Jamestown, New York
- Houston, Texas
- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- College Park, Maryland
- Tacoma, Washington
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