Back in July, we wrote about the founding of a coalition called Mayors for Guaranteed Income, which was started by Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. The group’s purpose is to start piloting guaranteed income programs in cities as a way to support people who are struggling during the economic crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
With a guaranteed income program, eligible participants receive direct cash payments each month to help them meet their basic needs, such as groceries or medical supplies.
The coalition started with 17 mayors from cities across America but is growing fast as a total of 30 mayors having now joined the coalition. To help fund these guaranteed income programs, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave an initial $3 million donation as a launch gift. Now Dorsey is back at it again, providing another $15 million donation.
According to Mayor Tubbs, each participating city will be given up to $500,000 to accelerate the programs they were already launching. In Stockton, the payments are $500 per month, but cities are free to choose how they structure their programs and the amounts they give out.
“Covid-19 has made it very, very clear to build back better we have to make sure everyone has an income floor,” said Tubbs. “We’re all taking a considerable political risk in doing this, but we understand that the biggest risk is nothing changes.”
For Dorsey, the hope is that these guaranteed income pilot programs will help inform federal policy in the future while helping struggling citizens in the face of mass job loss.