June 29, 2020, New York, NY – The Economic Security Project joins city leaders from across the country in launching Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a new project that brings together a network of mayors to explore cash-based policies in their cities while also advocating for a guaranteed income at the federal level.
The founding mayors of the network include Michael D. Tubbs from Stockton, CA; Chokwe Antar Lumumba from Jackon, MS; Keisha Lance Bottoms from Atlanta, GA; Steve Benjamin from Columbia, SC; Melvin Carter from St. Paul, MN; Ras J. Baraka from Newark, NJ; Aja Brown from Compton, CA; Eric Garcetti from Los Angeles, CA; Adrian Perkins from Shreveport, LA; Libby Schaaf from Oakland, CA and Victoria Woodards of Tacoma, WA.
Guaranteed income task forces have already been established in Newark and Atlanta, while pilots are currently taking place in Stockton and Jackson. At the national level, there is a growing call in Congress for ongoing cash payments to support Americans through the coronavirus pandemic’s public health and economic crises. Current proposals for recurring cash payments include the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act introduced by Senators Harris, Markey, and Sanders; and the Emergency Money to the People Act introduced by Representatives Ryan and Khanna. The Economic Security Project has long supported guaranteed income pilot efforts as well as federal legislation.
“We are living in uncertain times with even greater widening economic disparity as a result of COVID-19,” said Mayor Tubbs, founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. “We encourage all U.S. mayors to join us in strengthening our communities by supplementing the existing social safety net and driving forward this powerful tool for racial, gender, and economic equality.”
In addition to the economic precarity brought on by the pandemic, cash policies are directly tied to the current national debate around ways in which to achieve racial justice, particularly in our economy. Guaranteed income has re-emerged as one immediate tactic to help alleviate the racial income gap and has long been among the platform of the Movement for Black Lives.
“We are at an inflection point in our society – we can either return to the status quo, or we can finally live up to our promise as a country in which all are given the opportunity to thrive,” said Economic Security Project Co-chair Natalie Foster. “Cash is an unparalleled way to build equity and power, and this cohort of visionary leaders will help us enact the meaningful change Americans across the country are demanding.”