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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Joins Partner Cities to Announce Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a Privately Funded Pilot Program
Coalition will explore cash-based policies and guaranteed income programs in cities reaching more than 7 million American residents
ATLANTA–Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined 10 other mayors from across the country to announce Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of mayors that will explore cash payment programs in their cities for guaranteed income programs. The founding mayors of the network include: Michael D. Tubbs from Stockton, CA; Chokwe Antar Lumumba from Jackson, MS; 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; Victoria R. Woodards from Tacoma, WA; and Stephen Benjamin from Columbia, SC.
"I am honored to join this powerful coalition of mayors as a founding member in this privately funded pilot program," said Mayor Bottoms. "We know that economic security is a right and a necessity for all to thrive in this country. I look forward to the meaningful work we will do to continue to push our communities forward."
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A guaranteed income is a monthly cash payment given directly to individuals, empowering recipients to address their most urgent needs and providing a cushion for unpredictable expenses, external shocks, and volatility. It is unconditional and is meant to supplement, rather than replace, the existing social safety net.
When Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called for the immediate abolition of poverty, he had an economic dream of guaranteed income for all Americans. More than 50 years later these mayors are bringing that dream to life.
In the US, wealth and income inequality has reached historic highs. Nearly 40 percent of Americans cannot afford a single $400 emergency, and rising income inequality is compounded by a growing racial wealth gap. The median white worker made 28 percent more than the typical Black worker and 35 percent more than the median Latino worker in the last quarter of 2019, and the median wealth of white families is more than $100,000 while the median wealth of Black families is approximately $10,000. COVID-19 has further exposed the economic fragility of most American households and has disproportionately impacted Black and brown people.
Mayors for a Guaranteed Income is founded in partnership with the Economic Security Project. The coalition is also announcing a new partnership with What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative, to elevate lessons learned and expand best practices to additional cities across the country.
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A resolution in support of guaranteed income was adopted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Jobs, Education, and the Workforce Committee.
To learn more about Mayors for a Guaranteed Income visit www.mayorsforagi.org.
For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta.
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