Basic universal income has become a conversation that has gained steam again since the start of the COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, pandemic and the mass job layoffs followed. As a result, many people around the country have been severely impacted by the economic fallout from the virus. To curb to the effects of the public health crisis, Compton Mayor Aja Brown is creating a new program to guarantee a basic income for 800 residents in the community.
The Compton Pledge is a new pilot program the city is rolling out to help those that have lost their employment due to the COVID-19 crisis. The new initiative would provide free cash for two years with private donors contributing $2.5 million to fund the project.
“I recognized that there’s a need for additional income, especially with the pandemic resulting in record-high numbers of unemployment throughout the entire country,” the mayor said to the Los Angeles Times. “This is a great opportunity to address inequalities for Black and brown people and also additional opportunities for upward mobility.”
The program will be targeting the city’s most vulnerable populations, specifically the Black and Latinx community in addition to formerly incarcerated residents. Brown follows Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs who created a similar cash program back in June of this year. She joined Tubbs in establishing the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income to launch the pilot programs in more cities around the country.
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I’m honored to work with an incredible team of warriors for equity, access and justice for all. Together, we’re launching a Guaranteed Income Pilot to provide direct cash monthly payments to 800 #Compton residents for two years. We plan to measure the impact that regular cash supplemental income has on reducing trauma, increasing well-being, improving opportunity to make long term decisions for upward mobility and improving financial literacy through reduced reliance on predatory lending institutions and educational tools and training. Our pilot is carefully designed with our great city in mind and will reflect the diversity of our community, including the undocumented. We’ve designed a system that will provide free access to financial tools, checking and savings accounts and much more. Follow @comptonpledge to learn more as we implement our program. Our pledge wouldn’t be possible without our strong Community & advisory coalition partners— @drsharonilittle @iamkeithcurry @comptoncollege @principalrahh @CHIRLA @onefairwage @Comptonadvocates @nhslacounty @osopepatrisse @MBK_Alliance @Compton_YB @snangels @Original_Nation @shieldsforfamilies @ColorCompton @BCrusade I’m also honored to be a founding member of @mayorsforagi , spearheaded by @michaeldtubbs . We’re committed to launching pilots across the nation. I’d also like to thank @chambers4change for her strong support of my leadership and our program from the beginning, and the city council for approving a resolution of support! @comptoncityhall Article available in the link above.