Pittsburgh launches 'guaranteed income' program with Jack Dorsey money
Pittsburgh joins 15 other cities promoting universal basic income
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced that his city is now participating in a program receiving funding from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, in which eligible residents will receive $500 in monthly "guaranteed income."
The money used to start the program will come from funds Dorsey gave that is allowing Pittsburgh and 15 other cities to help those who are struggling during the economic crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
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"A number of people in the city of Pittsburgh will be chosen to be able to receive a monthly stipend, basically a debit card," Peduto told local CBS affiliate KDKA. He did not specify how many people would qualify, but he did outline the criteria he would look at.
Peduto said that he wants to give the monthly payments to those who are currently struggling and who would be able to improve their lives with it. He is also looking to award the money to people of different backgrounds and demographics so that a study can be conducted to analyze how it works.
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"This is one tool to close the wealth and income gap, level systemic race and gender inequalities, and create economic security for families," Dorsey tweeted about the program earlier this month.
Dorsey gift is benefitting cities including Atlanta, Seattle and Los Angeles, whose mayors formed the network Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. That group was launched by Stockton, Calif. Mayor Michael Tubbs, who launched his own guaranteed income program in 2018.
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"Mayors are the moral leaders of the country," Tubbs told Forbes. "They're on the frontlines dealing with, responding to and working for constituents each and every day. Given Covid-19 and the need for regular ongoing cash assistance, and also the protests on not just police violence but structural violence in the city, I knew it was time to leverage what we’ve learned in Stockton and create a network of mayors and advocate with a collective voice for guaranteed cash payments."