The gift will support Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a coalition launched in June by Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, California, which has been running a guaranteed income pilot program since 2019. The bulk of the funds will help coalition members create programs that provide monthly cash payments to residents, while the remainder will support a new pilot in Stockton, details of which will be announced in the fall.
Coalition members include Newark mayor Ras Baraka; Columbia (South Carolina) mayor Steve Benjamin; Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Compton (California) mayor Aja Brown; St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter; Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan; Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti; Long Beach (California) mayor Robert Garcia; Holyoke (Massachusetts) mayor Alex Morse; Jackson (Mississippi) mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba; Pittsburgh mayor William Peduto; Shreveport (Louisiana) mayor Adrian Perkins; Madison (Wisconsin) mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway; Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf; and Tacoma (Washington) mayor Victoria R. Woodards.
"Mayors are the moral leaders of the country," Tubbs told Forbes. "They're on the front lines 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."
Dorsey previously committed $11.2 million through his #startsmall LLC to GiveDirectly in support of universal basic income projects, including a $10 million commitment to Project 100, an initiative of GiveDirectly, Propel, and Stand for Children that is working to raise $100 million to provide direct cash transfers to a hundred thousand families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Dorsey also has given $5 million to former presidential candidate Andrew Yang's nonprofit, Humanity Forward, in support of basic income payments to those most at risk of income loss. In addition, #startsmall recently pledged $5 million to Fast Grants, an initiative to expedite funding to scientists working on COVID-related projects, and $6,000 to Oakland Art Murmur in support of the Cinque Mubarak Mural Fund.