OUR PRIORITIES | GUARANTEED MINIMUM INCOME
GUARANTEED MINIMUM INCOME PILOT
During the pandemic, it quickly became clear that many of our neighbors had no safety net. We saw people with no income and worried about eviction who had to stand in long lines for food while they were worried about how they would pay their utility bills or buy clothing for their children. However, economic insecurity, and the cumulative and generational damage it does, is not new. The wealth gap and income inequality are getting worse. The pandemic simply shined a light on just how deep and pervasive the economic divides are in our society.
Just as economic insecurity isn’t new, neither is the concept of Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI). Thinkers and leaders as different as Thomas Paine, Milton Friedman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Nixon have all argued that a modest, unrestricted monthly income for low-income people is a sound investment. Just recently, the Biden-Harris Administration instituted the Child Tax Credit, which functions in much the same way as GMI, but for now it is temporary, and, in the long term, subject to political whim.
People shouldn’t have to work three jobs to make ends meet. And no one in our well-resourced city should have to worry about how they will feed their family. In Chelsea, Massachusetts, Stockton, California and other American cities, there is data that show positive outcomes.
As Mayor, John will join Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a group established by former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, comprised of city leaders who are exploring or piloting GMI. Using American Rescue Plan Funds, and with help from philanthropic partners, will work with community members to identify a group of low-wage workers -- child care workers, single mother-headed households, Boston Public School families experiencing homelessness, youth aging out of foster care - and create a pilot designed to highlight long-term, sustainable benefits. John will work with stakeholders to design a program that can be scaled, with help from the federal government, to provide economic security for all low-income Bostonians who need it.