Tubbs has been able to extend the program through January to help meet some of the stresses the Trump-driven pandemic has brought to his city. But his example, considered radical just a couple of years ago, is finding its way into other mayoral platforms and policy pushes. CBS reports that mayors in at least 25 cities are pledging their support for similar UBI-style pilot programs.
To be sure, Mayor Tubbs is not the first to push for a universal basic income program and the global pandemic and the Republican Party’s refusal to truly help out American citizens with more of an income-based CARES package, is leading many more localities and states to consider what they can and cannot offer their citizens going forward. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang got a considerable amount of traction for his one major policy platform: Universal Basic Income. Now, states cannot print money, and budgets are a disaster since the Trump administration allowed our public health crisis to spiral out of control and into an impending financial disaster.
Mayors in Atlanta and Los Angeles are pushing for a federal program that would help try out universal basic income programs on the small scale, in many cases marrying those potential federal dollars with private fundraised money. A group of 24 mayors (and growing) recently declared a new UBI initiative, called the “Mayors for a Guaranteed Income,” joining Tubbs, and calling it the “New Deal moment,” of our times. They include:
Aja Brown (Compton, CA)
Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles, CA)
Robert Garcia (Long Beach, CA)
Libby Schaaf (Oakland, CA)
Lauren Poe (Gainesville, FL)
Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta, GA)
LaToya Cantrell (New Orleans, LA)
Adrian Perkins (Shreveport, LA)
Alex Morse (Holyoke, MA)
Chokwe Antar Lumumba (Jackson, MS)
Melvin Carter (St. Paul, MN)
Ras J. Baraka (Newark, NJ)
Andre Sayegh (Paterson, NJ)
Kamal Johnson (Hudson, NY)
Svante L. Myrick (Ithaca, NY)
Shawyn Patterson-Howard (Mount Vernon, NY)
Jim Kenney (Philadelphia, PA)
William Peduto (Pittsburgh PA)
Jorge Elorza (Providence, RI)
Stephen Benjamin (Columbia, SC)
Levar Stoney (Richmond, VA)
Jenny Durkan (Seattle, WA)
Victoria R. Woodards (Tacoma, WA)
Satya Rhodes-Conway (Madison, WI)
With a federal government stalled out and dysfunctional, local leaders like Los Angeles’ Mayor Eric Garcetti have already been giving out versions of financial aid, in what ways they can, during this pandemic.
You can watch an interview Mayor Tubbs did with Daily Kos for its Making Progress series last summer—when you could all be in small spaces without masks.