In an effort to help Compton, one of the poorest American cities, the pilot program Compton Pledge will assist 800 people by giving them direct cash payments over two years to study the positive effect a guaranteed income has on the population.
“I know that guaranteed income could give people a moment to navigate their situation, and have some breathing room to go back to school, explore a new career path, spend time with their children, or improve their mental and emotional wellbeing,” says Compton mayor Aja Brown who doubles as a founding member of the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. “Ensuring all people are able to live with dignity is something we should all strive for in America.”
The idea of a universal basic income is not new. Pilot programs have already been implanted in Stockton, California, and in countries like Finland, Kenya, and Spain. The Compton Pledge will randomly select their recipients based on a pre-verified list of low-income residents. So far, the pledge has raised $2.5 million and aims to raise $8.1 million to distribute starting in late 2020.