Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has joined a new group of mayors calling for a guaranteed income to their citizens.
The Mayors for a Guaranteed Income coalition “will explore cash payment programs in their cities for guaranteed income programs,” according to a city press release. The idea of a guaranteed income is an unrestricted cash payment from the government to individual citizens to address economic inequality.
Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, according to its website, includes the mayors of Columbia, South Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Newark, New Jersey; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; St. Paul, Minnesota; Shreveport, Louisiana; Tacoma, Washington; and the California cities of Compton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland and Stockton.
The press release noted that Martin Luther King Jr. was among those who have called for some form of guaranteed basic income over the years.
“I am honored to join this powerful coalition of mayors as a founding member in this privately funded pilot program,” said Bottoms in the press release. “We know that economic security is a right and a necessity for all to thrive in this country. I look forward to the meaningful work we will do to continue to push our communities forward.”
It was not immediately clear who is funding and operating the mayors group. Its website lacks those details or contact information. The press release says it was “founded in partnership with the Economic Security Project” and has a new partnership with What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative.
Last month, Atlanta City Councilmember Amir Farokhi announced the formation of a task force about a possible guaranteed basic income program and other economic inequality measures targeting the Old Fourth Ward.