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Thirty Mayors Looking to Give Universal Basic Income a Try Under Biden Administration

Could Biden, now beholden to the progressives he courted in 2020, be the catalyst that kicks the UBI train into high gear?

Political whiplash.  That’s the name for the pain we could be feeling soon, as we transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.

Trump, the ardent populist with a penchant for making politicians uncomfortable, is giving way to a President in Joe Biden who is feeling immense pressure from the far left to push back against anything and everything having to do with Donald Trump.  Many within the left’s more radical base are even pushing for the punishment angle – hoping to defeat and denounce conservatism as a response to the Trump experience.

The liberal base is also looking at an administration and legislative body streamlined for them and their policies.

Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, sometimes called “MGI,” was founded by Michael D. Tubbs, then-mayor of Stockton, California in June 2020 after his city launched, and later extended, a basic income program where 125 residents received $500 monthly thanks to funding from the Economic Security Project, a nonprofit that supports other guaranteed income experiments.

CNBC Make It recently spoke with mayors who are pushing the guaranteed income movement forward in their cities — and giving out thousands of dollars in the process.

“When you look at 2020 and the inequities that have been illuminated this year, you’ve also seen the injustices that a lot of Black and Brown people have encountered for generations. It’s systemic,” says Levar Stoney, mayor of Richmond, Virginia where the city is piloting a program in which citizens will receive $500 a month for 24 months. “Some people may think this is a radical idea, but I think there’s nothing radical about helping people.”

The MGI is comprised of thirty mayors who are either deploying UBI programs currently, or who will be in the near future.

And, with Biden beholden to the progressives he courted during the 2020 election, the concept may soon find itself turbocharged.


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