Cantrell Secures $500K from Mayors for a Guaranteed Income

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell has announced that the City has secured $500,000 in funding from Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) to support the city’s most vulnerable residents who are struggling to pay their bills.

“As Mayors, we see the impact of this pandemic on our people every day. Many urgently require help with basic needs. Job losses and school closures mean people now have many expenses they didn’t have before. Roughly 44,000 are unemployed in New Orleans due to the pandemic,” saidCantrell. “Nothing helps a struggling family like money in the pocket, and nowhere is that more apparent than among Black Americans — who are more likely to be unemployed but less likely to get unemployment benefits. We need rapid and responsive solutions now; this is the time to invest directly in our people.”

The funds are part of a second grant of $15 million from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey through his #startsmall initiative. This builds on Dorsey’s initial donation of $3 million in July 2020. These new funds are already being allocated to launch or expand guaranteed income pilots in U.S. cities.

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The grants come as Americans are increasingly embracing the concept of a Universal Basic Income, due in part to a growing response to systemic racism:

  • 76% of Americans support direct cash payments through the pandemic
  • 55% of Americans support direct cash payments indefinitely

Mayor Cantrell contrasted the idea of giving the most vulnerable residents cash payments with the nearly $77,000 spent to house adult inmates in jails. In fact, Louisiana spends more than $175 per resident each year on prisons and incarceration.

Currently in New Orleans, Rooted School and 4.0 Schools have rolled out a pilot program to provide a weekly cash stipend to 10 students in their founding class, starting with $50 a week.

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