Compton Residents To Get Free Cash For Two Years In New Scheme
With the ongoing pandemic leaving many financially struggling, the city of Compton is trialling a new program to support people.
Named ‘The Compton Pledge’, the program will give free cash to 800 low-income Compton residents for two years. The pledge is said to be the largest city-based guaranteed income pilot in the whole of the US.
According to its website, one in five Compton residents live in poverty – double the nationwide average. It also states that since the COVID-19 pandemic started, unemployment rates in the city have risen to a concerning 21.9%.
The description for the innovative idea reads:
The Compton Pledge is a landmark guaranteed income initiative that will distribute recurring cash relief to low-income residents for 2 years, marking the largest city-based guaranteed income pilot in the U.S.
The idea of guaranteed income (GI) is simple but powerful: unconditional, direct, and continuous cash payments delivered to all residents to supplement existing welfare benefits.
It continued, ‘By ensuring that no individual falls below a defined income floor over time, GI creates a true safety net. It enables families to weather crises and government actors and philanthropists to invest directly in the path towards economic justice and reparations.’
Compton Mayor Aja Brown said the pledge will come into action later this year and dubbed it a ‘great opportunity’ to address the country’s inequalities.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Brown explained:
I recognised that there’s a need for additional income, especially with the pandemic resulting in record high numbers of unemployment throughout the entire country.
This is a great opportunity to address inequalities for Black and brown people and also additional opportunities for upward mobility.
According to Brown, each family will receive ‘a few hundred dollars’ on a reoccurring basis as well as tools to help them handle their finances.
The families chosen to be part of the program will be randomly selected from a pre-verified group of low-income residents, said the LA Times.
They plan on documenting the pledges success in two ways: by analysing the positive changes the program creates in people’s lives, and by producing research which helps to inform the design of future guaranteed income policies at local, state, and federal levels.
The Compton Pledge says it wants to give a representative example of the 68% of Latino and 30% of Black residents in Compton, in addition to those who are ‘often excluded from federal and state aid programs’ such as undocumented immigrants.
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