From left are Long Beach Vice Mayor Cindy Allen, Congressman Robert Garcia, Supervisor Holly Mitchell, guaranteed income pilot recipient Ashley Davis, Michael Tubbs, guaranteed income pilot recipient Amelia Avila, and Rev. Zach Hoover from LA Voice. (Fred Guerrier/Rope Line Media)

In the first stop of the Guaranteed Income Works national tour, elected officials, nonprofit leaders, and guaranteed income pilot participants came together on June 30, to show how guaranteed income pilots have succeeded and how an income floor can work for the country.

Mayors for a Guaranteed Income co-chair Michael Tubbs, Congressman Robert Garcia, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, and the Rev. Zach Hoover, executive director of LA Voice, joined guaranteed income pilot recipients, experts, and non-profit partners to discuss the life-changing impact unrestricted cash payments have on low-income families.
This is the first event in an 20-city tour that Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) launched the 20-city tour to show the evidence that providing direct payments can end poverty in the United States. Guaranteed income recipients have been able to pursue higher paying jobs, obtain undergraduate degrees, pay off debt, and afford basic necessities like food and utilities.

Related Links:

“The evidence is clear: guaranteed income fights poverty and builds stronger communities,” Garcia said. “I’m proud to be fighting in Congress to restore the expanded child tax credit and will soon be introducing legislation to create new guaranteed income programs to uplift families.”
Since launching in 2020, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income has grown its ranks from 11 to over 115 mayors and supported the launch of 40+ guaranteed income pilots across the country, with an additional 20 in the pipeline. In total, these pilots will deliver at least $250 million in direct, unconditional relief to everyday Americans.

Congressman Robert Garcia addresses the audience. (Fred Guerrier/Rope Line Media)

“Our pilot in Stockton demonstrated that guaranteed income works, and with dozens of pilots showing similar results across the country, we’re taking the case for an income floor across the country,” Mayor Tubbs said.

“I’m excited for Americans to see what could happen if a guaranteed income becomes a reality. People would have longer amounts of time to respond to market pressures, to invest in themselves, to go to job training and all the things we know that we’ve seen repeatedly over this country that people do when they’re given this little bit of money and real opportunity.”

Along with the 40+ MGI-supported pilots across the country, President Biden’s expansion of the child tax credit in 2021 proved that direct payments work: 3.7 million children were lifted out of poverty because of the tax credits, and child poverty fell to its lowest level on record.

“I still remember all the sleepless nights I had wondering how I was going to pay the bills and put food on the table,” recalled one recipient. 

“Guaranteed income changed our lives. While $1,000 might not seem like a lot, the cost of groceries, rent, utilities, and diapers add up when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. My wish is for more people to experience the benefits of guaranteed income so that no one struggles to survive.”
Another recipient shared, “I had to take care of so many expenses that popped up out of nowhere but they did not create a domino effect because you guys made it possible for me to have extra cushion that we don’t get to have. Now I really get to breathe.” 

Michael Tubbs, Mayors for Guaranteed Income co-chair, speaks with Los Angeles GI recipients. (Fred Guerrier/Rope Line Media)

“The era of invasive and patronizing social welfare in the United States needs to end. Research has shown us that things like work requirements and possible barriers to eligibility do nothing to truly address poverty and just continue to criminalize poverty,” Mitchell said.

“Guaranteed income can serve as an extension to existing social programs, like Medicare and Social Security. Those were, in their time, cutting-edge, innovative concepts around income security. Those were game-changing, life-saving policy initiatives that took a while to get done, and I believe we can get there with guaranteed income.”

“We see the need everyday in our work,” said Rev. Hoover“The people we serve are your neighbors and friends.

“An unrestricted cash payment can mean the difference between having the lights on and going to the doctor. As a matter of economic and racial justice, we must address the growing wealth inequality in our nation by starting locally in our own backyard.”