Shreveport one of 11 cities in U.S. to take part in Universal Basic Income pilot program

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The city of Shreveport is one of 11 cities in the United States that will take part in a universal basic income pilot program.

Shreveport city spokesperson Ben Riggs confirms the city’s involvement in the program, which could give recurring cash payments to individuals without the money having to be repaid.

The issue came to light through two national reports, one in Time Magazine, the other in Forbes.

According to Riggs, the program in Shreveport would be funded solely with private donations and no city tax dollars would be used.

Below are the mayors involved in the program, led by a group called “Mayors for a Guaranteed Income”, which according to their website, was founded in June.

Michael D. Tubbs, mayor of Stockton, California.
Chokwe Antar Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.
Melvin Carter, mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Ras J. Baraka, mayor of Newark, New Jersey.
Aja Brown, mayor of Compton, California.
Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, California.
Adrian Perkins, mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Libby Schaaf, mayor of Oakland, California.
Stephen Benjamin, mayor of Columbia, South Carolina.
Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.
Victoria R. Woodards, mayor of Tacoma, Washington.

Mayor Tubbs, according to the group’s website, founded the organization.

According to the website, the mayors’ goals are to aid residents experiencing economic insecurity, saying … “Wealth and income inequality, which have long plagued our country, continue to grow. Even prior to the pandemic, people who were working two and three jobs still couldn’t afford basic necessities. COVID-19 has only further exposed the economic fragility of most American households, and has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown people.”

NBC 6 News reached out to several Shreveport city council members who told NBC 6 News they were learning of the city’s involvement in the program from our phone calls.

Mayor Perkins shared this statement with NBC 6 News on the city’s involvement in the program, saying quote, “COVID-19 exacerbated the economic insecurities that working class Americans grapple with every day. I am excited to be one of eleven mayors exploring the role guaranteed income initiatives can play in solving the problem of poverty. The city of Shreveport will participate in a privately funded pilot program. We will provide more information in the coming weeks.”

All city council members we spoke with declined comment on the program, due to learning of its existence today.

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