The city of Compton, California is reportedly launching a pilot program that will guarantee free, recurring cash payments to 800 of its low-income residents, no strings attached.
According to a statement released by Mayor Aja Brown, the Compton Pledge is a guaranteed income program that challenges “the racial and economic injustice plaguing both welfare programs and economic systems."
The program is slated to launch later this year with a select group of “pre-verified” residents who will receive monthly cash payments over a two-year period. CNN reports that it’s unclear how much the payments will be.
The program will also be available to "irregularly or informally employed residents, immigrants of varied legal status, and the formerly incarcerated."
"People in our community are going through tough times, and I know that guaranteed income could give people a moment to navigate their situation and have some breathing room to go back to school, explore a new career path, spend time with their children, or improve their mental and emotional wellbeing," Brown said in the statement. "Ensuring all people are able to live with dignity is something we should all strive for in America."
Aside from the cash payments, Compton Pledge is also going to provide no-cost banking and access to “existing financial, legal, and counseling services.”
According to Census data, around one in five Compton residents live below the federal poverty line, which is double the national average. The city’s unemployment rate, which has been sharply increased due to the coronavirus pandemic, is currently at 21.9 percent.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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