Should Shreveport Run a Guaranteed Income Program?
The Shreveport City Council could vote Tuesday on the plan to be a part of the Guaranteed Income Program that is being piloted in several cities across the nation.
The Mayors for a Guaranteed Income are spearheading this program in several cities across the nation.
The Mayors group says:
We are founded on the belief that in the richest country in the world, no one should live in poverty, and that we can afford an income floor for all who need it. We operate based on the truth that financial instability is not the failure of individuals, but rather the failure of policies.
This is not public money for the Shreveport program, but California has put $35 million in the state budget for the pilot program. It originally started with 11 mayors and has now grown to 57 mayors promoting this program.
The Mayors for AGI also says
Nearly 40% of Americans cannot afford a single $400 emergency, and rising income inequality is compounded by a growing racial wealth gap. Women of color - are the most likely to live in poverty, are overrepresented in low-paying occupations, and are far more likely to lack access to sick leave and health care benefits.
Mayor Adrian Perkins is asking the Shreveport City Council to approve a resolution to move forward with the program.
Families selected for this program will get serve at least $600 dollars per month for a year. The money to fund this program will come from the Mayors for Guaranteed Income coalition (MGI) the Shreveport Financial Empowerment Center (SFEC) and United Way of Northwest Louisiana.
The Mayor’s report to the Council says:
A guaranteed income would empower recipients to address their most urgent day to day needs and provide a cushion for unpredictable expenses. Previous and ongoing experiments of guaranteed income programs have included some of the following results for participants: better educational outcomes, substantive improvements in physical and mental health, significant reduction of predatory debt, and greater confidence in having basic necessities met, with no appreciable impacts on the labor market.
More than 100 families would be able to participate in this program and get $600 dollars a month for a year.
Here’s the criteria to participate:
(1) participants must be single parents with school aged children
(2) all incomes of those selected shall be 120% below the federal poverty level
(3) participants will be selected from the poorest zip codes within the city limits of Shreveport which include 71103, 71109, 71108 and 71129.
If the Council approves the resolution, Shreveport will receive funds in the amount of $500,000 from the Mayors for Guaranteed Income Coalition (MGI), and matching funds in the amount of $450,000 will be obtained from other public, philanthropic, and private sources for a total of $950,000 in funding for this program.