One recipient, mourning the death of his daughter, said the money gave him time to take opportunities for himself and be around more for his family, noting that "a lot of people have noticed a positive change." During the program, he wrote that even after the program's end, "it'll still get better because they opened my eyes to it."
Research spanning the full two years of the project will be available in 2022. In the meantime, similar initiatives are cropping up in cities across the United States.
Tubbs, prior to losing his bid for reelection last year, founded a group called Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. The coalition now includes 40 mayors advocating for direct, recurring cash payments in cities from Seattle to San Antonio to Pittsburgh.
A number of pilot programs are already in the works in places like Durham, North Carolina, New Orleans and Gary, Indiana, where officials announced one such initiative just last week.
Tubbs told NPR in January that he believes the time is right for the idea of universal basic income — of which Martin Luther King Jr. was an early proponent in the 1960s — to finally take hold.
"We are literally at ground zero with sort of the racial reckoning we're having but also with the economic impacts of COVID-19," he said. "When I think if we can get a guaranteed income, an income floor, at this time, we also have to have a conversation about the moral awakening our country needs because, again, as Dr. King said, poverty robs us of the richness of a society where everyone's given the opportunity to realize their full potential."
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