Ald. Chantia Lewis
Press Release

Time is now for federal universal basic income payments

Statement of Alderwoman Chantia Lewis April 24, 2020

By - Apr 24th, 2020 03:01 pm

With thousands in Milwaukee and millions across America out of work because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, now is the time for Congress to approve a federal universal $2,000 basic income payment each month to every adult.

I firmly believe there is ample public support for such a measure, which would provide a basic level of income for individuals and families to put food on the table. Such a program would last until such time as federal officials determine the nation to be fully back open for business.

Late last year I sponsored a city budget amendment to create a pilot program (based on a universal basic income program that exists in Stockton, California) to provide $500 monthly basic income stipends to 50 families in Milwaukee. The pilot universal basic income (UBI) budget amendment proposal passed but without funding, and we are exploring potential funding sources (no taxpayer dollars would be involved).

Importantly, the proposal would have provided the families with financial literacy and resources so they could be set up for success long after their program period had expired.

The pandemic is wreaking havoc for working people in Milwaukee and across our state and nation. Now is the time to act on a sensible $2,000 per month UBI initiative!

I am urging residents to call members of Congress today at 202-224-3121 and demand that they create the $2,000 per month UBI during the COVID-19 national crisis.

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