What is guaranteed income?
By ‘guaranteed income’ we mean a regular cash payment accessible to members of a community, with no strings attached and no work requirements.
Guaranteed income helps build a robust floor under which no one can fall. Guaranteed income is meant to supplement, not supplant existing social safety net benefits. It is grounded on the values of trust and respect for recipients with a fundamental commitment to preserving and reinforcing the freedom of choice and dignity of individuals and families. The proposal has been championed as a means of ending poverty, reducing social inequalities, and promoting gender and racial equity.
Together we are working to create an income floor through which no one in America will fall. We recognize that our policies are shaped by deeply held cultural beliefs and to change policy we must engage with and dismantle harmful narratives.
Our community includes academics, advocates, culture makers, funders, policy makers, practitioners, and more.
As a community, we are guided by the following community norms:
- Be present
- Listen to listen
- Step up, step back
- Assume goodwill
- Ask the question
- Center justice
- Engage respectfully
- Confidential space
Trust, Respect, and Choice
We believe that individuals are best suited to determine how to spend money to meet their needs
We believe that dignity is inherent to all people
We believe that the current racial and gender wealth and income disparities are a result of policy choices and we are committed to a more equitable distribution of resources
CEO, Springboard To Opportunities
Poverty disruptor Aisha Nyandoro is the Chief Executive Officer of Springboard To Opportunities which houses the Magnolia Mother’s Trust project in Jackson, Mississippi. In her work Aisha uses a “radically resident-driven” approach designed to improve quality of life and end the generational poverty trajectory. She is a storyteller whose work and words have been featured in The New York Times, Essence, CNN, MSNBC, and Fast Company. She is a trailblazer and dream chaser who’s been recognized with fellowships at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network and Ascend at the Aspen Institute.
Director of Guaranteed Income, Economic Security Project
Madeline Neighly is the Director of Guaranteed Income at the Economic Security Project. Prior to joining ESP, she was a Director of Advocacy and Policy at the Roosevelt Institute where she focused on corporate power issues. Madeline previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor on criminal records at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, where she developed the Clean Slate Clearinghouse, as an attorney at Columbia Legal Services representing prisoners, and as a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project working to expand fair employment opportunities for people with criminal records. Madeline has a JD from the University of California, Berkeley Law.
Economic Security Project
Shafeka Hashash is the Guaranteed Income Community of Practice program manager. As a community organizer, she has led campaigns ranging from closing a Fair Labor Standards Act loophole that allowed disabled employees to be paid subminimum wages, an anchor team member and mayoral appointee of the Atlanta Communities Over Cages alliance to close and repurpose the Atlanta City Detention Center, and strong advocate for the rights of Palestinians, including political prisoners. She formerly was the senior coordinator at New American Pathways, leading a team supporting immigrants and refugees facing family violence, and then directed the economic programs at the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence where she began the first ever direct cash program through the Google Impact Challenge fund. She holds a bachelors/masters in political economy from NYU, and spends her time away from community organizing tandem cycling.
Economic Security Project
Andrea is the Operations and Guaranteed Income Community of Practice Assistant. Her past experiences are rooted in her interest to help others. She has worked alongside student communities, grassroots organizations, and nonprofits to provide resources and services to aid in people’s everyday lives. Her commitment for positive community action is coupled with a love for big-picture planning, daily operational management, and creative work. Andrea is enthusiastic about growing, gaining new skills, and helping make strides in economic justice.
Springboard To Opportunities
Julianne is the Executive Assistant/Project Associate of Springboard To Opportunities. Her passion for serving others has led her through volunteering and organizing roles in many local and national nonprofit organizations. Julianne's work with Springboard and the Guaranteed Income Community of Practice includes providing support wherever she is needed most. She is driven to create positive change in every space she can and truly believes, "A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit."
Economic Security Project challenges the status quo by catalyzing ideas that build economic power for all Americans. We serve as convener, strategist, funder and campaigner. We disburse grants, identify gaps, develop communications research to inform the movements, and coordinate events and convenings to encourage investment and action from others. We aim to support the emerging leaders in the economic justice field and ensure they have the networks, know-how, and money to succeed.
Springboard To Opportunities connects families living in affordable housing with resources and programs that help them advance themselves in school, work and life. We do this by working directly with families, as well as by establishing strategic partnerships with other organizations that help residents achieve their goals. In the fall of 2018, Springboard To Opportunities announced The Magnolia Mother’s Trust, a new initiative that provides low-income, African-American mothers in Jackson, Mississippi $1,000 cash on a monthly basis, no strings attached, for 12 months straight. While there have been several initiatives for a guaranteed income worldwide, this is the first that specifically targets extremely low-income families headed by an African-American female living in affordable housing in the United States.
The Asset Funders Network engages philanthropy to advance economic opportunity and prosperity for low and moderate-income people.
The Center for Guaranteed Income Research consolidates the key learnings from the pilots taking place in Mayors for a Guaranteed Income member cities, to address knowledge gaps in the contemporary understanding of guaranteed income’s impact for Americans, and to allow the organization to layer data with anecdotal evidence in federal advocacy. The Center is co-led by Dr. Amy Castro Baker, assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, and Dr. Stacia Martin-West, assistant professor University of Tennessee, College of Social Work.
Building off his first-of-its-kind guaranteed income pilot, the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, and rooted in Dr. King’s legacy, Mayor Michael D. Tubbs of Stockton, CA founded Mayors for a Guaranteed Income in partnership with the Economic Security Project in June 2020. Mayors will come together in this network to advocate for a guaranteed income – direct, recurring cash payments – that lifts all of our communities, building a resilient, just America. Since its establishment in June 2020, the coalition has created a significant increase in support for guaranteed income policy across the country, passing a resolution in support of guaranteed income at the United States Conference of Mayors and submitting a sign-on letter to House and Senate leadership in support of the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act. In support of this growth and a groundswell of interest in guaranteed income, MGI has partnered with What Works Cities on a six-session online learning opportunity to elevate lessons learned and share best practices with the coalition and additional cities across the country. Interested parties can learn more or register here.
The Stanford Basic Income Lab aspires to be an academic home for the study of universal basic income. It was founded in February 2017 as an initiative of the Stanford McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society. Under the leadership of Assistant Professor Juliana Bidadanure and the support and guidance of Joan Berry, Executive Director of the McCoy Family Center of Ethics in Society, the Basic Income Lab received seed funding from the Economic Security Project and the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society to create an academic home for the study and evaluation of basic income experiments.