January 22, 2022
  • January 22, 2022

Rochester Approves Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program | Local news

By on December 26, 2021 0

Rochester City Council on Tuesday approved a proposal establishing a pilot program for a guaranteed basic income.

The legislation allocates $ 2.2 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to provide $ 500 per month for one year to 175 people in households with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. The second year of the program will provide the same monthly amount to a different group of 175 people.

Before stepping down in late November, former mayor Lovely Warren introduced the bill saying that “The quickest path for Rochester families to escape poverty and create generational wealth is through establishment. a guaranteed basic income “.

The legislation allows the city to contract with the Black Community Focus Fund, headed by Reverend Myra Brown, to administer the program.

Guaranteed or universal basic income programs have been implemented or offered in a number of other communities across the country.

Mayor-elect Malik Evans supports the concept, but has indicated he would like to explore the possibility of an even larger program, possibly with the help of philanthropic support.

The city council also recently approved legislation relating to the city’s public spaces which were named after people who enslaved people.

The resolution, submitted by board chair Loretta Scott and board member Mitch Gruber, says a preliminary study of public spaces by the city historian has identified Charles Carroll Park on Andrews Street and Nathaniel Square on Alexander Street, as public spaces named after two of the founders, whose “involvement as slavers and traders is well documented.”

The resolution urges the city administration to continue investigating public spaces and “rename all public places that bear the names of slave owners.”

The measure notes that Rochester’s past includes many people who deserve public spaces bearing their names.

Examples mentioned in the resolution include Austin Steward, an African-American abolitionist, author, and businessman who wrote a memoir in the 1800s titled “Twenty-Two Years a Slave, and Forty years a Freeman,” and James McCuller , who led Action for a Better Community in Rochester for several years starting in 1968.


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