Twitter’s Jack Dorsey gifts $15 million to US mayors to distribute to residents

Jack Dorsey said that he hoped these funds for universal basic income pilots would help inform federal policy in the future

Jack Dorsey is trying to help folks receive free money.

The Twitter CEO is providing a $15 million grant to support basic income programs around the country. The funds will be dispersed to mayors who participate in Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a group made up of 29 mayors who are creating a plan or are already distributing funds to residents that need the additional financial support, per Huff Post.

“Thank you Mayor and to all the Mayors of @mayorsforagi for these universal basic income pilots! I hope they inform federal policy in the future,” Dorsey tweeted Tuesday.

“I think this idea [of UBI] is long overdue,” Dorsey said to Andrew Yang back in May, “and I think the only way that we can change policy is by experimenting and showing case studies of why this works. And a number of other countries have proven small experiments as well, but we have to do it here.” 

Yang was the startup entrepreneur who ran in the 2020 presidential election and a large part of his campaign involved issuing a $1,000 monthly check for adults. The idea of giving money without restrictions or Universal basic income (UBI) has been around for centuries and allows folks to receive free money in hopes of reducing poverty and supporting their basic needs.

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According to a study by Huff Post, the idea has proven to be successful in places like Kenya, India, Canada and Finland.

Jack Dorsey
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Mayor of Stockton, California, Michael Tubbs launched a pilot basic income program in 2019 that provides 125 low-income residents $500. The program is still young but has proven to have an impact.

“I think we should extend the same grace and trust to the everyday people who make our economy and who are the consumers who power these industries,” said Tubbs to HuffPost in March about his program, “and understand that folks aren’t poor because they lack character or lack competence, they’re poor because they lack cash.”

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Mayor Melvin Carter of Saint Paul, Minnesota has also started a similar program and uses private and public funding to provide $500 a month to 150 families.

In a statement about Dorsey’s grant he said, “With these funds we will broaden the reach of this movement, adding bulk to our evidence base and showing what we mayors already know to be true of our constituents — that guaranteed income is a clear path toward economic and racial justice for Americans and it should be a part of the 2021 social safety net.”

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