Mayor Bowser should join Mayors for a Guaranteed Income

Mayor Muriel Bowser

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the economic divisions in American society. Mayors of several cities, including Atlanta, have signed up to work towards a guaranteed minimum income. Guaranteed Income, also known as Universal Basic Income, is direct cash payments available to all to ensure that everyone can meet their basic needs. We ask that Mayor Bowser sign up for this also.

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Petition by
Mother's Outreach Network
Washington, District of Columbia

To: Mayor Muriel Bowser
From: [Your Name]

Whereas guaranteed income policies aim to ensure basic economic security and dignity for individuals through direct cash payments, akin to a recurring stimulus program. Universal Basic Income would provide payments to all regardless of income. Pilot programs in Washington DC are providing payments to several hundred residents on a time-limited basis;

Whereas the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated long-standing racial inequities in D.C.;

Whereas pre-pandemic, 1 in 4 Black DC residents lived in poverty: as did 13% of Latinx residents and 6.4 % of non-Hispanic whites;

Whereas pre-pandemic, 26% of children in DC lived in poverty; and most of color;

Whereas immigrant communities comprise 15 percent of DC’s population, during the pandemic, immigrant women lost jobs at a disproportionate rate as high as 18.5 % at the shutdown, and at 8.4% versus 5.8% of US-born women in December;

Whereas Black D.C. households are 13.5 times more likely to report they experience some food insecurity than White D.C. households;

Whereas, pre-pandemic, on average, 35% of Black families headed by single mothers were impoverished, as were 34 percent of Latinx headed households; and 22% of Asian-women headed households;

Whereas Black and Latinx women possess disproportionately greater caregiving responsibilities, work in lower paying jobs than their counterparts; experience health insecurity; are disproportionately essential workers; and due to Covid-19, between February and April 2020, 18.8% of Black women workers lost their jobs and 20% of Latinx women were unemployed;

Whereas women suffered all 140,000 of the job losses in December 2020;

Whereas 41% of Black-owned businesses were closed due to the pandemic, and 17% of White owned were;

Whereas Covid-19 and long-term economic relief are desperately needed in Washington, D.C., we urge you, the Mayor, to take action on Universal Basic Income;

And whereas pandemic response measures such as the Cares Act are likely responsible for thousands fewer people in poverty;

We are requesting that, you, as the Mayor of Washington D.C.

1. Join Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (https://www.mayorsforagi.org/);

2. Create a commission to study Universal Basic Income for Washington D.C.; and

3. As a member of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, affirm your support for the group's Statement of Principles, which are:

- Advocate for a guaranteed income at the local, state, and federal level.

- Invest in narrative change efforts to highlight the lived experiences of economic insecurity.

- Invite other cities to join us in our efforts, and provide technical assistance and funding support for new pilots.