According to Census.gov, About 1 in 5 Compton residents live below the poverty line. In response to these statistics, the mayor of the city has vowed to assist those struggling residents through an initiative that will provide guaranteed income to 800 of them through the Compton Pledge program. Even better, the recipients will not be required to pay back any of the money they receive.
The Compton Pledge program was announced on Monday by Mayor Aja Brown, who will lead the program in conjunction with the Fund for Guaranteed Income, the Jain Family Institute and several other organizations. Under this latest effort, a group of “pre-verified” residents will receive monthly cash payments that will be anywhere from $300 to $600. The funds are promised for a two year period. The objective is to “challenge the racial and economic injustice plaguing both welfare programs and economic systems.” The pledge is available to those “irregularly or informally employed residents, immigrants of varied legal status, and the formerly incarcerated.”
An online payment portal will be implemented to allow the qualifying residents to choose whether they would like to receive their funds via prepaid debit cards, electronic transfers or direct deposit. Since the program is giving away free money, it will also educate it’s recipients on managing their funds by providing no-cost banking and access to “existing financial, legal, and counseling services.”
“People in our community are going through tough times, and I know that guaranteed income could give people a moment to navigate their situation, and have some breathing room to go back to school, explore a new career path, spend time with their children, or improve their mental and emotional well-being. Ensuring all people are able to live with dignity is something we should all strive for in America.” Brown said in her statement.
Compton’s unemployment rate is now at 21.9%, largely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.