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October 16, 2020

Sarah Iannarone Releases Bold Guaranteed Basic Income Policy

Sarah Iannarone, candidate for Portland Mayor, today released a full proposal for Portland to pilot a program of Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) to a select group of qualifying Portlanders. As a precursor to a “universal basic income” at the national level, this pilot will select a group of 125 Portlanders who will receive a no-strings-attached amount of cash each month for 12 months. The proposal intends for the target demographic of the pilot participants to be low income Black mothers. During the pilot, each recipient will be voluntarily tracked to determine how they spend the extra funds, and how this money impacts their lives. Program managers will also monitor a much larger control group to see how similar demographics fare during the same time period. This pilot will be modeled after the successful Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, and the policy proposal was created with input from Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs as well as members of the #YangGang.

In a statement, Sarah Iannarone said, “Guaranteed Basic Income is an idea whose time has come. The wealth inequality revealed by the pandemic has led to massively increased support for a common-sense policy to alleviate poverty through direct aid. While Portland can’t currently give every deserving low-income person the money they need to escape poverty, I am confident we can direct funds to a group who will achieve better outcomes, as we’ve seen in other cities.”

The Policy, estimated to cost $1.8M in its 12 months of operation, would provide $1,000 monthly to a cohort of 125 individuals. “Due to the outsized effect the pandemic is having on their lives, it is clear that Black mothers with low incomes should make up the first recipients,” the proposal states.

Non-Profit CEO Cameron Whitten added, “For decades, civic and business leaders have worked diligently to address poverty through gradual fixes; but the sad reality is that COVID-19 and future economic crises will virtually eliminate any progress we’ve made. If we truly want to end poverty as we know it, there’s no greater priority than a guaranteed basic income.”

The idea of guaranteed income was popularized by US Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang. One of Yang’s closest allies on the creation of the policy Scott Santens, will appear on Sarah’s #OurPortland Podcast next week to discuss the policy.

The full policy proposal is at